#death

ANGELS SINGING

 

I remember her funeral as if it was yesterday…instead of a long time ago.

I remember it was the first step…the beginning of letting go.

 

The moment we realized…like a summer breeze gently whistling through a tree…

the person who made us smile for a while…is now a memory.

 

I remember how she loved babies…to her babies had a special charm.

I remember wondering if she noticed the baby at her funeral nestled in her mother’s arms.

 

This person had a passion for life…a warmth…a smile that would glow.

and though I didn’t know everything about her…I knew all I needed to know.

 

I knew she was honest and generous…I knew she was gentle, accepting and kind

and when that baby in her mother’s arms began to fuss…I knew she wouldn’t mind.

 

I think she would have loved her service…it was filled with tributes and scriptures and song…but that same service in that baby’s mind began to run a little long.

 

She began to cry louder and louder…interrupting the silence and solemnity…

but I didn’t mind it in the least…her cries were like a hymn to me.

 

I thought the moment she started crying…the service was improved…

and I knew the person we were saying goodbye to would wholeheartedly approve.

 

There is so much we don’t understand about life and death…I’m glad we don’t know everything…it means we’re free to wonder if a baby crying is one way the angels sing.

 

Free to ponder at the funeral of a friend…when we hear a baby cry…

if that’s how the angels welcome them to heaven…as we all say goodbye.

 
 
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Death

Today was a good day,

Even the sun came out to play. 

A bird sang me a happy song

And just for a moment I forgot you were gone.

There wasn't a single cloud in the sky,

Or a moment in my heart when I asked why.

Every second just felt right.

My heart felt free and light. 

Then the cloud storms rolled in,

The loss hit me all over again.

The rain hit my face like tears falling down,

Slowly I sank to the ground.

I wondered if a day could ever go by,

When I didn't think of you, my friend, and cry.

They say time will dull my pain,

They say it only feels like I'm going insane.

I miss you my friend, each and every day,

I'll never understand why God took you away.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I'm not sure what to call this one! Any ideas?

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REMEMBERING

 

 

When someone we love dies…it’s as if in our life there’s been a theft

like they’ve been stolen from us…and memories are all we have left.

 

Initially our feelings clash when we realize what’s at stake…

We’re happy for the memories we’ve made…

Sad for the ones we’ll never make.

 

At times it seems unbearable…other times a little scary

knowing that as long as we are living…this is a burden we will carry.

 

Then over time we come to understand…each day a little more

how sadness does not last forever…and what our memories are for.

 

We begin to remember those we lost with joy…and though their presence we still lack…

We see the memories we have as one small way

for a moment…

to bring them back.

 

And the heavy burden seems a little lighter…as each memory formulates…

because we realize we’re filled with memories…and memories carry no weight.

 

Making it easier to understand…why our memories are made

How our loved one may have vanished from our life

but their memories will never fade.

 
 
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REVISITING GRANDMA'S TREE

 

 

It was 30 years ago…one year after Grandma died…after we said goodbye…when our son wanted to plant a tree by her grave…at that time the tree was 4 inches high.

 

I was quite impressed that day with the love and wisdom he displayed,

“I’m going to plant this by Grandma’s grave,” He said, “because Grandma loved the shade.”

 

When I mentioned that little tree won’t provide much shade…his answer gave me a thrill,

“Not today, Dad,” he said, “but one day…one day…it will.”

 

Yesterday Deborah and I visited her mom’s grave and that tree is no longer small…from its humble 4 inch beginning it now stands 45 feet tall.

 

When we decide to plant a tree…that tree has no way of knowing where it will end up…where it is destined to grow…if it will bask in the southern sunshine…or weather the winter snow.

 

If it will look out over the ocean from an island in the seven seas…if it will stand on top of a mountain and sway gently in the breeze.

 

If it’s lucky perhaps a young boy will see something special in that tree…and give it a chance to shade his Grandma throughout eternity.

