A few words for our friend Jack McCarthy

January 18, 2013

It is difficult to speak about Jack McCarthy using only a few words.  There will never be enough words.  For now, Mark and I will keep it brief.  Our friendship with Jack goes back to 2001, when we first began a decade long conversation on poetry, family, life and death. And we are better people for it.  Mark and I, and the whole EM Press family, wish to extend our sympathies to Jack’s family.

Jack’s daughter Kathleen let us know of Jack’s passing in this way, and we feel these are the best words for now.

Jack McCarthy: May 23, 1939 – January 17, 2013

Dear Friends,
My father passed away peacefully early this morning, his beloved Carol by his side. It’s fitting that he’s written the words that today bring me the most comfort. May they bring you comfort as well.

Love, Kathleen

It hurts
when love dies.
When love is deep,
it hurts deeply—
more deeply maybe than you thought
anything would ever hurt

But with time,
the spaces between the moments when it hurts
get longer,
the moments themselves become
less devastating,
till eventually you come to associate them
with a sad sweetness
that has as much in common
with love
as it does with grief.

I wish you long
spaces in between,
and may you carry into them
all of that sweetness,
and only enough sadness to attest
the risk that’s being taken
by everyone who loves you.

from “The Spaces Between” by Jack McCarthy