It was their special way to say goodnight…he’s not sure when it started

or how they began to use it whenever they departed…


When he was young at bedtime she’d lean down and kiss his forehead…

as she had done the night before

“I will miss you while I’m sleeping.” he’d say

then she would whisper… “But I will miss you more”.


It’s funny how a little thing like that…a little thing you hear or see

when done with so much love…imprints in your memory.


Even as a teenager when sons and mothers sometimes fight

all would be forgotten when she came to say goodnight


When she leaned down to kiss his forehead…

as she had done the night before

When he said, “I will miss you while I’m sleeping.”

and she’d whisper… “But I will miss you more.”


Even when he grew up and left the house… even the older he became

after every visit together their message was the same:


She would kiss him on his forehead as they stood by her front door

“I will miss you while I am away.” he’d say.

Then she would whisper… “But I will miss you more.”


Then came the day no parent and child wants…

a day with tears filling up his eyes

when he sat beside her on her bed…

when he came to say goodbye…


He took her frail hand in his and they sat in silence for a while.

She opened her eyes and for a moment between them passed a smile…


Then he leaned over and kissed her forehead…

as she had done so many times before….

“I will miss you while I’m sleeping.” she said


and he whispered… “But I will miss you more.”

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It took him a long time to laugh after she was gone

even once the initial sadness faded.

He thought it would be disrespectful.

He thought her memory would be jaded…


But then in the midst of his sadness

he remembered her laugh one day

and he knew how sad it would make her feel

If her death took his laugh away.


Remembering her laugh made him realize

how by her memory he is blessed

how finding joy and laughter without her

doesn’t mean he misses her less.


So today he loves to laugh

he no longer feels blue…

for he knows when he is laughing…



she is laughing too.

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He was already a man of few words

but her death left him completely silent 

and bereft

as if she took to heaven with her


whatever few words he had left.

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It happens every day…it comes as no surprise

When the day is done…we fall asleep…we gently close our eyes…


And we assume that every morning…again we’re not surprised

when a new day will dawn before us…as we open up our eyes.


But the other day a friend of ours…it was kind of a surprise

went to sleep and it was the last time she ever closed her eyes…


I’m sure, although, she was prepared, she didn’t know right then

once she closed those beautiful eyes…they would never open again.


And so it makes us wonder…it makes us think…sometimes we agonize…

Will we be happy with the life we’ve lived…the last time we close our eyes?


Have we played and laughed and smiled enough?  Have we been kind in our replies?

Have we danced and sang and shared enough before that last time we close our eyes?


Have we loved and have we been loved?  Have we enjoyed the oceans and the skies?

Have we accomplished some of our hopes and dreams…before that last time we close our eyes?


Have we been compassionate and accepting to everyone we greet?

Have we been the kind of person…we would like to meet?


If today is the day we experience our final moments…our final awakening…our final sunrise…

Have we left good memories for those who tomorrow will open up their eyes?


Of course each one of us has our own questions….our own list we must comprise….


Things to make us wonder…before that last time we close our eyes.

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Time and fate are unpredictable as united in life they flow

Take the man and the woman in this story…lets go back an hour ago.


They had a pleasant morning…she had coffee…he…cocoa

as they talked and laughed together…only an hour ago.


When the policeman told him she was gone…he screamed…he hollered NO!

You must be mistaken, he cried…she was here an hour ago.


You must be confused…I’m sure…in fact…I know

you must have the wrong person…we were together an hour ago.


The policeman explained there was an accident…it happened in the snow

she died immediately, the doctor said…about an hour ago.


The policeman stood in silence…as the man swayed to and fro

Thinking how his life was different…only an hour ago.


The policeman’s seen it many times…he never gets use to it though…

How people wish their lives would return to where they were an hour ago…


He sees it on their faces…they instantly lose their glow

when they realize their life will never be the same as it was an hour ago…


It reminds us all to cherish every moment…because we truly never know


when our life will change forever…like theirs did…one hour ago.

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When we’re lucky enough to find those we love in life

those who’ve helped us on our climb…

we never run out of love for them…


we only run out of time.

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Like a bird you flew into our lives…soared in on wings so strong.

When you spread those wings you protected us.

When you sang…you comforted us with song.


Once you chose to enter our lives…as you glided ‘cross the sky

we learned from you of gracefulness…you taught us how to fly…


You’ve shown us without trying…as over us you’ve flown…

that every creature on this planet has a beauty all its own.


Like a bird you flew into our lives…and as we watched you soar

we realized our lives are better now than they have ever been before.


Perhaps that is one of the beauties of life:

The more we age…the more we grow

we realize our life’s enhanced…by everyone we know…


How everyone is beautiful…

How everyone is free…

How everyone is here for a reason

Everyone…like you…and me…


Like a bird you flew into out lives

and to you we were immediately drawn…

but life is unpredictable

and one day you were gone.


Gone in an instant…a flash…a moment

gone in the blinking of an eye

gone before any of us were ready…

which makes it hard to say goodbye…


But we will be forever glad we knew you

forever glad for your kindness and your smile

forever glad you flew into our lives


at least…for a little while.

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Although the holidays can be a festive time…it can also be a time when we’re reminded of the precarious and fragile nature of life…a time we remember those not celebrating with us this year…a reminder of how our life is changed without them…It’s not that we will stop celebrating…only that our celebrations will never be the same…




A death leaves us forever somber…

surrounded by a cloud….

It’s not that we will never laugh again…


we’ll just never laugh as loud…

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As her hand slipped into his for the last time

his tears began to flow…

for he knew

after a lifetime of holding her hands in his


it was time to let her go. 

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