It hits hard
    the empty chair
    staring at us
A ghost sits there
    partially filling
    memories reaching out to us
A brave person sits next
    going on, keeping on
    carrying two new burdens
One the missing touches, embraces
    that link humans heart to heart
The other a thousand things
    the missing one did, would be doing
As time goes by the empty chairs increase
    numbers at funerals decrease
    those ‘on the other side’ grow
    those showing up moving slowly, carefully
    with canes and walkers and wheelchairs, assisted
Chapters close, books finish
    we lay them aside, or
    put them on a shelf, to gather dust
From dust we became
    and so return
    our fingers leaving marks
    my hands become my grandpa’s
    and I see them in my grandson’s…
Selah, Lin June 2014 
I got a jolt just yesterday.  A five star energetic lady, Nancy Strunk, recently lost her husband Duane.  At a meeting of the Farm Bureau legislative committee where she and Duane were regulars, she was sitting there with an empty chair next to her.  Just happened.  But the empty chair was ‘talking to me’, grabbing me by the throat.  They met and fell in love at the U of I, married, raised kids and worked side by side.  Now there are grandchildren.  And an empty chair.