I have known you
since you were a toddler,
ten years younger
than my best friend and me.
You were spoiled and annoying;
we would never be friends,
but we got along fine
on the occasions we shared
once you grew up.
We lost your sister years ago,
and though we hadn't stayed as close
as we'd been as girls,
I was struck by how my heart ached
when she passed.
I didn't expect so many tears.
She was too young
and it came too fast.

It was sad news again
when your much younger sister,
ravaged by cancer,
passed only months ago.
I knew her less than I knew you,
but grieved for your family
and a life taken too soon.

Two days ago
they found you
alone in your apartment,
your spirit gone off
to reunite with your sisters.
Out of the blue,
with no obvious reasons
for your passing.
You, too, were too young.

My heart aches
for those you left behind.
I find I cannot stop thinking
about three sisters all gone too soon.
I cannot stop thinking
about your brother left to grieve alone.
I cannot stop thinking
how lucky I am to be alive,
and still have a sister
to share the world with.

We are here on the whims of Fate,
no matter that we think
we can control our existence.
Mortality is the common bond
we cannot escape.
Let us treasure every moment
for the joy it holds
and look for the light
when darkness threatens
to overwhelm us.
Let us honor those
we've loved and lost
by living life
as the precious gift it is.

(for Karen, Patty, & Kellie, RIP)

Elise Skidmore ©2020

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    1. Thank you. It’s strange sometimes how someone you weren’t really close to can pass and it still have a strong effect on you. Patty and I were never close, certainly not what you would call friends, but her death has struck me more deeply than I would have expected. I tried to show that in this poem.