To Man I’ve Never Met

To The Man I’ve Never Met,

My tiny, clammy child hands use to take your picture down from the shelf. I’d gaze into your eyes searching for my own likeness. Looking back at me, I saw you cast in shades of grey. It was our moment and like you, it’s frozen in time. I’ve longed to ask about you, but I couldn’t. The mere mention of your name causes them pain and I have no real allgence to you, only kinship.

Did you know dear man, that I think of you from time to time? You make me feel like I’ve been robbed of something precious. The exquisite irony is that you owe me nothing, but my entire existence is in your debt. 

Your passing causes a storm and to this day the remnants of waves still rush against the shore. I still don’t know if what you did was an act of love or selfishness. I only know that you were  a desperate man. Was it worth It?

Can you see them from where you are? Do you know what’s become of them? Would you be proud or disappointed? Your actions have pushed others down into endless darkness. I have never known if they forgave you. I’ve never known if they even loved you. 

I’ve been told the whole story. I know much of you, but so much more is shrouded in mystery. I know the slow, agonizing steps you took. I know of your descent to madness.

Dear Man, your life and death has been a source of inspiration for me. I once wrote a poem in English class about you. It wasn’t the type of poem you could read to the class. My teacher was in awe of my work. He published it. I have exactly one literary piece published and you are the star. My mom knows about the poem, but don’t worry. She kept our secret safe.

You live on. Your memory is held like a sacred prayer. Your name has been passed down. Ending it changed nothing. Your torment still swallows hearts whole.

I’ll never forget you, because you are the man I’ve never met.

4 thoughts on “To Man I’ve Never Met”

  1. No, but your close. It’s my grandfather on my father’s side. When my dad was almost an adult his father killed himself. No one realized how suicide impacts others, but in this case it ripples through generations.

  2. Oh I’m great (thank you).

    For some reason I feel very connected to my grandfather despite knowing what he did and the huge impact it had on my dad’s family. I understand him. Every time I’d visit my grandma’s condo I’d look at that photo. It draws me in. It’s a darker subject, but for some reason it stays with me and resonates with me.

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