Sunday, September 16, 2012

Poetic Bloomings Prompt Death

Immunization and Cure

I suppose I became somewhat immune to death as a child.

Dad was a hunter
Dead animals everywhere
Their deaths helped us live


My grandmother on my mother’s side was the first to go. I was only five. Mom would take me down to her house and I would play in my world while Grandma was in the adult world. Pappap and Mom must have worked hard taking care of her, but it was all in my peripheral. When she died I just thought that’s what old people do. It was a part of life to me, like dead fish in the frig.


My red boots dangled
When Dad lifted me to see
Grandma’s still, white face


In my teen years my grandfather on my dad’s side and my mom’s sister passed away. It was odd that the first time I saw my Dad cry was when my aunt died. I wasn’t all that sure he even liked her since Dad criticized a lot. That’s when death first touched my feelings, not because of my loss, but because it made my Dad cry.


When my Aunt Marg died
Dad sat hunched over and sobbed
I stared in wonder


When I was a young adult, death’s painful emotions caught up with me for the first time, when my friend’s baby died. We had prayed for little Bethany when she was born with a defective heart. She only lived a few weeks. Her parents’ grief saturated the air making it difficult to breathe.


Baby doll in lace
Sorrow and grief sting and claw
We live on, with scars


They say the care-giving spouse goes first, which was the case with my mom and dad. Alzheimer’s rendered Dad unaware when Mom died. He died two months later. I gain comfort knowing that neither one of them had to grieve each other’s death. I often picture Dad spying Mom at heaven’s gates and exclaiming, “What are you doing here?” My four sisters and I painfully plowed through each first holiday without them.


Without Mom and Dad
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
Celebrate with tears


And now death has touched my generation. On a demolition job, tons of steel and concrete fell on my brother-in-law. Our last family reunion included a memorial.


Husband died, sis crushed
Said goodbyes through coffin lid
Full reunion waits


I am not immune to death. I feel it with all my senses. But I count on Christ, the one who rose from the dead, to be the cure. His death helps me live.

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