Category Archives: death

Writings and prose concerning death and its affects.

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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

Final Goodbyes Said

Garden og the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Goodbyes said,
Final ones!
The next time we meet
There will be no “Goodbyes.”

I saw your pain
In the reflection
Of your eyes.

They told
Of your suffering
And your small reserve.

I acknowledged
Your kiss to my cheek.
With kiss of love
And caring to yours.

I continue
My petitions each night.
With many prayers
In between.

I wish for you to complete
Your “To do list” swiftly.
I pray your doctors
Keep you comfortable.

I also pray
You are able
To maintain your dignity
Through the travails ahead.

Goodbye my dear uncle,
But I really mean
“Until we meet again!”
Originally written:  June 28, 2000

These few words were written to help
relieve the pain I was feeling as I
bid Goodbye to a dear uncle.

Uncle Jay and my father were the closest
of brothers.  When Dad needed help
Uncle Jay was there to help.  The
reverse was also true.   He became a
father figure in my life after Dad died.
My wife and I are still close to his
wife Auntie Dot.

I did not want to say goodbye
but I knew we both needed to
acknowledge this was the last time
we would see each other would
be when I crossover into the next world.
I did not want my dear uncle to
continue to live in horrible pain with
terminal bone cancer.

We said our loving goodbyes and wished
each other well.  Surrounded by
his loving family my dear uncle
crossed over to a new life in November
2000.

I Wonder

An old family picture

I wonder
On this day
And others,

What gifts
My parents
Left me.

From my father,
I am goal oriented
Pragmatic and a politician.

Oh yes!
I am stubborn
As a concrete post.

From my dear mother,
I am grace and faith filled,
Artistic and generous.

And yes!
I am thankful
And lovingly romantic.

I am very lucky!!

Originally written:  May 15, 2000
Mothers Day was Sunday, May 14th in 2000. Mother passed away in
October 1976. My Mother-in-law passed away in July 1991.  My Dad
died in January 1975. My Father-in-law died in November 1982. Mothers
Day in our family is a well celebrated event with family gathering to share
a meal and a day of stories, teasing, and games.  It was also sharing the
chores of cooking and cleaning up afterward.  It is a family tradition and in a
way a family ritual. It has been a ritual building family relationships of
understanding and patient endurance.

On Mothers Day it was natural to reflect on family and what gifts were
passed down. and the prose above. The words rattled around in my mind
all day.  By the next day they just begged to be written down in my journal.
They were written down just this way, as if the words were indelible.   The
were no corrections or word changes.  Eleven years later, I would still make
no changes. 

Yes, I am very lucky!