Death and Dying

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Belated Misery

When playing possum with tragedy…a ghost of many tales entangles me.

No use…crying for mercy in this…the pouring rain.

And, yet, I stand in the elements crying…just the same.

The shadows of belated misery…

Always five feet ahead.

Ice droplets slap and cajole.

Promising…’you will sleep incomplete…sell us your soul.’

Complacency curls beneath a broken heart.

Abandoning me of all control.

 

the End of a Love Song

Death patted the worn leather couch.

Placed in frigid temperatures…the seat seemed to come from 1970…or there about.

He did not offer a love song.

Though in his icy stare…100_1336

it had been apparent to see the End wished for me to stay.

His movement so flawed, so free, like a cold sweat on a summer’s day.

If I could only pass Death by…

There would be no need to ask why.

Positioned knee to knee…

‘should I stay or should I go.’

With a chance glance to smoke from a January sky…

I turned back and Death had gone.

Leaving me with only lyrics to a love song.

the Catholic Woman

She had no oxygen…so I brought the metal devil to her.

Just a tourniquet for a blistered soul.

She never fared well, hot.

She never fared well, cold.

Quiet were her ways.

A tsunami were the words…she did not say.

One sinner could cling to her devotion.

Just as I, began to sink slowly in her god-fearing lifeboat.

Out and out, by myself, in a turbulent ocean.

Every Sunday metal tank set at ease.

No longer was she…to kneel before the hosanna.

Wheeled, forefront and center, beside other elders…

strands of rosaries, strung together like christmas lights.

A hymn all their own.

One Sunday with all the prayers of faith and health.

One Sunday…when the oxygen ran out.

 

Death, to the dead for Evermore

DEATH, to the dead for evermore
A King, a God, the last, the best of friends –
Whene’er this mortal journey ends
Death, like a host, comes smiling to the door;
Smiling, he greets us, on that tranquil shore
Where neither piping bird nor peeping dawn
Disturbs the eternal sleep,
But in the stillness far withdrawn
Our dreamless rest for evermore we keep.

For as from open windows forth we peep
Upon the night-time star beset
And with dews for ever wet;
So from this garish life the spirit peers;
And lo! as a sleeping city death outspread,
Where breathe the sleepers evenly; and lo!
After the loud wars, triumphs, trumpets, tears
And clamour of man’s passion, Death appears,
And we must rise and go.

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Soon are eyes tired with sunshine; soon the ears
Weary of utterance, seeing all is said;
Soon, racked by hopes and fears,
The all-pondering, all-contriving head,
Weary with all things, wearies of the years;
And our sad spirits turn toward the dead;
And the tired child, the body, longs for bed.

#Robert Louis Stevenson