Met and comforted several grieving families these past weeks. Death never comes easily. My job is made more difficult when I remember that entire families suffer after each loss, their lives changed, their homes bereft of familiar voices they had grown up with. Robert Bagg's poem, "Take Care," from Horsegod, iUniverse Inc, Bloomington Indiana, 2009, resonates deeply with me.
After she’s spoken her last word
my sister and I question Mom’s
still-open eyes. One tear slides
halfway down, waiting for us
to notice before moving on.
Mother had grown feather light.
Two men from the funeral home
carry her out …… on their
aluminum gurney . . . . . each using
two fingers of one hand.
My father was still talking
when he felt suddenly strange.
He had just asked a question:
“Son, what is happening to me?”
Before I summoned the courage
to lie or just tell him the truth,
he was gone. So was my chance.
Take care. Life goes so fast
it makes what you’re composing
yourself to say, late. Even if it’s only
I love you or goodbye.
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