we cannot slip our skins and put on another’s life,
never can we truly know the path of someone else,
it’s only through the heart we can approximate
the circumstances of the other –
through their words, unsaid and said.
you may never realize the burdens of their lives,
the love gone by, the monster dwelling daily in their midst,
making every sunrise a brand-new living hell
and every night a prison –
these things are not spoken of.
how can one feel death’s inner gnawing,
unacquainted as we are with teeth and claws
and sucking mouth devouring from within?
at best we can commiserate, and hold a hand and pray –
those that do.
to have loved and lost, perhaps to never want to love again,
the fear too strong, the scar too deep, unhealed in the soul.
the tears unshed behind that sunburst smile,
the secret fear of failure –
things we may or may not perceive according to our inner sight.
nor can we wear their happinesses,
triumphs like a mantle woven gold,
we have our own wardrobe –
be it tattered, be it glorious, be it nothing, nothing at all.
no, in friendship or in love we can only hope to share that which is shared,
we cannot force reality, we cannot take the pain nor change what is
except by being there, to witness what is shown –
© 2013 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved
On empathy in love and friendship.