Although death has given me yet another name,
I am the same as I have always been—
I am no further away from life than life is from itself.
I have done no more than turn a corner,
cross a bridge, and accept myself as one who travels lighter.
I live where I have always lived—in the thoughts of others,
in the magnificence of flowers, in the center of the wind.
I am well, for there is no greater honor
than to be carried forward by those I cherished
before I was given another name;
and I am better knowing that my gifts will journey further
by way of gentle hands—
my light, my love… my joy; these gifts, I know,
will touch the children of tomorrow,
through all those whom I have loved.
We have always been one—
we are not more separate now
than when we walked together beneath the stars.
I am here beside you; I am in every blade of grass,
I am in the laughter of every child,
I am in the songs of the sparrow,
the music of the rain, the wings of a butterfly;
I am the sunlight on the river, the soft blue of the sky,
and the cool lavender shadows,
which bend along the mountainside.
Yes, I am here, where I have always been—
within the promises I have kept, the dreams I have shared,
and within the hearts of those who I carry within mine.
I am here, because this is my home,
and this is the place where I can always be found—
right here, where I am loved;
right here… next to you.
—Heather K. O’Hara
from AXIS, The Song in the Center of the Soul
In loving memory of my stepson
Matthew Tracey Leong
April 19, 1976 – October 6, 2002