Dear Danielle

We were in New York,

you were suffering,

as lost and sad

as I was,

in our evolving grief.


Even then,

you were elegant,

making vulnerable

look breathtaking.

Your presence

could be felt,

before you arrived,

and once you did,

all were transfixed.


You called me urgent,

and dear Danielle,

I still am.

I still can’t feel fast enough,

I can’t learn effectively enough,

and I can’t love clearly enough,

but I know I did,

in your final suffering,

loving you with big sister love.

You asked it of me,

and I answered.


Dear Danielle,

rest your head here,

gently on my shoulder,

for just a bit longer,


And now,

little sister,

I urgently send you,

on your way.


Danielle S. Ortlip: April 1, 1959   –   February 17, 1993

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