Category Archives: death

Writings and prose concerning death and its affects.

I walk in the forest

Walk Among

Come walk with me.

I walk in the forest

Of human beings

 

Like you, like me

Our friends, our non-friends.

 

They are many and varied

Sizes and shapes.

 

Short legs, short arms and bodies

In endless combinations

 

Skin in shades and colors of bark

Are many as the grains of sands

 

Pale white or yellow

To dusk and even midnight.

 

From homeless and discarded

To rich and empowered

 

Their beliefs in Gods and spirits

Many heartfelt, others heartless.

 

From agnostic to zealot

Evoking love and others hate

 

To walk in this forest

One must be alert and vigilant.

 

 

 

I walk in the forest

Of human beings

 

I have walked amongst humans

For three score and a half more.

 

I became a connoisseur of watching

Sitting unnoticed, but noticing.

 

I found when I scratched someone

They bled like me regardless of skin color

 

The pain and anguish they felt

Was similar to mine.

 

No shape or size

Made any difference.

 

I find the differences

Are to be cherished.

 

I read and viewed media

About senseless aggression

 

Famine, natural disasters

Earthquake, or disease epidemic

 

I have witnessed displacement

A human column of immeasurable grief

 

Suffering starvation

And deprivations

 

Also domestic violence

To terrorism in schools,

 

Revenge or an action

To get attention to a cause.

 

Or war in far-flung nations

Inflicting harm and death.

 

Our little blue marble is cluttered

With collateral damage.

 

Even soldiers afflicted

By PTSD created by chaos of war.

 

Or by the violence in

our neighborhood or home.

 

I physically hurt

When I come into contact

 

In person or via media

I shudder trying to comprehend

 

Both the victims

And perpetrators.

 

I am at a loss

And feel sad and helpless

 

My heart has been

Broken and beaten.

 

 

 

I walk in the forest

Of human beings

 

Yet, I have hope

Even in the darkest moments

 

I wonder where

This optimism comes from

 

 

Created September 15, 2017

 

 

 

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What did you say?

Here I stand
On a pillowy white cloud.

There is this guy
With a beard standing here

Looking down into
A big red leather bound book.

He is taking a long time
Turning page after page.

I am hearing
A grunt or two,

But not a word from his lips,
Not a welcome.

I shift from
One foot to the other.

What am I
Doing here?

My last memory
Was slipping and falling.

I begin to worry.
I have so much to do.

If he is not finding
What he is looking for

How will his search
Affect me and my future?

Oh, he signals me
Come closer, step over here.

There is no hint
Of a smile or indication

What the book
Has revealed to him?

With a concerned look
And a shrug of his shoulders

He quietly whispers
So only I could hear.

“I am sorry
I do not have your reservation.

I am sad  to say
You must go…..”

Where did he say
I had to go?

I am definitely going
To get new hearing aids!

Sir, where did you
Say I should go?

Again a little louder he said
“You must go back!”

The cloud turned
A little darker and softer.

I am falling down again
Ouch! Ohhh I hurt all over.

 

Created: September 11, 2017

Image

The Aging Switch

Quality, yes quality,
Each day, each year,
Value of life and loves.
Becoming, yes becoming.

Doing, doing, done.
Living and ever loving
Each day, each year.
Feeling good, being good?

Getting this and that,
Upsizing house,
Even the car,
Or maybe a spouse.

Years upon years,
Even the many decades
Passing by swiftly
Sometimes unnoticed.

An ache and a pain
Could be chronic,
An Illness today, maybe tomorrow.
Plans change again.

Downsizing living,
Giving this and that.
Big things, old things,
Even new stuff.

Giving to my kids,
Selling to others,
Taking just a little,
Just what’s needed today.

Active living, but…
Less, doing less.
More doctors and dentists
Often, more often.

Months upon months
Passing by fast and faster,
I’m moving slower, then slower,
But time moves still faster!

Eat, nap, eat, discovered
Becoming my daily pattern.
So nice, but tired still.
Why is the night longer now?

Imbalance and stagger enters.
My new world changing.
Steps are shorter and slower
Taking longer from here to there

Watching, sitting and reading.
What did you say? Hmm mm
Huh? Please say that again.
Hearing, like agility, disappearing

Frustration unlimited!
Forgetting little things
Progressing to bigger
What did I come in here for

Quality living lesser
Than yesterday again.
Good becoming less.
All becoming lesser.

The end is in sight,
But not in reach.
My aging switch has turned.
Turned to waiting, not doing

Now it begins anew.
When, just when?
Waiting and waiting … still
Impatiently patient.

Days upon months,
Weeks upon years, when?
Waiting still, now impatient
Questioning the why and when.

HE has control of how and when.
My days are fewer in number,
But I wish, at times, many times
I had that control.

Yes, I have switched
From doing to waiting.
The veil between becoming thinner.
Waiting, just waiting … Still.

I have seen the loved ones
Passed over yesteryear and more recently,
Waving or beaconing, I wonder?
Yes, I have switched to impatiently waiting.

Originally created:   July 7, 2016
 

I Am Going Home

A New Beginning!

A New Beginning!

I Am Going Home
Oh Heavenly Father,
Come for me today.
To be home for Christmas.

The earthly toils and tribulations
Have worn my body and spirit down
Come Holy Spirit.

