The Carrier

The Carrier by Valerie Parente

You have been given the greatest honor
when your loved one is visible no longer
and now you get to carry them with you
in everything that you do.
It will be challenging some days
but you will always find the strength
because wherever there is hurt
there was love there first.
There will be confusion but it always comes back
to this everlasting fact:
that loved ones remain forever within
so you never have to be alone again.

– Valerie Parente (5-16-2022)

Hummingbird (A Loved One Says Hi)

Hummingbird (A Loved One Says Hi) by Valerie Parente

We spoke of her
while tears overflowed
remembering our love
when it had a place to go.

That was when
our pain became borrowed
nature came by
and acknowledged the sorrow.

A sweet hummingbird
tapped on the window twice
that little girl came back
to show us she’s alright.

And even if
that body wasn’t hers
it still sparked
a sweet reminder.

We won’t know the truth
but we do know this
that another being’s life
made us think of her image.

What remains true
is the shape of nature
a circle of incarnations
being made by a maker.

Not in this life
can I ever be sure
that the hummingbird
was really her.

But what I am sure of
is a feeling so profound
that this little bird’s life
is tied to where she is now.

– Valerie Parente (7-24-2021)

Foliage

Foliage by Valerie Parente

This safe haven,
where you can smell the foliage,
leaflets with an amber bruise,
the fresh green Godsend.

These leaves that fall,
they came and they went,
seasons of distress and joy,
while you try to comprehend.

There is pain in bare trees,
skeletal and sharply bent,
you wait, you hibernate,
every year it feels like the end.

You think your pain is gone,
when you are dead,
but it’s the “you” that’s gone,
as your identity transcends.

– Valerie Parente (5-17-2021)

The Guardian Angel Complex

The Guardian Angel Complex by Valerie Parente

When you lose a friendship, it creates a hole,
you notice all the places you used to go,
and a crater in the shape of another soul.
But when you lose the life of a friend,
there is a Guardian Angel Complex,
and you still feel their spirit in your chest.

This is precisely why my worst grief is not from death
but from the loss of a relationship.
I know that in death there is peace,
in death, you are still with me.
But when a relationship meets its demise
it fades with all the good times.

Wipe your tears, there is no need to cry,
at the completion of someone’s life.
In the physical world someone can fade away
but in death they materialize into an emotional state.
Do not make grief the enemy,
grief is the universe’s way of hinting at peace.
When there is loss of life and you feel disbelief
that dissonant feeling is all the proof you need
that the souls that leave with love, live on infinitely.

– Valerie Parente (2-9-2021)

Missing You

Missing You by Valerie Parente

On anniversaries like today it feels like you’re missing
but it’s not a matter of missing you;
I just miss when the means to recognize you were easier.
You still exist within me,
just in a different shape and form
in a realm that isn’t easily perceived on earth.

– Valerie Parente (8-23-2020)