For Larry Brake

It’s a good thing
that hearts are hardy.
Fiercely resilient.
Expanding and contracting
in rhythm to breath,
breath of joy and of grief.
Hardy enough, even, to rumble on
in sleep and occasional boredom.
But there is a limit,
a border, a time,
which often ignores
the calculus of science or human affection.

Commonplace rain, and sorrow’s reign,
fall inexplicably on
the just and unjust.
And we are sometimes left
to sigh in the night
with nothing but tears
for food.

So it is with you, most intensely,
but also to countless others
whose hearts knew delight
in Larry’s presence.
Such hearts—
your hearts,
our hearts—
very nearly faint at the failure of his,
at the absence of one who lived large,
laughed often
and loved well.

No doubt if he could
he would gently chide
our grief
and say:
Life is not undone
by halted ventricles and collapsed atriums.
He would say:
Grief, however potent, has no
permanent grip on life.
Grief, too, has a limit,
a border,
a time,
and we lean toward its end.

He would say, quoting his favorite author:
Let not your hearts be troubled.
He would say:
Live large,
laugh often,
love well.

©Ken Sehested @ Celebrating the life of a friend and mourning his final breath.