Last night, I was at a fundraising event that offered poems written on the spot by poets. I asked for inspiration amidst grief and loss. Below is what the talented poet, M. Seven Bremner, created:

will

I always knew you, but it wasn’t until summer 2015 that we became friends. You were the life of the party, and you were there for me during a challenging time in my life. You could listen; you could advise; you could see the bigger picture. I told you I loved my car but hated driving, so you always drove for me.

We didn’t get to say goodbye.

You went back to school and we quickly lost touch as we settled in the patterns of our daily lives. The last time I saw you was at the Roanoke over Thanksgiving. You were wearing some ridiculous shirt, and our conversation had the normal level of sass and sentiment. You seemed to be doing well. But I guess that’s always the case.

We didn’t get to say goodbye.

I wish you knew there was so much to live for, and that if you couldn’t see it in the moment, your family and friends could help you. Your memorial service was yesterday, and the energy was overwhelmingly sorrowful. How do we celebrate a life that was taken from us so soon, and by choice? How do we celebrate a choice that did not reflect the amazing character and will you had to make the world better? I wish you had the will to stay.

We didn’t get to say goodbye.

I want to be mad. I want to yell at you for making a selfish decision that broke your family, friends, and your community. But I can’t. My heart is broken. I can’t imagine being in a place where you thought taking your own life was actually a selfless choice, and that the world would be better without you.

We didn’t get to say goodbye.

Your memorial service was a testament to your legacy and the the hundreds of people you positively influenced. While right now your death consumes us, it is your life that will be carried in the hearts of your family, friends, and community.

I think what shakes me the most is that everyone saw a little bit of their kid, their friend, and themselves in you. So how did we get here? That’s something we may never know, and we have to be willing to move forward without the comfort of an answer.

We didn’t get to say goodbye.

This song will always remind me of you, and this playlist has helped me find strength in grief. Thank you for being you. To say you will be missed is an understatement. I don’t know where to go from here; I know something needs to change, and I want to be part of it.

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way.

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