 

I gave the cemetery a final glance before we left and I had to smile…

for this is memory I shall forever save…

you see the sun was shining brightly…

but there was shade on Grandma’s grave.

 

 

 

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Neither here nor there

Sorry to break this to you in such an informal fashion but.…we're dead.

Yep. You, me, all of us.

There is no, floating around on a

cloud and no guy in a robe with a long, white beard. 

No harps to be heard.

One day it finally all fell into place.

It just clicked.

Fell into place.

Too much to go into.

Too many events that were life changing to me as I grew up that never happened. Never even existed. All childhood apartments, houses and even schools are gone, “burned down”, or just simple can’t be found anymore.

The geography, old haunts, streets…gone.
Completely changed.

The old friends now estranged and even some of your current ones. All but strangers but they fill the void.

I have enough wherewithal to understand the passage of time and the evolution of geographical structures. I was born in the morning, but not this morning. These changes and voids are born from a different ilk.

You feel them when your standing there, trying to take them all in.

I'm dead.

You are too. It's ok.

Stay with me here.

That car crash that we had that was super close to almost killing us.

That aneurysm you had a one in a

million chance of surviving.

That one time you thought you were overdosing on your favorite drug but miraculously didn't.

Death isn't what we've been lead to believe.

There is no sudden darkness or void like spaces at the moment of death.

yet, a seamless transition.

Unnoticeable.

Undetectable.

I don't have to ask if any of you have recently, (past 10 to 20 years), have had a close call or a 'near death experience', because I already know

you have.

You think you did but I'm sorry to tell you this, but you didn't.

You crossed over..to here.

Everything is virtually the same but not quite identical as many of you have already discovered and like to point out.

You were mourned by your loved ones there. Obituary. 

The whole nine yards.

There are countless, strange folks you will encounter here and my gut feeling is that some of them are well aware of what has happened to you and why you're here. Of course, I instinctively feel that I’ll never be able to distill the truth from any of them though.

The universe’s best kept secret.

You are now living in a different

universe, modeled after the one vou were catapulted from. 

Your old home, family and friends are missing you, thousands of light years from where you are now.

You're now continuing on your journey in a different world, a different space and time and you can never go back to the old world or be who you were.

Take just a second and try to make sense of the sheer amount of bizarre happenings and the seemingly never ending chaos that surrounds us everyday.

The changes.

Oh the nonsensical changes that are everywhere in our culture that have absolutely no explanation.

The 'mirror, mirror' on the wall has become, 'magic mirror' on the wall.

And isn't that the truth?

Welcome to eternal life

my friend.


~Raymond Strickland

   02-07-2020 

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BEFORE HE CLOSED HIS EYES

 

 

One friend stood at another friend’s funeral and began this eulogy:

“Our friend had a simple philosophy about life.” He said. “Which he laid out for all of us to see.”

 

“How often did he tell us he lived his life in moments…from the moment he saw the sun’s first light…and how he would think about those moments when he want to bed at night.”

 

“And if he recalled more beautiful moments than bad…he would smile and he’d say…just before he closed his eyes…What a wonderful way to spend the day.”

 

“And if…when Saturday ended…he recalled more beautiful days than bad…this line he would speak…just before he closed his eyes…what a wonderful way to spend a week.”

 

“And as wonderful weeks turned into wonderful months at the end of December…from his lips you might hear…before he closed his eyes at night…what a wonderful way to spend a year.”

 

“If he was here to give his own eulogy…the fact he’s not still cuts me like a knife…I’m sure he’d look out at all of you…the ones who made his moments beautiful…and say…before closing his eyes for the last time…what a wonderful way to have spent my life.”

 

“Goodbye old friend. We will miss you…

you left us with so many beautiful moments 

before you closed your eyes….

So many beautiful memories…

What a wonderful way to say goodbye.”

