A couple months ago, after having one too many clichés flung in my face, through a mess of tears, I wrote this. Then I daydreamed about the next time someone clichés all over me– instead of nodding and smiling while crying inside, or kindly educating them about a more comforting and helpful way to talk to a bereaved parent– I’d have enough grit and grace to recite this instead:
Easy for you to say God needed another angel—
since God didn’t ask you for yours.
Easy for you to say God has a plan—
if all of God’s plans for you have precisely tailgated your own like a lovely fairy tale.
Easy for you to say everything happens for a reason—
please tell me one good reason my son is forever buried deep underground?
Easy for you to say trust God—
if you’ve never felt betrayed by the heavens themselves.
Easy for you to say hang on to hope—
if you can still find your rope.
Easy for you to say time heals all wounds—
if time has already made perfect heart-shaped scabs of yours.
Easy for you to say be thankful for what you have—
would you like to switch places with me and feel how little I have left?
Easy for you to say God needed another flower for his garden—
if none of your ‘flowers’ have ever been plucked before their time.
Easy for you to say find peace and move on—
if you haven’t had to hold your dead child’s hand inside the curves of your living one.
Easy for you to say he’s in a better place—
if you still get to hold your child in the best place there is.
Easy for you to say you’re young, you can have more—
would you be willing to exchange your living child for those you might someday have?
Easy for you to say every cloud has a silver lining—
if you haven’t been asked to walk through this never-ending storm of mine.
Easy for you to say it was God’s will—
if the plan you got currently includes all of your children rambunctiously romping around your living room.
. . .
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