Just a word first about the epigraph: there was nothing whatsoever of Lady Macbeth about my friend. I chose these lines because they came to me in my own grief and, in the context of the play, I interpret them as the heartbroken cry of a man who loved his wife deeply and has lost her, whatever the reason, much too soon.
FOR A FRIEND GONE TOO SOON
"She should have died hereafter.
There would have been a time for such a word." Macbeth 5.5: 17-18
All of us will die. All our friends,
no matter how beautiful or brave
they are, will leave us,
or we them. I know that.
But this loss I cannot accept.
It was too soon for you to go.
Six or seven months from now,
maybe, after we'd had
one last reunion, with
whispers and secrets and mirth -
that would have been hard enough.
I would still have felt that
heart-stopping instant of disbelief,
repeated over and and over, for days,
still the anger without a target,
the caught and shuddering breath,
pain under the breastbone,
tears that come, no matter how
unbidden, unwelcome, unstoppable.
Where did you go? Into darkness?
If it is darkness, I have faith in your power
to make it light there, you who could
always summon laughter,
whose eyes shone with light, often
at the least provocation.
I will not believe you are truly gone.
Just gone ahead, perhaps,
to set the table with lace and flowers,
to make a place for the rest of us,
so that when we arrive we will not feel
bewildered or unwelcome.
- Victoria Stefani