Monday, February 13, 2012

When Death Comes

When Death comes
sliding silently into the room
and plucks the essence
of those we love,
leaving only the shell,
yes, when Death comes,
people are kind.
They speak soft words,
like mourning doves.
They coo and they huddle,
in flocks, for comfort.

We dress our loved one
in the finest of robes.
The room is aromatic
with flowers.
We keep a candle lit,
and music always
playing.

We tell stories.
We remember.
We laugh and we cry.

When Death comes,
it reminds us
that we are
alive.
It tells us
how precious
and finite
this life is.

We are burying
this one man,
but our lives, too,
are slowly
slipping
away.

The sun has come out
to light
this pilgrim's path.
His dog looks at us
with sad eyes,
for her loved one
is gone.

We stand
respectfully silent,
as his widow weeps.
We dip our heads
as the bagpipes play
for the fallen soldier
beside his open grave.

But we must not forget
to lift our eyes
up and beyond,
to the hills,
to the wild blue heavens,
to track the flight
of an eagle
soaring Homeward,
remembering that,
while we still have breath,
all of this beauty
is ours,
each day
a new gift
to be opened.

Our lives
- our lives! -
are always
and only
on loan.

15 comments:

  1. So right you are! Last two lines ring so true!

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  2. This is so beautiful...Each day is so precious..we should never ignore it or not appreciate it

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  3. Beautiful, Sherry.
    I do hope you have made a hard copy of this poem for Faiza.

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  4. "our lives are always and only on loan" — so true, Sherry, and the ego forgets. The ego assumes the idea of entitlement, and of earthly glory.
    I cried when you mentioned the pipes playing for this fallen soldier, but he lived a long life with much love.
    K

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  5. Sherry,

    The words you have written ring so true for us all at points of our lives. Points of the journey which we are making every day, as your words indicate so well.
    I guess we must really make each day count and enjoy it all.....
    Best wishes Sherry.
    Eileen

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  6. So true.The last stanza sums it all up so well.

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  7. A beautiful tribute to life Sherry....this touches my heart for so many reasons....thank you for sharing this beautiful poem.

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  8. Sherry these words reminded me of some loved ones dearly missed; in a fond, gentle way. Thanks, I needed that.

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  9. This hit me where I live Sherry - you do grief in a profoundly moving way ... I needed this tonight for some reason ... thank you so much.
    (apropro of nothing ... my word verification word? "drowns")

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  10. This is very touching. Deeply moving and sad for the wife and yes, even their pets who are probably left, wondering.
    It does tend to let us know that our time here is limited and to live each day as if it may be the last.
    Very moving tribute Sherry.

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  11. This resonates as I have been thinking much about death lately. Perhaps it is the long grip of winter. Perhaps combined with a bit of growing older. I'm thankful for the presence of loved ones. And for the voices that speak of recognizing the importance of each day. A voice like yours. :)

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  12. Sherry this is so beautiful. I love this line especially "while we still have breath,
    all of this beauty
    is ours,
    each day
    a new gift
    to be opened."

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  13. Beautiful poem, Sherry. The last two lines will stay with me.

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  14. Beautifully done. It made me remember, after my husband died, and the day of the service, I was standing in the back yard, I looked up and there was an eagle. I had never seen one there before. He looked down at me, and seemed to speak to me... yes, at the moment of death, it is magic. Thank you Sherry.

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!