My grandfather, Sam Bryant, died this past September. At his funeral I told a story about him. I explained to the people who had gathered to celebrate Grandpa’s life that he had cared about his grandkids. We weren’t annoyances to be ignored. Rather, he invited us into his workshop to “help” him, not that I was ever very helpful. He once took apart a lawn mower engine to show me how it worked.

Another time he guided me as I build too houses for our cats to live in outside. He helped me draw my diagram and then helped me purchase the wood, hardware, and paint. He gave me guidance as I built the things, and I was successful.

Grandpa was a brilliant man who could have been an astrophysicist. He used to sit around with my brother and I discussing philosophy and physics. Grandpa was a good man who took care of his family and friends. His death certainly hurt, but through it God has been alive. For God does not ordain death and suffering, but he enters it to redeem it.

The following is a poem I wrote over the course of the month after he died. It took me a while to resolve it, but I finally did. I forgot about this poem until today when I was flipping through my journal from the last year. Anyhow, here you go:

Today Death reigns
   in our hearts
   in our souls
   in our bodies
         killing all
       stealing all

Today we long for the Dawn
   a dawn not seen
   a dawn not known
         to dispel night
       and force on us light
   as if longing will bring it
   as if believing will enact it

Today we impose meaning on hurt
   on suffering
   on pain
       God will redeem
       God will make new
   as if our imposition made it true

     * * *

Life begins outside of us
   from the trees
       dancing leaves
       floating in the wind
           lifting the breath of our voices
           billowing our hair behind us
   sung from our lips
           in our minds
           and upon our hearts
   hands grab each other
   and together we walk