I know it comes as a shock. But Poetry Breakfast has come to its final end. I had planned on posting a fitting farewell and explanation this past Sunday, but instead I found myself writing an obituary for a beloved friend.
We’ll start with him, Christopher Vaughan. He was the one who introduced me to Emerson’s essays and spent countless nights sitting beside me drinking coffee while I wrote poetry. I never imagined writing his obituary. Many of us, his good friends, where close to his parents. One friend, John W. was like a second son to them. But his mother and father passed a few years back.
As for the rest of Chris’ family, well, we don’t know or understand what they are going through. We only know that they refused to allow friends to any services and have even refused to publish an obituary.
It’s been difficult for the many dear friends Chris had. And he had many. He was a character that words couldn’t even begin to describe. Loyal, true, loving and sometimes a little crazy. Anyone who met him never forgot him.
Without the opportunity to go through the traditional services and grieving process, we set up a memorial site for Chris through EverLoved. I was tasked with writing the obituary being the writer that I am.
I welcome you to visit the site. Give your love and condolences to his dear friend John and to all his amazingly close friends who are grieving right now.
Chris was diabetic and on dialysis for several years before passing away from kidney disease. On his memorial page we have arrange it so donations can be made to the American Kidney Fund. They provide financial assistance to those on dialysis. It seems best to honor Chris by having his passing help other to live on. Even a small donation of a few dollars would mean so much to those of us who just lost an irreplaceable soul. Knowing the loss of his life can give life to others matters greatly.
UPDATE: You all must have said a lot of prayers for us. The family is now “welcoming friends” to attend the burial. Thank you for all the love you sent us.
Okay, now on to the passing of Poetry Breakfast. There comes a time for all things to pass. I’ve taken breaks and put the journal on hiatus before. But I know now, it is time for me to permanently move on.
I’ve been honored to receive your poetry submissions and I am humbled to know that you let Poetry Breakfast be the journal through which you shared your work with the world.
I wanted to write more about closing Poetry Breakfast, but my words for the passing of things, of someone, have all been used. Poetry Breakfast will remain online with the poems archived for as long as I can afford to keep the site up.
I want to thank Sarah Russell for ending our journey on the perfect note. The last post was a review of her book I lost summer somewhere. In that review the final poem to grace Poetry Breakfast appeared. That poem, by Sarah Russell, is called “The Cottage” and its last lines are:
“Afterwards, I tidy up, wipe away
drops spilled in the pouring. I save
the leftovers though they’re getting stale.
I may crumble them on the porch rail
tomorrow for sparrows
before I garden.”
The words bring tears to my eyes, thinking of cleaning up our morning coffee cups and crumbs. And knowing it is time now for me to find a new garden to grow.
Thank you to everyone. We had a good long run. The kitchen is permanently closed. Go tend to your gardens now. Grow.