As we enter a new year, exiting one that for many was filled with challenges, disappointments, and many losses, we also look back on the moments we were able to come together with our COPE community for connection, support, tools, and resources. So many people are living with grief and no one needs to face this journey alone. 
 
The beauty of this community – this family – was clear at our December Worldwide Candlelighting Memorial Service. In concert with many other organizations, we remembered the children gone too soon by lighting our candles and sending a wave of light across the world beginning at 7PM local time. 
 
We honored them by sharing their names and stories and inspired and moved one another with poems, lyrics, quotes, and prayers. A number of times after listening to someone share a reading, another participant expressed thanks for the comfort the words had provided. I am including here some short poems from that night and in doing so, I hope to share some of that comfort with each of you. May it support you as we move forward into 2022. 
 
“On the Death of the Beloved” 
 
Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you
Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.
 
“Blowing Kisses”
 
I blow your kisses to the sky
And off to you I let them fly
Each one a wish I wrap in love
Then send to you so high above
I feel you watching as I do
And know you hear each “I love you”
So everyday I’ll send them high
These kisses I blow to the sky
 
“Until We Meet Again”
 
Those special memories of you
will always bring a smile,
if only i could have you back
just for a while.
Then we could sit and talk again,
just like we used to do.
You always meant so very much,
and always will do too.
The fact that you’re no longer here,
will always cause me pain,
but you’re forever in my heart
until we meet again.
 
___
 
Claire Sharkey, LCSW
Clinical Director, COPE Foundation
(516) 274-0540