By CARLY CUNNINGHAM
What I’ve learned is that grief,
Will never go away.
You hold grief in your hands,
While your heart tears into pieces,
And when you start to feel better,
The grief gets a little smaller.
Before I thought that with time,
It would slowly melt,
And become something of the past.
I know it doesn’t melt.
Shapeshifts through your life.
and changes shape through time.
Some days it might be so big it overwhelms you. Other days it’s so small that you can forget it’s there. But it’s on the days that it grows silently, and fast,
That suddenly it’s everywhere you look. Everything reminds you of the grief,
It also reminds you of why you are grieving. And your grieving,
For the people that went away.
The people that went home,
Earlier than you expected.
You see them in the sunrise,
You hear them when the birds chirp,
You see them in the cardinals outside your window, You feel them in the wind that blows your hair, You are reminded of them while doing laundry, Watching sports,
Laying in bed at night,
Going to school,
Sitting with friends.
And you are also reminded of them,
In the silence.
When there is no one else around,
And the thoughts start creeping into your head. That’s when it hits the hardest.
When the fear,
Start to suffocate you.
As you are alone with all your thought,
And swallowed by the grief that trails behind you, You remember.
You remember the fun moments,
The times you laughed so hard,
That your stomach was sore after.
The amazing moments when all you could do was sit there, And smile,
Because being in that moment with them,
Made you more happy than you have ever been. And then you think about,
Where they are now.
How your happiness in that moment,
Compared to their happiness.
And that happiness that they have,
Won’t just last an hour,
Or a day,
Or a week.
It will last for eternity.
And those amazing moments you experienced with them, Is what will keep you going.
It will keep you believing,
You now live for the people that left.
You thank them for the lessons,
You thank them for the thoughtfulness,
But you especially thank them,
For the never ending
Because that love,
Is now what is keeping you from sinking.
It is your motivation,
To keep going.
So that one day,
You can experience that happiness with them, You can experience the peacefulness,
And the way God’s love is seen everywhere. Your pain,
Will be nonexistent.
In heaven, you will be saved.
You will be free,
You will be loved.
You will reunite with those you love.
And the pain you experienced,
All those years before,
Will be forgotten.
God will have you,
In his arms.
And then you will look down,
On those you left behind,
If they only knew.
If they only knew the peace I feel up here.
If they only knew,
I am no longer in pain.
And the people you leave behind,
Will have that grief you once had,
But they will soon realize,
It wont overcome them,
Like they thought it would.
It won’t sink them to the very bottom,
Because they will have their memories to keep them afloat. And when they finally reach shore,
They realize what you did
When you join your loved ones.
And the cycle repeats,
Over and over again,
Until God calls,
But all of his children home.
Carly read her poem about the loss of her parents Scott and Tiffini Cunningham during their memorial service on April 30, 2022.