While it may be Halloween for most people, I instead remember the man who passed away on this day years ago. He was a symbol, a legend, and a gentle teacher all rolled into one. Having been named after him and hearing of all of our similarities, it’s become annual ritual for me to reflect on the things I’ll never share with my grandfather. While I could endlessly speculate on the conversations we could have had on our similar directions in life, I always like to take a moment to read the below piece to help me focus my thoughts and remember.
I crouch there, weeping
As the river flows by
The humble beginnings of a once great man,
Reduced now to ash, as the years have long passed
Since the campfires of boyhood have been lit.
The simple box can not contain
His smile or his heart for humanity.
But as all things must live and must die,
So too does he return to the birth of a dream.
But as he is made to be one with the world
And his being is merged with this river of life
My tears do not cease, for there is no release
To the loss of my dear Grandpa.
The silence is broken
In this now hallowed place
By the wind that begins to pick up.
The ashes, now lifted by the movement of air
Partake in ethereal embrace.
But as my heart trembles
At saying farewell
The wind picks up a droplet of life
And as it caresses my face in the sweetest embrace
I know he will be there for me.
The years, they have come
The years, they have gone
And with them, my hopes and my fears.
No longer a youth, but still looking for truth
In the firmament that captures my eye.
The world is now challenged
The world is now broken
Perhaps moreso since when you were here
But your dreams and ambitions, for a just coalition
Seem further and further away.
I march and I run
Against sweltering heat
Afraid to watch the world burn.
And while I grow weary to see this world dreary
I gasp as I try to still breathe.
Though broken and beaten
And slowing my pace
In my effort to bring salvation
I feel it again: my dearest of friend
The ethereal dance of the wind.
It whirls and it pushes
The heat of the earth
Away from the fore of my mind.
But as it sees me now broken, in a language unspoken
It pushes me now to go on.
To remember the dreams
Of an elder great man
The man for whom I was named.
And as he did then, he did so again
Send a kiss of hope through the wind.
And in these brief moments
Of hope and of promise
When the cosmos now seem all aligned
I weep once again, for I feel him now send
A message for me to embrace.
I know that you’ll miss me
I know that you’ll grieve
For to death there seems no reprieve.
But as the sun comes tomorrow
Grow strong out of sorrow
For in you, my last son, I’ll believe.