My greatest regret was knowing you were going to die,
and being unable to say goodbye.
Maybe I was too young to understand,
too shy or awkward to reach out a hand.
Maybe I just couldn’t believe that you would ever leave,
your dying was a concept I simply could not conceive.
But the day came when you were no longer here,
and I was too numb to shed a single tear.
How could you have left?
Your death felt like a theft
of warmth, happiness, whimsy, and magic.
I didn’t know the world could be so tragic.
You were a refuge in the storm,
a safe place for hopes and dreams to take form.
Warm and nurturing, funny and strong,
your time with us wasn’t long,
but, oh, it was formative and mattered,
so much so, with your death, my heart shattered.
I let the moment pass and deep regret has sunk in,
the burden weighs on my heart like a deep sin.
Years and years have passed,
yet the feeling still seems to last.
As I stare up at the star-filled sky,
I am reminded, I didn’t say goodbye.
Born and raised in Upstate NY, Liz is a freelance writer. She has written for websites, blogs, and magazines for the last 10 years. She also acts as a proofreader and beta reader for several authors, all the while working on her first book.