I suppose it is easier

once they are gone

and you can tell yourself

they are in the afterlife now

and finally know the pain they caused

and have compassion where there was none,

that they may have even become some kind of

spiritual guide or guardian for you now,

tearing down the very kind of barriers they once created.


It’s easier to forgive the dead

because they are no longer actively hurting you.


And yet the old wounds still hurt.

The shame of not having become what he wanted.

The guilt of the relief I feel

for not having to spend time with him

today or any other day.

No more dragging him

to the mental ward

for everyone’s safety.

No more lonely night shifts

sleeping next to his hospital bed.

God, I’m glad it’s over.