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Dal and I in Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 2018

Let us be in agreement that death is a thief 
that robs us of what we most cherish. 

It may be the natural passage from this human life,
it may be what is expected out of this crash course we call living,
it may be the final remedy for being chronically mortal,
but it robs us, nonetheless.

Let us be in agreement that death does not treat us kindly.

It creates a gaping hole in our lives that cannot be filled,
it turns us inside out and upside down in our grief,
it brings us to our knees where we can only beg for mercy,
and it stings with deadly force.

Let us be in agreement that death takes no prisoners.

It causes us to question the worth of our own lives,
it guilts us into wondering why we live when our loved one does not,
it menaces us with our own imminent demise,
and it cares not at all about trampling on our will to live.

Yet let us also be in agreement
that death can never have the last word.

It cannot sever love’s bonds forged through unbroken daily loyalties,
it cannot break apart the commitments we have made to one another,
it cannot steal our memories of our beloved’s beautiful being,
it cannot annul our deep affections for the one we have loved and lost,
it cannot silence the resilient song of love in our hearts,
it cannot prevent us from choosing to love still.

Even though it hurts beyond imagining,
death does not have the final word –
love is stronger than death!

~ Mark Lloyd Richardson
March 5, 2021