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.
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happie
Text © Rae Cod
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