#death

LET'S NOT SAY GOODBYE

 

When the time comes to say goodbye…when we reach that fateful day

I will not say goodbye to you…because there’s so much else to say…

 

As we stand upon that threshold…our time together…almost through…

I’d like to say how lucky I’ve been to know someone like you.

 

As I look at all our years together…still hoping we have more…

there are so many things about my life…I’d like to thank you for.

 

I’d like to thank you for every moment…every second that we shared.

I’d like to thank you for being with me when I’ve been brave or scared.

 

For the times we danced together, for the times you’ve eased my fears…

For the times we’ve sat in silence, for the time you’ve shared my tears.

 

For every walk we’ve ever taken, every song we’ve ever sung

For showing me as we grow old together…what it’s like to feel young.

 

For every time we laughed…for every time we cried.

For knowing whatever happened…you would be there by my side.

 

For all the wonders we’ve experienced,…for all our wonders unforeseen..

From our first place to our last place…and for all those places in between.

 

For the sunrises and sunsets we’ve enjoyed…for somehow having the knack

of taking me higher than I’ve ever imagined…to the moon, the stars and back.

 

No, I will not say goodbye…goodbye is final…so, if you please

let me say I love you…and send that upon the breeze…

 

and let it float until it finds you…I know not where or when….

and let it keep you company…until we meet again…


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WHEN YOU WANT TO SEE ME

“Your dad died many years ago.” I said. 

“Yet you never visit his grave.”

“Did you have a falling out?”

“Is there something you never forgave?”

 

She smiled.

“Dad took my hand when he was sick.”

“In a few moments...he would fade.”

“He said, there’s no substitute for the time we’ve had...

and the memories we’ve made.”

 

“Our future’s about to be taken...

and I know that doesn’t seem fair...

but whenever you want to see me...

visit your memories…I’ll be there.”

 

“I don’t need to visit his grave”, she said,

“and I know he wouldn’t mind

for I visit him whenever I want

 

in the memories he left behind.”


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THE UNICORN

Of all the books her dad read to her from the time when she was born

His favorite to read and her favorite to hear were stories of unicorns.

 

They believed in the sparkle of the unicorn…they believed in her magical tune

they dreamed of some day jumping on her back…and riding her to the moon.

 

They believed in the unicorn’s magic…they believed that magic would last forever…

and when the little girl got sick…they would need that magic more than ever.

 

Her parents were sad and angry…they didn’t know what to do..

When the little girl asked “Do unicorns get sick?” Can they get leukemia too?”

 

“We’ve never read a story like that.” Dad said…”I’m not sure if it’s known…”

The little girl sat straight up and said, “Let’s write a story of our own.”

 

And so they did.

 

Their unicorn was white and pure…filled with beauty, brains and glory…

And each night before she fell asleep they'd add a chapter to their story…

 

The unicorn flew to new places each night…across the universe she’d dart…

Enjoying wild adventures…dreamed up in a little girl’s heart… 

 

And when her dad would read them back to her…as he silently began to weep

His daughter would smile…close her eyes…and quietly drift to sleep.

 

When he tucked her in he would touch her face…he’d brush away a curl…

For he knew their unicorn would live forever…but not so his little girl.

 

One night they stopped their writing…her story ending much too soon…

 

It was the night she jumped on the unicorn’s back…and rode her to the moon.


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TO SING AMONG THE BIRDS

TO SING AMONG THE BIRDS

 

Frances used to take him walking in the woods…they would listen to the trees

They would stop to touch the flowers…watch the butterfly and bees.

 

Frances loved to walk amidst the birds…she knew them all by name…

She did not have a favorite one…for she loved them all the same.

 

She would say how beautiful are their songs…their melodies without words….

“Oh I would give anything.” she often wished…”to sing among the birds.”

 

When he heard Frances had passed away…the Frances he adored…

he quickly ran into the forest…to the place where they explored.

 

How they loved to walk in these woods..over the years so many wonders they had found…

But he was not expecting today…what he discovered on the ground.

 

He was thinking about Frances…when suddenly he heard

plaintive cries from up above…was that the moaning of a bird?

 

He looked around and then he saw it…just a few steps up ahead…

A baby bird had fallen from the nest…the baby bird was dead.

 

He scooped her up as gently as he could…and in a voice both sad and calm

he looked up in the tree and said, “I’m sorry!” to the mom.

 

A tear cascaded down his cheek…he looked into her mother’s eyes…

And as he listened to her somber tweet…he wondered…do birds could cry?

 

He nestled the bird within his hands…she was a beautiful shade of blue…

He carried her back to his front porch…unsure what else to do.

 

He smiled as he thought of Frances…and it was easy to decide.

He filled an old shoe box with cotton…then laid the bird inside.

 

He took that box back back to the woods…then got on his hands and knees

And with mom (and Frances) watching….he buried her beneath that tree.

 

“Don’t be too sad, momma bird.” He said.  “I’m as sad as you are too.”

But your baby’s up with Frances now…and she knows what to do…”

 

The he looked up to the heavens…searching in his heart for the right words…

“I think Frances got her wish.” He said…”she’s now singing with the birds.”

 

The momma bird landed on a lower branch…she tweeted a lullaby

 

As boy and bird found their own way…to say their last good-bye.


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A JOURNEY OF SURVIVAL

Life is a series if journeys…not all of them on the map…

A myriad of adventures…that some times overlap.

 

We look at these overlapping journeys as a gift we’ve been bestowed 

and we endeavor to enjoy the ride…no matter how bumpy the road.

 

Take, for instance, the journey of expectant parents…

It’s begun in euphoria as they anticipate their new arrival…

but if it is death not birth that greets them…

It becomes a journey of survival.

