I wrote this poem on June 27th, in memory of my nephew, Anthony, who my family lost on the 23rd, just a few days shy of his 22nd birthday. Even as I write this, it doesn’t seem true.
Anthony, was my brother, Ricky’s, only son. He was my father’s first grandchild. This loss has been devastating for the entire family. Despite the funeral being in the past and having seen his body in the casket, I still wake up every day in disbelief. I dream with him and of him; my mind doesn’t rest, thinking of him nonstop. I still feel like his death occurred in another realm, one that isn’t real. How could he be gone? The only comfort I have is that he is with God. I know that God held him in his arms from the moment of the accident. Part of me is holding onto the belief that Anthony is one of the lucky ones – those chosen to be with God at a young age. As in Billy Joel’s song, “Only The Good Die Young,” ironically an anti-Catholic song.
IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY & I CAN’T REST MY MIND
Today you would have turned twenty-two
Unbelievable. A life lost, far too soon.
My thoughts are shifting, rambling, begging –
We must be living an alternate reality.
I’ve never lost someone so young, so close.
My nephew, you were a brilliant mind, sharp and bright
The pain, the hurt, I ache for your father – my brother –
your sister, your mother – oh your mother –
The pain of losing a child, the greatest pain of all
I need a respite from the unending loop playing in my head.
Who, What, When, Where, How?
The questions answered, yet a blankness looms so great.
I raise my head above the darkness by looking at the light.
Angels are dancing all around you and holding you tight.