By Abbey Ballard, with love
How can the trees continue to turn
And their leaves continue to fall?
When the hearts of so many are weighted with grief
As the pain of loss touches us all
How can the sun continue to set, marking another new day?
When for those left behind, time has stood still, the pain more than words can convey.
Our precious city, our fields, our streets,
Where those we have lost once tread,
Where at every turn is a memory,
Songs that were sung and words left unsaid.
Remind us of those who have left us for now,
As we long for just one more chance
To hold them close, to kiss their face, to savor just one last dance
This river that runs through our city, our home,
for now is a river of tears,
As we weep for those lost and for those left behind,
For the shortness of life and of years.
For those who have passed lived and loved well,
Though their days on this earth were too brief,
They taught us to cherish family and friends,
Leaving memories that in the midst of the grief,
Will bring light and strength in the darkest of hours,
hope in the blackest of days
When the pain tries to rob the joy and the strength,
That’s needed to live in the ways
That those who have passed would want us to live,
To honor their lives with our own
To extend their love, their hearts, their lives
To pay honor through kindnesses shown
To give ever-freely, to live to the full,
To treasure each day as one’s last
Knowing that one day reunited we’ll be
With those who have already passed
In the glory of Heaven, the love and the light,
Will surround us and wipe away tears
As we meet them again, drawing them close
Forgetting the cruelest of years.
Instead looking on to an eternity
Of life, of joy and of peace
As the heart of our faith, the pledge of the Cross
Promises life that never will cease.
So in the days between our last days and now
May we find purpose and strength in our love
For those who have passed and for those left behind
All of whom are gifts from above
May we know that the length of years of a life
Are not the true measure of worth
As each day holds promises of life and of hope
That surpasses our time spent on earth
So as our precious city continues to heal
one breath, one step at a time
In the dark days ahead knowing someday
Each heart will true wholeness find.
Never forgetting those who have passed, never being ever the same,
Always holding their memories close,
Always choosing to honor their name
With the way that we live, the way that we love
And the ways that we cherish our time,
Knowing no guilt, knowing no shame
For being chosen to stay behind.
In this world marred by pain that is yearning for love
A place where we can bring hope
Finding strength in each other, in the honor of each
The pain of whose absence we cope.
So as our river continues to flow
As the call of the train pierces the night,
Know that Heaven’s a heartbeat away, precious ones
Our loved ones may not be in sight
But they are alive beyond what is seen
More alive than ever before
As they wait in the presence of Light & of Love
On God’s celestial shore.