 

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HER GRANDSON'S WORDS

 

I remember the day of her funeral…I noticed him…right from the start…and his is the memory that stands above all the others…that, to this day, remains etched in my heart.

 

The first pew in the church sat empty…except for her youngest grandson (his parents said he wanted it that way)…he said when it came time to talk about Grandma…he had something he wanted to say.

 

When the pastor nodded to him…he walked to the podium without an escort…he looked out over the crowd in attendance…then with a quick glance to his parents for support

 

he closed his eyes…touched his hand to his heart…and finding strength from somewhere within it…he said, “This world was a much better place when my grandma was living in it.”

 

As he walked back to his family…his footfalls were the only sounds in that church you could hear…and, if you could muster the energy to look up, you’d have seen a church that was filling with tears.

 

The pastor closed his bible…he ended the service knowing no more scriptures needed to be read…knowing, after the words her grandson spoke, nothing more needed to be said.

 

Yes, of all the wonderful stories told at her funeral…all the compliments…all the praises…all the boasts…it’s those brief words spoken by her grandson…that I shall remember most.

 
 
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NEVER FADE AWAY

NEVER FADE AWAY

 

 

It was well over a year since Grandma died 

and whenever we visited Grandpa he’d give us quite a scare

because he would talk to Grandma…as if she was standing there.

 

Sometimes he would close his eyes and, on his face, a smile would crack,

as if he was listening to Grandma…and she was talking back!

 

At first we weren’t too concerned because we know how lonely Grandpa was

We’ve all felt the pain of loss…We know what sorrow does.

 

But it had been well over a year now and every time we returned

and watched him talk to Grandma…I admit…we were concerned.

 

One day we approached Grandpa as he sat in his favorite chair

and told him we we’re worried how he talks to Grandma…even though she isn’t there.

 

Grandpa smiled and said, “Don’ t worry family! I know your Grandma’s dead…but talking to her helps to keep her voice inside my head.

 

Talking to her throughout the day and dreaming of what she might say…keeps the memory of her voice alive…so it will never fade away.

 

Thank you for caring about me but there’s no need to worry.” Grandpa said

“Isn’t that right Grandma…then he closed his eyes and waited before smiling and nodding his head.

 

And from that day forward we never worried about Grandpa…never again felt sad or blue…because from that day forward we found ourselves talking to Grandma too.

 

It’s been well over a year now since Grandpa joined Grandma in heaven…and I talk to both of them almost every day…

ensuring the memory of their voices will remain in my head

never to fade away.

 
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VISITING HOURS IN HEAVEN

 

 

The young son came to his father…not long after his Grandpa had died…with tears still lingering in his eyes…eyes that were open wide.

 

“I know that Grandpa’s gone,” he said, “and at the funeral we said goodbye…but is there anyway to visit him in heaven…or do I have to wait until I die?”

 

“There are always visiting hours in heaven.” Dad said. “But to heaven you don’t have to climb…because heaven has made it easy to visit Grandpa…any place…at any time.”

 

“If you close your eyes and think about Grandpa…quickly you will see…you can visit him anytime you want…where he lives…in your memory.”

 

“And if you ever have a question for him…here’s what you need to do…ask your question…close your eyes…listen…Grandpa will answer you.”

 

“You see, heaven is not just the place people go when from this world they depart…I believe each of us has a little piece of heaven…right here…inside our heart.”

 

“It’s the way we were created…the way we were designed…it’s where those we love, before they go, leave a piece of themselves behind.”

 

“And when we want to visit them…this moment…or long after they have died…we only need to close our eyes…think about them…and take a look inside…”

 

“Look inside your heart…right now…that’s what I’m going to do…that’s where you’ll find your Grandpa…waiting patiently for you.”

 

Dad held his son’s hand in his…said, “lose your eyes”…and with their fingers interlaced…

“Hi Dad!”

“Hi Grandpa!”

You could hear them whisper…

as a smile lit up each face.

 
 
 
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