The Beautiful and Dreadful Pain
-to Eric Korotish (1961-2010)
In celebrating a much too short
life of a young father,
the masks of “okay” and “doing well” fails
to cover the problem of summing up
a life. In came the catalog of achievements,
like some final resume or permanent record.
Permanent, like drinking bad Whisky, which
promise escape, coats our necks making us stiff.
Hundreds of friends come on a sunny day
to speak of his life and find the glue
of awkward silence. What can we say?
Eric was not a report card. Gone, yes,
even as we find fragment of him
in his son and his daughter, in our tears
from our stories. Memory massages our failures
to find words. The next day, I wake with a headache
from moving chairs and not getting enough water.
Jesus promised living water, water to wash away
the pain of death, the pain of suffering, and the pain
of living. Living, living, living means feeling like crap
at the death of a friend.