Epitaph

Dear Inquisitive Skink,

I do recall that time, the media, how within a short span, another young woman was murdered by her husband. The community still recovers from such tragedies. Conversations about domestic violence need to be held by adults in the community. Conversations and real information needs to be offered in every school, beginning with middle-school and onward. A required class, for all graduates from high-schools, universities and colleges. Such information would benefit every community well. I think for a real understanding to be developed, each class would be a semester and designed around understanding domestic violence as it exist within our unique communities, the cost (mentally, physically, and spiritual) to the individual, children, community; preventatives, and resources to be aware of if you wake up some morning and find that this is your life.

Women and men, as Maya Anjelou said (not an exact quote) “If a person shows themselves to you, believe them”. If a snake says, I am a poisonous snake, you don’t treat it like a corn snake.

Recently, I participated in two memorial services. The first was a friend, aged 91, and the other, a young woman in her 60’s. Each good-by was beautiful and uniquely different, yet each shared this Epitaph poem by Meredith Malloy. I hope to hold these words ever close within reach of my mind and heart.

Epitaph


When I die

Give what’s left of me away

To children

And old men that wait to die.

And if you need to cry,

Cry for your brother

Walking the street beside you.

And when you need me,

Put your arms around anyone

And give them

What you need to give to me.

I want to leave you something,

Something better

Than words or sounds.

Look for me

In the people I’ve known or loved.

And if you cannot give me away,

At least let me live on in your eyes

And not on your mind.

You can love me the most

By letting hands touch hands,

By letting bodies touch bodies

And by letting go

Of Children

That need to be free.

Love doesn’t die, People do.

So, when all that’s left of me

Is love,

Give me away.

I’ll see you at home

In the earth.

Meredith Malloy

The Inquisitive Skink