Missing the Missing

How was it used?
Dearly beloved.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here
in this forgotten photo album
I came upon recently.

Dearly beloved, gathered here together
in this closed drawer,
fading now, I miss you.
I miss the missing, those who left earlier.
I miss even those who are still here.
I miss you all dearly.
Dearly do I sorrow for you.

Sorrow: that’s another word
you don’t hear much anymore.
I sorrow dearly.
~Margaret Atwood from “Dearly”

A holiday without family is a day of longing and memories.

I did sorrow for those who were missing as they left us long ago and missed those who are still here but far away.

It is a bittersweet sorrow to be all together in a photo album, our color and youth fading along with our smiles.

Children who now have children of their own.
Newlyweds who have become grandparents,
trying to fit the shoes of those who came before.

And so, in our own leave-taking, we miss the missing.
We miss who was, who would have been here if they could,
and who will come to be the next in line that we may never meet.

4 thoughts on “Missing the Missing

  1. Same here (with several lumps in my throat). Sometimes, I almost feel that I can still here their echoed voices (and many generational stories)
    around the dining table, filling the air with those precious ‘bittersweet’ memories. The one solace is — that we have His promised blessing of gifted faith
    assuring us that we will meet all of them again someday —
    in our ‘new’ home – their earthly journey and ours ended; the ‘promised’ eternal home a reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We celebrated my dad’s 80th birthday with a huge gathering of his many friends.
    We did it again for his 90th.
    I have picture albums filled with photos of both celebrations.
    It is amazing how many of those dear friends and family are no longer with us.
    Yes, missing the missing.
    My favorite pictures of family are pictures of a meal prepared by mom.
    The kitchen table stretched to its full length and surrounded by neighbors and friends.
    Sitting around the table.
    That doesn’t happen anymore.
    I have eaten all but 7 meals in the last 8 1/2 months alone in my apartment.
    Those 7 meals were with two or only one other person.
    Missing the table decked with homecooked food enjoyed with a group of happy loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As our young granddaughter said when we told her we couldn’t come for Thanksgiving: “my eyes filled with tears.”


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