Our long, long suffering is
Torturing the innocents
Surrounding and supporting us.

My body and mind
Yearn for the loving
And peaceful joy
Of being in your presence.

This is the season of Advent
A time of expecting
A time of preparing.

I am prepared.
We are prepared,
Now is my Advent season

I await the miracle
Of my new birth
My new beginning

Free of suffering
Singing with your angels
The glorious songs of old.

Announcing the arrival
Of The Child
And of the new arrivals.

Come Holy Spirit
I await your pleasure
Impatiently, I await

Come Holy Spirit.
Take me home.

Originally written: December 18, 2012

This was written for my cousin, Bill Mehringer, at the request
of his wife Deb. Bill is in hospice as this poem was written.
We love and support Bill and Deb in this long struggle. Bill
got his miracle just a couple hours after Deb read this poem
to him. Bill’s wait is over and he has his beautiful wings.

Death Where Are You?

Death where are you?
I walk my path
Enjoying each step
Not knowing,
Yet anticipating
A path of love,
A path of family.

I walk my path
Purposely not afraid,
Yet expectful.
A path of love
A path of family.

I have seen you
I know you!
You are the veil
Between loved ones.
It is a fine and thin
Veil of existence.
I walk my path patiently.
Death, where are you?

Originally written: November 30, 2002

My grandmother visited my mother immediately after her death to wave good-bye from outside of the kitchen window as my mother ironed cloths in the evening. I have friends and aunts who have felt the presence and believe they had communication after their spouse had died. Yet, I know it is improbable to expect direct communications with any deceased person. I wonder what is the mystery permitting some to be visible through the opaque veil between life and death.

Family Gatherings

Family gathers
In celebration and grief.

Time to say “Good-bye”
Remembering special moments.

Time to cherish
Each others precious memories.

Family gathers
In reluctance and prayers.

Time to joyously
Tell the family stories.

Time to laugh and chuckle
One last time remembering together.

Originally written: November 22, 2002

Written in memory of Gene Kalney. Gene was the father to my daughter-in-law. He was a very intelligent and driven man. He was loved and cherished.

A Long Goodbye to Charlie

Have you ever physically hurt for the suffering of others?
I have a dear friend who has had TIA’s, Transient Ischemic Attacks,
and several strokes. The TIA’s and strokes take little pieces of him
away from me, his neighbors, and his friends. In February 2011 a
particularly critical stroke occured. After the CT Scans, MRI’s and
extensive tests it was determined that he has hardening of the blood
vessels in his brain. Essentially, Charlie will be losing small pieces
of his brain over an extended period of time. He will gradually lose
memories and physical capabilities. These losses will seem to be
random and unpredictable.

Meanwhile his wife, 12 years his senior, a cougar in today’s lingo has
had TIA’s of her own and mild congestive heart failure. In January 2011
Margaret would march through grocery stores at a pace a 21 year
old would find very hard to keep pace with. In the past 10 months,
Margaret has had 2 surgeries to clear her blocked carotid arteries.
She now needs a walker and oxygen full time. Margaret is no longer
capable to take care of Charlie by herself.

Charlie’s deterioration continues. He has lost his sense of days.
He falls asleep in a nap and wakes up thinking it is a new day.
Time to take his morning batch of pills. Oh, then there were the
instances of waking up in the middle of the night thinking he needed
to go towork. Ahhh the sad part is that he had retired 10 years ago.
His emotions are greatly affected by the TIA’s. He cries and sobs
frequently. He recognizes he is losing memories and capabilities.
Recently, he came down to the kitchen to make coffee as he has
30 years and cried when he could not understand how to make
coffee in the electric coffee pot. Charlie was found standing in
front of the coffee pot sobbing that he no longer knew how to make
coffee for Margaret and himself.

It was extremely painful to have to take Charlie to an Assisted Living
Home to stay while Margaret had her last surgery in November. It was
a tearful process. Yet, it provided an opportunity for professionals to
observe and provide analysis of Charlie’s current capabilities and
needs. It was found he needed more than just a little assistance.

It hurts to see this very intelligent and gentle man slowly slipping away.
It is anguish to see his enjoyment of reading great writers of our day
gradually lost in the fog of forgetting. My wife and I physically hurt
when his emotions get the best of him and he breakdowns and cries
or sobs. I know there are many other caregivers witnessing this slow
departure from life. Some have called it the “Long Goodbye”. It is a
goodbye experienced many times over.

There are support groups to help familes and friend who are dealing
with these issues. It is really helpful to participate in the support groups
as they provide guidance on how to handle situations and where to go
to get additional help. They save time, energy and emotional stress.
Although Charlie’s disease is not alzheimers the results are similar.
To find a Alzheimers Organization near you please use the following
link: http://www.alz.org/apps/findus.asp

Another organization providing informaion is AlzOnline. It provides
information, education and support to caregivers of persons with
Alzheimer’s and other progressive dementias like Charlie’s. A link
to their website is: alzonline.phhp.ufl.edu

I have empathy and prayers for those care givers experiencing this
trauma. May your sacrifices become jewels in your crown in the next
life. I offer my prayers and hopes to those friends and relatives who
are living and fighting these diseases. May your journey be gentle
and without strife.

Originally written: December 4, 2011