He was the great procrastinator

He had a knack…a way

of putting off until tomorrow

what he should have done today…


His life was filled with ‘not todays’

Many responsibilities he would shun

When he looked at a task, “Not today!” he would say 

and many things he left undone


As he was about to die 

his family sat by his bed to pray

they asked if he was ready 

he smiled… “Not today”.


“There’s still so much I want to see.” he said

“So much I want do.  

tomorrow I’ll be ready instead

perhaps…when the day is new”.


“Not today.” he said with a sigh

“there’re still a few lessons I’d like to instill.”

“Not today.” he repeated …  “and here is why…

they’re still a few promises I’ve yet to fill.”


But death is unsympathetic.

We don’t get to choose the day

“Not today.” he whispered the last time closed his eyes


and silently drifted away.

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So many questions in this world we cannot answer…

No one can tell us why…

Why do tragedies happen everyday?

Why do children have to die? 


This is the story of one child…

I wish I was singing a happier tune

but this child’s story is over…it ended much too soon.


She did not enter this world peacefully…although her birth was a joyous day

there were complications from the beginning…and more obstacles along the way.


Her story ended a few days ago…at least now she’s out of harm…

She has a place in heaven…she’s in the angel’s arms.


Her parents handled each setback with dignity…with courage…and with grace….

as they tried to cope with the kind of heartache no family should face.


There were trips to hospitals and surgeries…so much going on inside her

and her parents shared her pain and suffering as they stood stoically beside her.


It is a testament to their love…that as they suffered through the haze…

in the midst of all their sorrow…they found joy in other ways


For they loved their little daughter…that was plain for all to see

and they did the best they could to give her life some harmony.


I hope as the years go by…when they stop 

when they pause a while…

they will remember more of the joy than the suffering…

and when they think of her…

they’ll smile.


Perhaps one day their questions will be answered…

when they join their daughter…out of harm

when they hold her again heaven…

when they’re together…


in the angel’s’ arms.

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Her daughter loved visiting the older couple who lived next door

but after the lady’s husband died the daughter said, “I don’t want to visit her anymore.”


“She’s so sad every time I see her…and she still talks to her husband too.

It makes me a little uncomfortable…I don’t know what to do.”


Her mom said, “I understand your feelings but surely you have to see

now that her husband is gone…how lonely she must be.”


“But what can I do to help her?” she asked…”She’s acting awful strange.

It’s not the same when I visit now…everything has changed.”


Her mom looked into her eyes then patter her on her head.

“I think the best thing you can do…is just be her friend.” she said.


“Let her be sad, let her cry, let her be somber. let her be grim…

Remember she lost someone she loved…and she wasn’t done loving him.”


“I imagine right now she needs a friend…who quietly by her side will stay

and listen…just listen…until her sorrow fades away.”


And so the daughter followed her mom’s suggestion…

and though she’s not sure exactly when

slowly she noticed her friend began to smile again.


She began talking about other things…found other reasons to be glad…

until the day thoughts of her husband…no longer made her sad.


And the daughter learned a valuable lesson…

about how one doesn’t always have to intercede….

sometimes just knowing a friend is near 


is all a person needs.

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She received a lot of advice after her Grandpa died

It seemed to come in waves…

They said Grandpa was in a better place…They told her to be brave.


Be brave for your grandpa they said…he wouldn’t want you to be sad…

Be brave for your bothers and sisters…be brave for your mom and dad


She remembers being somewhat confused from all the advice they gave

She was just a young girl…What did she know about brave?


She ran to her Dad and asked, “Dad! What’s the correct way to behave?

When we go to Grandpa’s funeral…What do they mean…be brave?”


"People mean well when they say be brave.” Dad said, 

“But you are kind and loving and smart,

I think the best advice on how to be brave is to listen to your heart.”


“What is your heart telling you?” he asked.

Then she looked up at her dad

“My heart is saying it’s broken…It’s telling me I’m sad.”


“It’s telling me I miss him …It wants to know why he died.”

“It’s telling me it hurts…It’s telling me to cry”.


Dad nodded saying…”Grandpa made us smile so many time over the years.

We never think how one day those smiles will be the reason for our tears.”


“Don’t give a second thought to what people say or think today,” he said,

“or any time you say goodbye”.

“Be brave enough to be yourself…Be brave enough to cry”.


She related this conversation word for word to her daughter

about what it means to be brave

while happy memories made them cry


As they stood at Grandpa’s grave.

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Somebody died today…it’s part of life’s ebb and flow

but what makes this day so different is…this somebody was somebody I know.


She had a full life, my somebody…filled with many highs and some lows…

but Death is unsympathetic…when it comes our time to go.


