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Family (on the occasion of my Uncle Bill's Remembrance)

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

Those who love us

Must one day leave us,

And to those who we love

We must one day leave.


Tiny scenes that extend as wide as the horizon

They play over and over in the mind

Like a sweet berry

That you can pick off the vine

Which grows back

Whenever you want to revisit that person

And visit that time, and that feeling, existing brief, finite, fleeting,

Once and only once, never to occur again--

and at the same time expansive, timeless, perfect in its' frame on the wall of the mind,

to be with

and behold

and to cherish.

I believe he is with us right now,

And you very well may nod and agree.

Or you might say, what do you mean?

I'd say sure, I don't see him

like I see you,

And you can't see him

like you can see me.

But I don't need to see oxygen

To trust that I'm breathing air,

I don't need to see the sun

To see what the sun illuminates,

So if he lights up our faces

When we talk of him

Thinking of him fondly,

If our eyes well up

In sadness,

In gratitude,

We can see that we are illuminated by him

Just like the sun that shines on everything.

That's how I know

If we continue to love each other

And talk of him

Not miss, but reminisce,

Then he is not gone

He is with us right now

And thru the way that we love him

We can be with him.

Those we love

Will one day leave,

And if you say they leave

I say it's thru love we stay.

51 views4 comments


Ray Mullineaux
Ray Mullineaux
May 21, 2022

..Framed first in our loss, yet ending in our love

"I don't need to see the sun to see what the sun illuminates"

Bill is gone, yet we stay and in our love his image is indelibly limned.

I wish I could have heard you read it!

Michael Barnes
Michael Barnes
May 21, 2022
Replying to

Thanks Uncle Ray. It was a beautiful ceremony, very sad, but beautiful. I wish you could have been there too. I hope you are feeling better.


Cathleen Barnes
Cathleen Barnes
May 20, 2022

Mike, I appreciated this poem when you read it yesterday at the cemetery. But now that I've had a chance to read it, I appreciate it even more. It reflects my very firm belief that those who have died really do live on in our hearts -- it's obviously a different type of existence, but one that I find comforting. You have captured this essence beautifully.

Michael Barnes
Michael Barnes
May 20, 2022
Replying to

Thanks Momma. Thru writing this, and reciting it, and after talking with you yesterday on our drive, I'd like to hear more about your Mom. You say she never goes away for you, and I'd like to breathe some life into her by listening to you tell me more about her. She was Mom Mom to me, but she was Mom too you, and I'd like to get to know her better.

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