Another Way

 

Written by Rae Cod

 

 

In shrouds of black, scythe held high, manner firm, but kind and wise

He goes about his business, collecting souls at their bodies demise

For eternity he listens, to their anguish and regret

Of all their dreams and hopes, and all their needs unmet

Of words unsaid, or said too much, of never seizing the day

Of time unspent with loved ones, because life got in the way

Not for the first time he wondered, could there be another way?

 

One soul dreamt of joining the circus, to perform for all to see

People told her she was crazy, she went into accountancy

For security, money and safety, for fear of the unknown

To reap the harvest of the seeds that she’d already sown

As death approached, her dream, rekindled in her heart

Alas, too late, its beating stopped, no time for her to start.

 

Another soul had worked , until his dying day

He thought that work was the answer, he thought that it was the way

To live a life fulfilled, to show others he was worthy

Work and sleep and barely eat, until the end of his journey

He looked around his bedside, full of remorse that he was alone

He’d worked so hard to prove himself that he faced the end on his own

 

The next soul held regrets that were most common for death to observe

He had lived a wonderful life, but one he didn’t feel he deserved

So he worried, doubted, fretted, awaited catastrophe

Held himself back from a life he could have lived, so very happily

At the end, a crushing blow, to see he had a good life all along

If only he’d been present, instead of wondering what could go wrong

 

 

The next soul was full to the brim, of feelings she never expressed

Of joy, anger, sadness and love, which she always kept close to her chest

For fear of looking foolish, or not knowing where to start

To let out into the world, the feelings from deep inside her heart

She sobbed and raged and laughed, when it was clear she would soon feel no more

Death felt compassion for this soul, who found her humanity at his door

 

The last soul on Death’s list as he finished up for the day,

Was a woman of one hundred and two, who smiled as he came her way

She welcomed him like an old friend, told him she was ready to depart

She’d had an epic journey, it was time for the next one to start

Death rarely spoke but found he couldn’t let this opportunity pass by

He asked her how she was so at peace, knowing she was about to die

 

The woman took his hand, warming his bones with her touch

She told him it was easy, when she’d lived and loved so much

Her heart had been open to all, as she made her way through life

She’d been a daughter, sister, mother, lover, friend and wife

She’d tried all her dreams and failed many times, found other dreams she liked more

She’d been ill and been hurt and lost loved ones, but kept love burning strong at her core

She’d trusted the path, never doubted, that she was always right where she should be

Compassion, trust and perspective, she told him these things were all key

In helping her through the tough times, bringing her back to herself when she strayed

In showing her the joy in the small things, even when she felt alone and afraid

 

If he had breath in his bones he would exhale, a sigh of relief this day

For finally, here was the proof, that there is another way

That a soul could leave in contentment, pass without fear or remorse or regret

Death’s burden of sorrow was lifted, there was hope for humanity yet

He untethered her soul so gently, that her passing was a soft gentle sigh

To the family gathered at her bedside, who had come to say their goodbyes

Death looked back as they journeyed onwards, saw the light in her loved ones souls

She’d taught them how to love, she’d shown the next generation how to be whole

He understood then that this was her gift, which she’d left behind in the world

He looked forward to seeing, at the end of all time, how this gift she’d bestowed would unfurl.

 

 

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happie

 

Text © Rae Cod

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