Worse Things Have Happened to Better People

Man Falling Illustration
(c) Adam Niklewicz

Worse things have happened to better people,

Is the tragic thought that comforts me during hard times.  

What if I am destitute?

Millionaires have gone bankrupt.

What if I am out of love?

Some have never had the chance to love,

Never with their hearts,

Only with their eyes, bodies, and hands.

What if am sick and dying?

Some have died

So suddenly,

In accidents, wars, or plane crashes,

From strokes at home

Heart attacks in hotel rooms

Or choked to death by food,

That they could not say farewell.

And what if I shall die young?

Some have died before their birth,

In the womb.

And what if I am wretched now?

Somewhere in this giddy world

Someone is more wretched than me:

A childless old man breathing his last in an unheated room,

A child dying from a terminal disease,

A lovely woman raped by angry men,

A wife discovering her husband’s unfaithfulness,

A cyclist on the street hit by a car

And a thousand thousand more

Poor hapless wretches in this giddy world

Better people than me yet more in pain.

Worse things have happened to better people

Is the tragic thought that comforts me during hard times.

 

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15 thoughts on “Worse Things Have Happened to Better People

  1. I think every day of you. And your attic.

    I think of children in Africa. Of people without water. Of people without food, or love, or clothing. Or all three. And how wretched do I feel then. Here, so far away, and so little I can do.

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