Honored Witness

The woman begins to cry.


She believes her daughter’s death

the horrible, untimely, drug-fueled death

is the reason she has no fight left

the reason Donald Trump and his polarizing rhetoric that has liberals making their first Canadian relocation plans since Vietnam—

is to her just “a blip”, noise—

signifying nothing.


But her teacher says no.

That it was not the death but her own hard work,

her own devotion to her healing, her health, her journey that has brought this change,

and that she, the teacher, has been an

“honored witness” to it.


Then I begin to cry—

as an honored witness to this exchange

thinking of the hours, the months of work

that has preceded it—

Knowing once again that witnessing each other’s lives

is the greatest gift we can give.

Just being there

to see and encourage and say

“Yes, that happened.”

“I was there.”

“You were not alone.”



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