She stepped forward on her 85th birthday
to ensure the voice of her late son,
had not been stilled.
He was 62 when he joined
the swollen ranks
of Vietnam veterans
who have chosen to die
by their own hand.
at a VA office.
His case at the VA
had been poisoned
by misinformation and lies.
"For that reason alone
I ended it where and as I did.”
His experiences in and after Vietnam
left him feeling at times
like he was engulfed by a big black hole.
His mother sat with photos of him
at her hands
as she delivered his message.
"Look after the other Vietnam vets
and do more for them,"
She read aloud
the last lines of the funeral message:
"Remember the good and fun times we had together.
Be there for each other until your pain goes away."
Then, with misted eyes,
she added her own footnote.
"It never does."