You led an extraordinary life.

You wrote poems

travelled the world

listened to music

cut your hair

found yourself

lost yourself

found yourself again.

I don’t remember the last time I saw you in person.

The last time we touched, hugged, smiled at one another.

I watched from afar for years.

I watched you run away from home

and prayed with your family for your safe return.

I watched you come home.

I saw the love radiate from your sisters and mother.

I watched you get injured

by a drunk driver running a red light

and prayed with your family for healing.

I watched you fight through your pain

and recover.

I watched you soar,

express opinions,

create art, theatre, photography.

I watched you for years on my 13 inch computer screen

smiling at your accomplishments and

passion for life.

I wish I had watched the real picture.

I watched your sister post about your death.

And prayed with your family for peace and love and guidance.

I wish I could keep watching you.

I wish I could tell you about all of the memories that came flooding back

the moment I heard the news.

Swimming at the pool together.

Making homemade pizzas together

with olives on our fingers.

Playing in the teepee the neighbor donated

for our sleepovers.

Sitting on the sanctuary steps

listening to the children’s message.

The memories tend to blur.

We both have lived a long life,

experienced so much in the years since our last sleepover together.

We didn’t know what direction our lives would take then.

We didn’t know where we would be a year ago,

a month ago,

five days ago…

I wish I had known.

I wish I had held onto you a little tighter.

I wish I hadn’t just watched through the 13 inch screen.

I wish I had talked to you more than twice in the last three years.

I wish I had told you I loved you more.

I wish I had told you how enough you were.

I wish you didn’t feel so much pain.

I wish your family didn’t feel so much pain.

I wish I didn’t feel so much pain.

I wish I could turn back time.

To laugh with you again

with olives on our fingers.

To dream with you again

under the red fabric of the teepee.

To learn with you again

on the steps of the sanctuary.

I miss you so much.

I’ve missed you for a while.

I’m sorry for that.

But I hope you made the right decision

for you.

I hope heaven is full of every happy memory you had in your 22 years.

I hope you no longer hurt.

I hope you have found a sense of calm

a sense of peace.

I hope you are smiling down on your family

warming their souls with thoughts of you

floating through the sky

an angel.

I hope you can see how many people miss you.

You are in my thoughts every day now.

I love you.


for Jessica Ellen Hartweg


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