nevillehunt avatar


How savage the news
How shocking to hear
How instant the change of tense

How urgent the note
He carefully wrote
Expressing his deep condolence.

How strange was the thought
Make contact he ought
But contact was already broken

For the previous night
Was turned out her light
In an instant, no more to be woken.

The guilt it kicked in
Should have done, should have been
But should have could now never be

But for those left behind
If the words he can find
A better friend perhaps he can be.

’Is’ becomes ‘was’ instantly
The present now history

6 comments add one below

  • avatar

    Neville Hunt 2 months ago

    A friend died two days ago unexpectedly and unrelated to CV. In writing a letter of condolence to her husband, we were both struck by how brutal and difficult the change from writing ‘is’ to ‘was’ is to make. So final... but sadly that’s the reality.

  • avatar

    shaun 2 months ago

    These words harness a power so greater than the fiction we might otherwise seek for the distraction our reading and writing might satisfy. They make further reading pointless, as nothing is going to stand up to them.

  • avatar

    Neville Hunt 2 months ago

    The he is me of course.

  • avatar

    Frenchie 2 months ago

    I think it is also very hard to write such letter, even without the ''is''.. what do you say in times of grief?
    This is a very thoughtful piece of writing. Feelings nicely expressed.

  • avatar

    Neville Hunt 2 months ago

    Thanks Frenchie. It was one of those things where I had to write something... as well as the letter of condolence to my bereaved friend.

  • avatar

    Christopher 25 days ago

    Belated condolences, Neville. Beautifully written and maybe something to make us all do and say the things we can do before it changes to can't do.

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