 

They wonder how this happened…how did this tragedy come about?

So many questions flood their minds…they fight hard…

but they can’t keep them out?

 

Why did our baby’s heart stop beating? Will our broken hearts ever mend?

Why did this have to happen to us? Will our sadness ever end?

 

How do we overcome our sorrow? For it’s difficult to remember when…

we were ever filled with happiness…and will we ever be happy again?

 

The first time it rains they look out the window…they weep and they hurt and they moan…

as they wonder if their baby’s staying dry…and they hate that she’s all alone.

 

Friends and family try to be helpful…they remind them they have their whole life ahead…

but they don’t understand how hard it is to go on living…when a part of you is dead.

 

So secretly they come up with a plan…a plan that has beauty and solace and art.

They know their baby can’t grow in this world…so you allow him to grow in their heart.

 

And they begin to wonder what she’d look as she grows up…how tall…how much would she weigh.

What would he be doing with his life…if he were alive today?

 

And they keep her memory alive…although she is now but a distant star….

So they will recognize him and he them…once they have, too, have crossed the bar…

 

Yes life is filled with a series of journeys…over hills and valleys and knolls…

 

Burt sometimes the most beautiful journeys in life…are the journey within our own souls.


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ALL THE HEATHERS I HAVE MISSED

 

I have never lingered in a field of heather 

but I can imagine how it feels…

to be enveloped by its pinks and purples…

to experience the beauty it reveals. 

 

to be intoxicated by its aroma…

like the birds, the air, the bees…

to watch it glisten in the morning sun 

and undulate in the breeze.

 

I hope one day to walk in heather…I hope I get the chance

I’d love to be surrounded by its beauty…and watch its blossoms dance.

 

Each year heather loses its blooms…one day its colors fade…

perhaps reminding us how life is momentary…a fleeting serenade…

 

Yet my hope for heather is never ending…

it's constantly spreading its wings

knowing, even if I miss another year…

it will return in Spring…

 

 

I never knew the Heather…who was killed in Charlottesville.

I never got to experience her beauty…and now I never will.

 

because hate has taken her from us…no longer will she sing…

no longer will she laugh or play…or return to us in Spring…

 

Yes, I hope one day to linger in a field of heather

and by its beauty perhaps be kissed….

But today, more than ever, I am saddened…

 

by all the Heathers I have missed.


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WITH A SMILE ON HIS FACE

His obituary read…he died last night…sometime in the early morn…

He was 95 years old when he passed…in the house where he was born…

 

In the town he never left…in the town where he had grown…

In the town he loved so dearly…in the town he called his home.

 

And though he never traveled…never ventured to any other place…

the article stated this 95 year old man…died…

with a smile on his face.

 

For when that fateful time arrived…at the moment his life would end…

his house was filled from top to bottom with family…and friends.

 

As I finished his obituary I wondered about the path in life he chose…

living his life in just one place…like a solitary rose.

 

95 years old…never traveled…was he happy?

Well, I guess that all depends…

for he seemed to find his happiness amid his family and friends.

 

I guess each person finds happiness in their own way…

in their own time and their own place…

and, perhaps, the best that we can hope for…

is to die with a smile on our face….

 

To die in the bosom of our family and friends…

to die with angels hovering above….

to die knowing as we rest our eyes one final time

 

we’re surrounded by those we love.


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LIFE THREW HER A CURVE

 

I did not ask our cashier’s age of course…as etiquette forbids.

I imagine she was in her 80’s because she kept addressing us as ‘kids’.

 

She was effusive, kind and talkative as she undertook her cashier’s task

She mentioned she was from Oregon…

“What brought you to Florida?” I asked.

 

She smiled though her eyes seemed sad, then sighed, 

I’m sure she was working up the nerve…

“My husband and I were visiting here,” she said, “when life threw me a curve.”

 

Her sadness drifted onto us…we found it hard to orient…

We were not sure what to say or do…for we knew what her words meant.

 

“Now I’m on my own.” she said, “It’s not the way it was supposed to be…

so I moved here to be closer to my daughter and help with her family.

 

“Life goes on!” she said forcing a smile as she took a bag off of the shelf…

but I wondered…was she still talking to us…or trying to convince herself?

 

We talked with her a while…perhaps we made her load a little lighter

and I noticed as we left the store…we held each other’s hand a little tighter.

 

For, once again we were reminded of how quickly life can pass

and why…while we’re still on this planet…

we need to make each moment last.

 

So hold the hand of someone you love a little tighter today…

show them you love them with respect and passion and verve…

because you never know when tomorrow comes…

 

If life will be throwing you a curve.


LOST

He just buried his wife…amid a trail of tears…

Their good long life together spanning 77 years..

 

He spoke at her grave and as I watched him…

as the tears of his sadness flowed

I couldn’t help but be captivated 

by the words he there bestowed:

 

“When I think of my wife….and the life we shared

from the day our paths first crossed

“What stands out in my memory the most,” he said,

 “are all the times that I’ve been lost.”

 

“All the evenings sleeping by her side, 

every beautiful sunrise

every time I stopped to look at her…

I was lost within her eyes.

 

I was lost within her smile…within her voice, within her charms…

lost within her laughter, within her sadness…within her arms.

 

When I think back on our life together, these are the moments I will miss

like all the times throughout our life…I was lost within her kiss…

 

Now I find myself lost in silence 

with thoughts drifting on about her

and I know until we’re together again

I will be lost without her….”

 

As the funeral ended, as people departed, as the candles all were dimmed

I found myself hoping one day I too would be lost…

lost in life…

lost in love…

 

just like him.


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