I love you. Goodbye.
I am so very grateful that I heard your voice one last time. Others weren't as lucky. I could hear your fear, but you were brave as you turned to face death. I hope the angels were there to hold your hand.
The world will remember your name briefly, your death a little longer, but they will never know how you gladdened my heart. I am bereft, proud, missing you. I can't believe I'll never see your smile again, hear your laughter, touch your hand. I hear footsteps and look up, expecting...what? I know they'll never be your footsteps again.
I've turned the TV off, unable to see the buildings fall again or hear the hunt for your murderers. They'll catch them, I know, but will it matter? Your roses will go untended, your books unread. Your coffee mug will remain empty, and your shirts will lose your smell.
An act of war, they said. You died in a war you didn't even know existed. You cared about them, if only they'd known. You worked hard trying to make their lives better. Making the world better was important to you. I don't know if I can make it important to me. The world took you from me.
"Let go," I can hear you whisper. "Miss me but let me go."
A soul set free. That's what you believed. "No rites in a gloom-filled room." You have your wish. Your memory will be celebrated on the cliff aobve the sea, where your soul can take wing.
Don't worry about me, although it's too soon to let you go. My heart weeps, but I will survive. Your friends are with me, caring, loving, reminding me of the good times. Someday I'll take this journey too. We'll be together again.
But for today, I must put one foot in front of the other, keep walking, even if it is sleepwalking. You would expect no less. I hope my courage matches yours.
Who knew when we bought that cellphone it would bring the magic of your voice for the very last time. Your final words will first haunt, then comfort me. "I love you. Goodbye."
Goodbye, dear one. I love you too.
Lore Kemsley is the president of Women Artists and Writers International, an award-winning journalist, an independent writer/editor, and a coach in the art of writing. Her past credits include editor-in-chief of The Free Spirit and Minority Employment News. She is currently organizing the new online Center for Creative Growth, sponsored by Women Artists and Writers International. As planned, The Center will feature a variety of courses in a wide range of disciplines.