Archive for the ‘death’ Category


Dirge without Music

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.

So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Edna St. Vincent Millay


My mother-in-law sent this to me yesterday, thinking of my family after my grandfather’s death earlier this month.  I couldn’t say it any better, honestly.  I believe that Pop-pop is sleeping in the grave, waiting for the Second Coming when we will all be reunited with loved ones and spend a glorious eternity in heaven with God (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  I believe this with all my heart, and thank God that he is out of pain now.

But we are left to remember the crinkle in the eyes as he showed us a puzzle, or the timbre of his voice singing or reading the Bible, his wisdom and wit as he led his family (even to the great-grandchildren!) in godly lives, the hands that did many honest days’ work, and the approval shown to any of us who achieved even a small victory.  We remember. We know. And — I am not resigned to their loss.

It seems like a contradiction, really.  But God forbid I, as a Christian, should be resigned to death! Death was not in God’s plan, and He has done everything possible to erase it for us.  The promise of Easter (and Pop-pop died not quite a week after Easter) is that death has no hold on us.  Death is conquered.  It is not forever.  So we should not be resigned, not in that way.  We should fight against death, not in the way Dylan Thomas said — “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” but fight death every day in our actions, our speech, even our thoughts.  We should strive for heaven– a closer relationship with God, and work to bring His kingdom sooner.  That is how we fight death. For when “death is swallowed up in victory” then John Donne’s poem will also ring true for our hearts — “One short sleep past, we wake eternally,/And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”

I am not resigned. Praise be to God.


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the sun is still shining

and birds, no doubt, are singing


the general population is going through their day

following a plan

running errands and


somewhere, too, children giggle

and lovers

whisper sweet nothings

others fight

and someone, somewhere, is perfectly happy

maybe with coffee and a good book


that is there

in that other universe

called reality


in my world

i watch the machines

cringe at the beeps

strain to hear a whispered word

try to see familiar features

lost in a face of sickness and


in this world

(it is small)

everything revolves around the numbers on the screen

the inputs and outputs

that tell everything and

not enough


in my world today

the hiss of oxygen is turned off

and the machines


and the heart beats slow

the numbers fall

and my world





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Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Crossing the Bar — Alfred, Lord Tennyson


This post in memory of Richard Nash, Oct. 19, 1927-Apr. 6, 2013, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great and godly man. Rest in peace, Pop-pop, until Jesus comes again!

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the school bunny

white bunny

at first you jumped at sudden noises

rattles and bangs

kicking and running futilely forced into a small space

then you learned to know us

our different voices

the scents on our hands

grew used to the vacuum’s roar

and (finally) the abrupt thump of the big trashcan

we learned you too

your moods

the “don’t touch me”

and the “what’s happening out there?”

we dared to pet you

you let us feed you the grass from your bed

we learned you liked dried fruit but

NOT carrots

we tried different times to hold you

and you became accustomed to our arms

till one day we let you run

while we cleaned

and for a few weeks it was a habit to

give you your freedom for an hour or two

and only check to see you weren’t

chewing too much paper

so I have to say I’m glad I wasn’t the one this morning

coming down the hall and realizing the huddle in your box

was too still

and that the quick flick of ears wouldn’t

interrupt the rounded softness



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wrap them in peace and shroud them in snow

let pine boughs and windsong whisper of rest

blinding tears freeze on twenty small mounds

so leave them in quiet in a black silent night


grief is the darkness fallen at Christmas

our season of joy is heartsick and pain

where is the light of Bethlehem’s star?

where is the song of the angels this night?


wrap Him in cloths and lay Him in hay

angels and shepherds whisper of glory

Light of all heaven to shine in our darkness

death touched the Child on that silent night


darkness and grief have fallen at Christmas

a Babe took our sorrows and carries our hearts

a cross is the light shining into our darkness

we cling to His peace for our dark, silent night


for the children, teachers, and parents of Sandy Hook Elementary

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This is how I feel today. Empty, dreary, weeping.  Somewhere there is a promise of spring.

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