Never Forgetting the Victims & Their Families

Michael Rosenberg
Age 41

Submitted by Miriam Kollin

“I have to call my brother about this” Oh, yes; I can’t anymore.
“Mike would be so proud of me” Oh, yes; he can’t anymore.
“That’s Mike’s favorite music” Oh, yes; that was his favorite group. 
“Yeah, this is his kind of joke” Oh, yes; he can’t laugh anymore.

The immediate, wrenching agony of loss
Has become the heartache of absence, long-smoldering. 
The shock, the disbelief, the tears, the anger,
Have dissolved into the memories of a life so fleeting.

And now it’s holiday time, family time;
But the family quilt has a square forever gone.
It’s time for him to tease me about my cooking:
An annoyance – yet one for which I long.

Who knows what his future would have been?
Love, family, success, or what?
An unfinished ballad will his life always be;
I know I shouldn’t dwell on that, but

The tears are much less frequent, of late;
But when they come, without others’ comfort they arrive.
The “mourning period” has long since passed;
It’s sad to follow the rules, feelings don’t strive.

The court processes, which regularly tore off mending scabs,
Leaving newly re-opened the wounds previously made,
Have all been concluded, the orders signed;
Allowing soreness to pass, abrasions to heal and fade.

And, yet, around this season, each year,
My thoughts more often wander
To the times we had together as kids
And of our last holiday together – I’m even fonder.

I struggle to describe Mike to my young daughter,
Vainly refusing to accept
The passage of time – as the memories fade-
Mike can live on, through all of us, yet.