Where Your Smile Used To Warm Me

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For Josh

I did not know you well but you always greeted me with a smile and I felt we had a connection.

Imagine my shock to enter into our common workplace to find that you had passed away over a month ago, a small memorial with photographs of you greeting me as I came in from the bitter cold.

As if the grief is not enough, we who knew you are left in limbo as the cause of your death remains in the hands of a stranger. The medical examiner will determine the how and why of you lying beside the road.

The lesson of life which I seem to constantly forget is to never take anything or anyone for granted. I exit with a warm good-bye at my back, turn around for what seems like only a moment,  and return to find an empty space where a friend once stood.

Today I circle through the warehouse but keep coming back to your smiling images as if doing so will somehow make it real or help me to understand.

When I step outside, I hurry to the car to escape the frigid wind. But inside me there remains a cold empty place where your smile used to warm me.

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