“When Great Trees Fall” (Requiescat In Pace)

We were Marines once, and young…

I’m not sure if I will be much of a presence here over the next several days. There has been a death in my family, see, and my duties lie elsewhere. Loss is the cross we bear when we love someone, and they have gone on to eternity before us.

I humbly ask that you say a prayer for me and my family as we endure the parting of the ways with a member of our family who has endured much, and given much, to many, and who meant a great deal to all who knew him, loved him, and looked up to him.

Maya Angelo puts it better than I ever could, and honestly, I never thought I would say that until now.

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.”

Dedicated to Raymond A. Sears, Sr., Colonel, USMCR, Ret.

Requiescat in pace.


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