Eight years ago one of my former students who had great friends, a caring family, and a plan for his immediate future (his senior year) committed suicide. He was a very good student, played sports, and seemed to have everything necessary for a long and successful life. It was extremely difficult to deal with this tragedy for many people, including his family. I tried to capture my thoughts and feelings with the following poem.
For Patrick: Forever Young
I only wish I knew
why the love we felt eluded you
on the day our mortality
left such a bitter taste.
We were here to listen,
but you could not hear us talking
too much, perhaps,
of journey’s endless adventures
into realms unknown and conquests ripe.
In that moment were you not friend,
son, mentor, student and teammate?
How do we lose the compass sense
of past and present and to be?
We didn’t ask you to be perfect…
We are afraid
because we understand
that perfect is a demand
that can not be quenched
when bathed in unfilled expectations.
In a frantic race to save
we cry out our pain
into an echoless abyss
where consciousness lost
breaks bonds we thought eternal.
Yet we relish the gift
and savor the sweetness
of fruit ripened and shared
in the memory of our moments
never to age.
We bid you peace
As your piper leads you home.
- Paul Kertay April 14, 2003
Paul gave a framed copy of this poem to Patrick’s family, and he said it seemed to give them comfort. I had thought I might write some commentary, but I think I’ll leave that for now, and simply let the poem speak for itself. It says so much, and I am struck by the universality of the themes expressed.
Les Kertay, The Moments Project
Transformation Thursday posts are for stories, thoughts, and experiences of transformation, whatever form they may take.