Mourning by Harold M. Schulweis
The young child asked
"Where is Grandma?"
the adults gasped
Not knowing what to say
Certainly not in the earth
Buried, covered over with soil and small rocks
Certainly not in the heavens
Distant, far off, a fantasy of the imagination.
Much closer than earth, much closer than heaven
Grandma, dear child, is within us all.
In memories of her kindness and goodness
not faint echoes but forces that resonate each day
Grandma is in our tenderness with each other, in our loyalty to family
friends, in our love of our people.
Nothing noble dies with death.
Warm embraces, wise counsel do not evaporate into the air.
Grandma is not "where" but "when"
Wherever we gather together to celebrate festivals
Whenever we offer help to the poor, the homeless, the sick
Whenever we defend the innocent
raise our voice against injustice
Grandma's influence is present.
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