Yet how lucky we are has humans… 

for although in death…of her presence we’re deprived

the myriad of memories we created…in a way keeps her alive…


And that’s where our sadness originates…

That’s why we feel so bereft…

not from all those memories we created together 

but that those memories are all I have left.


We know Death has taken her from us…but in Death there is a plus

for Death has left her memories behind…Death can’t take those away from us.


When we want to, when we have the urge…we can visit her a while

Just by closing our eyes and remembering…

her voice, 

her eyes…

her smile…


And for a moment in our silence…as more and more memories arrive

it’s as if she never left us…as if she’s still alive


And when our eyes reopen

we smile remembering all the memories we’ve sewn

and we feel blessed 

she was a somebody we were lucky enough to have known. 


Which gives us all hope for the time when Death comes too our door

as part of life’s ebb and flow

That we, too, will have been lucky enough


to be somebody…somebody knows.

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“Why did Grandma have to die?” the young boy asked his Dad

He could see his son was hurting…he could see his son was sad…


“I’m not sure why our bodies give out,” he said… “only that one day they all do

but even though Grandma is gone…she lives inside of you?”


“She’s in the way you smile…in the way you laugh…the way you cry.

She’s in the way you walk and talk…I can see her in your eyes.”


The son smiled…then said, “Dad, tell me this…there’s something I’d like to know…

now that she’s no longer here…where did Grandma go?”


“There are many beliefs and thoughts on that.” Dad said “Some think to heaven some to the stars.

But I believe…I like to think…Grandma hasn’t traveled very far.”


“We begin as part of the Universe…particles floating in time and space

Then a miracle occurs….and we are put upon this place.”


“We are blessed to live…we know not how long…we know not where or when

our time upon this Earth will be over and we’ll join the Universe again.”


“Your grandma was here long enough…not long enough for you and me

but long enough to share herself…to become a memory.”


“And though it’s true…she’s gone from Earth…all those memories she made

will stay with us forever..will never wither…never fade…”


“She has blended back into the Universe to become the wind within the trees

She is the rain, she is the cool breeze…she is the flowers and the trees.”


“She is the sunshine that warms your cheeks, she is the moonlight shining bright

She is the clouds that float gently overhead…she is the stars…she is the night.”


She is the sky, she is the snowflakes, she is the fall leaves upon the ground

she is the moon…she is the day…you will find her all around…”


“No, you needn’t worry about Grandma, Dad said, because every minute of every day


though she may be gone forever… she is never far away…”

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It was a week before they found you

a week before anyone had known.

It took a week for them to realize

you had died alone…


150,000 people across the world die every day

most have friends and family they’ve known

but this poem does not go out to them

It goes out to those like you…who die alone.


Who have no friends or family

for whatever reason why

No one by your side at the end

No one with whom to say goodbye.


We did not know to think about you

not while you were living anyhow…

so we’d like to say we’re sorry

and we’re thinking of you now… 


It is our hope these thoughts will find their way to you

to let you know we care…

that you will feel their presence

and find some comfort there…


Perhaps if we all take a moment every day

to make thoughts like these known

even those who die by themselves


will never die alone. 

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There is no cure for the sorrow we feel

(It’s one reason that we cry)

no antidote for the pain

when someone we know dies.


We immediately wonder why her…why now…

how we would have loved just one more day

one more moment…

one more memory

when someone we know passes away…


Our mind flashes back to certain moments…

wonderful memories we linger on

as the joy we feel for having known her

mixes with the sadness that she’s gone.


Our memory happily jumps back and forth.

We give thanks she was ever sent to us

and we hope and pray she understood

everything she ever meant to us.


We couldn’t have created a better friend

If we had planted seeds ourselves then grown her

and we know our lives will never be the same

and we are better people…having known her.


So we are content to grieve a moment…

knowing in our hearts she wouldn’t mind…

knowing the sadness we feel today

will acquiesce to the joy she left behind…


Yes, today we’ll allow sorrow to envelop us

we’ll linger in our tears a while

knowing in the future

every time we think of her

with every memory…


we’ll smile.

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Hanging by a thread, reel me in

Give me something to believe in

Trying to catch up, but it feels like I'm running in sand

I'm terrified of these demons in demand.


...the gallows echo my name.


Hanging by a string, lying low like fen

I need to be born again, like Jesus of Nazareth

Lost & trapped

My mind is a labyrinth.


...the hangman shrieks my name.


Hanging by a rope now, instead of a thread

This demolition course of a life,

Now has me dead.

Cut down by the scythe.


...the grim reaper carries my head. 

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