by Prasanta Verma

I’m not quite sure what to do with this ache at times. I find emptiness facing me, like an abyss, and I feel as if I am staring into a black hole.

I wish I could unwrap the years and re-do so many things. It’s not that I don’t take joy in watching my kids grow; helping to launch them is a special reward and joy all its own.

It’s just that I will miss them. I feel I have not been mindful enough. I feel regret. I feel grief. It twists inside, this knife, this dagger of pain. Like something is lost and is dying.

Yes, in fact, something is dying. What is dying is what’s the same. The sameness of the days, the dailyness of what life was and is, with them part of it, is dying.

I sip this water, it is bitter; I feel the burn and choke of a strange and unknown water. What has been will not be the same.

I know this is the way it is supposed to be; that it isn’t supposed to stay the same. It is the way it is meant to be, but all those years I was unwrapping layers and layers of joy—the joy of them. The gift of them. And for a few short years, I witnessed immense changes in little beings growing up.

Some days, I can only see what I got so caught up in, the daily living of ‘doing’ this or that, the struggle of getting it all done. I wonder how many moments I lost because I was just not in that moment.

Will I allow this new stage and this new loneliness to calcify, indurate the heart? Will pains, fears, future unknowns create ridges, edges, crusty ends? Will I stay stuck in swarming waves of the past and ignore the glories of the present?

I find myself facing these thoughts, the mountain of memories, and the long tunnel of the future, a thick fog of unknowns. I try to protect myself from what is coming and to grasp remnants of sameness. I push back from the changes, try to press in seams of familiarity and capture tiny frames of the past for safekeeping.

But the task is futile. The future is inevitable.

When I look down the abyss of the past, I hear a voice saying, “Child, trust Me…let it go.”

The Father speaks to me, His child, guiding and directing me, as I seek to guide and direct those He has entrusted to me.Let it go,” He says. “Let them go.”

What I am seeking cannot be held. The same must die. But it is not a fallow place, a barren ground. In the place of the dying same, a fresh hope is born.

Let fly from hands
Like caged birds
Seeking freedom

Caught between sky and land
We are all flying— but trapped in this space
Between heaven and earth

Seeing their hopes and dreams, watching their futures unfold, witnessing their hopeful eyes, and seeing them soar brings joy and fulfills a hope and future planned out by Him.

For each dream to be realized, the same must transform into something new. The same becomes a foundation, a place of comfort, of memory, of stability, of immovability. The same is rich, fecund ground.

The same served its purpose. It lives on in a new way; in memory and as a foundation. It has been steady and faithful, and the future is replete with beautiful, unimaginable new sames waiting to be born.

Prasanta Verma is a freelance writer, poet, and artist. Prasanta was born under an Asian sun, raised in the Appalachian foothills of the southern U.S., and now lives in the upper Midwest. She has been published at (in)courage, The Mudroom Blog, the Redbud Post, and Evangelicals for Social Action. She may be found online at and on Twitter @pathoftreasure.

Cover photo by Jan Haerer on Unsplash