A Father’s Goodbye
By Jerry Dreesen 
“Come, it’s over,” she said.
“We must leave now.”
Slowly, tenderly, she touched my shoulder.
“There is nothing left to do.”
No. There is nothing left to do.
I cannot hope or wish…or cry any longer.
He is gone.
The eulogy has been given.
Friends expressed their grief.
Some embarrassed at their awkwardness,
others unable to speak of such a loss,
have left.
I cannot leave my son – not yet.
I have watched him suffer,
now let me watch him rest.

“Please, Jerry, please,” Sandy, tear-strained
and weary from the burden of
loving and caring for this child –
yet so strong, knows it is time to say
Not yet, not yet.
Even in grief I feel relieved –
and he must forgive me.

Forgive me – please forgive my
I could never stop the sun from setting,
nor could I stop the nights from
growing cold.
I could not change the chemistry that
bore your early death.
No, my son, no…I could not stop you
from dying.
Somehow, I know your short life,
seemingly ended,
has transformed itself into living
strength for me and your mother.
Your pain becomes our compassion;
your suffering, our tolerance.
Your smile and laughter gives birth to
our joy…

It is time to say goodbye.
Life goes on and we are better
for having loved him.