Last year’s passing of the beautifully elegant, Karyn Washington, hit me like a ton of bricks. Unable to make sense of the immense grief I felt as result, I did all I knew best to do. I wrote a poem. It’s called When The Rainbow Isn’t Enough: A Poem For Karyn Washington & The Lonely Departed.

During an extremely troubling, yet awakening time in my life, Karyn’s bountiful spirit came to me.  Though, unbeknownst to me at the time, the day I found out about Karyn’s passing, I became subconsciously in tune with my ability to connect with passed on spirits. I also unconsciously committed to keeping the story and life of Karyn Washington and the dream of ‘For Brown Girls’, alive. 

So, here we are, one year later. Honoring the memory of Karyn. A memory that has yet to be fully discovered or examined. A memory that isn’t quite memorable, yet. Thus, in remembering Karyn this year, I would simply like to use this time to formally dedicate what is to come, toward bringing back to life the legacy Karyn aimed to share with the world.

There is of course no room in a conversation about Karyn, without acknowledging the way in which she left the world. Her passing, as result of suicide, was so heavy, the earth literally shook. There’s just so much to it. Too much. At least for right now.

So, using my oldest technique for spirit filled expression, the art of poetry, here are the words I have inside of me. In honor of National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), Karyn’s passing anniversary and all of the lonely departed who need help finding peace, here is another poem. Here are just a few words that can truly honor the truth in your passings.

I look forward to fully beginning the healing. To all those spirits in distress, living and passed on, I’m ready. I’m here. Let’s start healing. A’se.

‘Remembering Karyn & the Lonely Departed’

Grown from a beauty so exquisite

A shine so bright

A rhythm so sweet

A song so light

Yet, enclosed by a pain so deep

A struggle so strong

A crack so broken

A whisper so wrong

Those who enter a world

So defiantly insecure

Though born from an innocence

So stubbornly mature

Fight desperately to live for the light

In a land painted by darkness

The Lonely Departed

That’s who they are

Like Karyn, who was

A gem so rare

Built of such intricate design

Our minds have yet to

Perceive the depth of her shrine

Like an extinct species

Too ahead of time

To be discovered

Or appreciated n all its divine

I have been to the end

Where the rainbow is not enough

I’ve seen the clouds and thunder

I’ve felt the rain

I’ve slayed the darkest shadows

I’ve debilitated the pain

I know where the lonely departed go

When the rainbow isn’t enough

Where Karyn went

When the road got too tough

I battled with the darkness

And stood my ground

Unlike the lonely departed

My vision pronounced I was found

I couldn’t save Karyn, Whitney, Bobby or Joel

But I will save the others,

So they’ll live to tell