I am assisting in the composing of a funeral service for a young man who committed suicide. I have done this before and collected some poems that (almost) fit the occasion. (Occasion? that's hardly the word, but what else can one say?). I have discovered a poem I have not seen before that will be offered to the family and friends of this young man to see if they would like it to be read at his funeral. It is titled "Friends" and was written by Alice Kavounas. See what you think.
In a circle of friends, the one who dies first
is the friend you will never forget:
this is the death that unhinges you
from the trappings of everyday life
and makes you – suddenly – absurdly grateful
for each new breath – beginning with this one.
This is the death that could break you
apart in every way possible; that
persuades you –
in memory of that friend
– to turn away
from whatever refuses to speak to your heart
threatens to numb your soul
from whatever it is that revels in death.
Yet this, too, is the friend you need by your side.
Together they urge you: Live your life.