Never Been

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she’d never been to a sad funeral,
she said.
and that she had never cried at one.
i didn’t know what to say.

it was something that lay
close to the heart—
something that hit home
and left me sick
just to think.

maybe there’s something wrong with me,
she said.
so i told her that it was normal, but i didn’t
believe in what
was coming from my own lips

because it hit home.

the church was set to burst and
there were so many people
i didn’t know.

they all seemed to care—
with their tear-filled eyes and
tissues clutched in hand.

maybe there’s something wrong with me,
she said.
and i wanted to tell her
so bad
that she was right.
but i couldn’t bring myself to it

because it hit home.

i couldn’t tell her that i
understood
because i didn’t.

in that hidden room,
clicking that pen into oblivion,
she said,
i’ve never been to a sad funeral.

how,
i wanted to ask,
but i couldn’t bring myself
to it

because it hit home.

he was called grandpa,
i told her and
she nodded, still insisting
it didn’t make her sad.


only because he
meant nothing to you,
i wanted to say,
but couldn’t.

her eyes told me nothing but
how cold her heart must be
and something inside me
hated her for
saying he didn’t matter.

in a way, she had.
in a way, she hadn’t.
in a way, she’d said that

death was no big deal.

but it is,
i wanted to insist,

because it hit home.

there was something
in her eyes that
told me she didn’t believe
what i was telling her.

who could blame her,
i wondered.

she’d said
that she’d never been to a sad funeral.
and that she hadn’t cried at one.

i can’t say the same,
and will never be able to.
but now i know what she meant.

it may have hit home,
but not only that,
i want to tell her.

and if i was ever to say
something to her,
it would be a simple
thank you

for teaching me
what death means.

and now when i think
about it,
i’m no longer angry at her for
saying death didn’t matter.




because it may have hit home,
and i may not have wanted to hear it,
but what she
had to say
was not that death didn’t matter.

she’d never been to a sad Christian funeral,
she’d said,
and this should be no different.

i’d not wanted to accept
what she was telling me, because
it felt like I’d had the right to cry.
and i did.

but what she meant was that,
maybe,
i should think of it in a
different light.

but it hit home.

and i didn’t want to
think about it.

then when i
couldn’t escape,
her words came back.

maybe there’s something wrong with me,
she’d said.
and i began to believe that she was wrong.

because it may have hit home

but what she’d really meant was
that there was
no reason to be sad.

she’d never been to a sad Christian funeral,
she’d said.
and for the first time,

i believed her

without thinking
there must be something
wrong with her.





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