By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Altered - to make different without changing into something else.
This word seems relevant and fitting for those of us who have experienced loss in the past year. We are made different by the impact of even "one" individual in our lives.
The following lines are simple, stirring, and provoking;
a tribute to those who have gone ahead, yet have left a portion of themselves behind, buried within our souls.
Altered ...
Death is nothing at all ...
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which we always used.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be the household word it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it always was:
There is an absolute unbroken continuity.
Why would I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is passed, nothing is lost.
One brief moment, and all will be as it was before ...
Only better, infinitely happier, and forever ...
We will all be one together with Christ.
*An Irish text located in a Monastary in Wicklow, Ireland