the last time


IMG_0526the last time

you showed up, I didn’t know
what to expect. you kicked in the
door, filled the room with a dead chill . . .
surprise attack: a stroke, a call,
a funeral; and then miles of
ache and absence, but not this time.
she made choices; we made choices.
we had days to gather and plan,
sing old hymns, see old friends, wipe the
tears from our eyes and then cry more . . .
an extended final scene worth playing.

last time grief fell like a curtain
ending the play; now it feels like
a blanket too thin for the cold.
I am stating the obvious:
this is not new except for me.
there is a path—well-worn, weary,
and companions: bands of orphans
acquainted with grief and hope.
call me by name. gather in close.
sing me the songs. tell me again:
morning by morning, new mercies . . . .



  1. Oh, yes. New territory. Continued surprises as you listen in your head to conversations you can no longer have. We are there with you.

  2. Checking in with love and appreciation from the Southwest Left Coast. You don’t hear it enough from me, but I love keeping up with your adventures. May the God of All Comfort continue to hold you close. Bob.

  3. You break my heart with every word you write, yet I read and I love to read, because it brings back the memory and the grief that I know you are feeling. I feel it every time it happens to the growing number of us. We are your companions in grief, but also in the shared memory of loss and love and somehow comfort.
    Thank you Milton for the comfort of grief.
    Love always,

  4. Having walked a similar road you describe, my heart aches for you now Milton. My strength came from those I stood shoulder to shoulder with who carried me, who lifted me when I was not able on my own…those who from a distance let me know their prayers were for me. They cared enough to lift my name to Our God of Hope. It eventually gave way to grace and peace enveloping me, in body…then in mind. Please find strength in those that want to carry you now Milton…God cares and many you’ve given so much to, carried yourself…want to be there now for you. continued prayers for this journey…

  5. Bands of orphans –so profound and true and sad. Remember time eases the pain but, the memories will always remain. The gift of time you received tho heartbreaking was a gift. You show us how much you treasured it. Thank you! Hugs from your 6 ICU fav nurse 🙂

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