Wrote this for my August writers’ meeting–used a prompt from a book I have called “Writing Poetry to Save Your Life” by Maria Mazziotti Gillan. The prompt was “why I read the obituaries”. This was something I wrote in about ten minutes and probably needs extensive editing–but you can read my draft and see if you find you have anything in common with me:
Why I read the obituaries
Not sure why I read the obituaries~
At one time I looked at the births
The weddings and anniversaries,
The milestone birthdays and the graduations ~
Now, I look at who has died
And hope that I find no one I know that day
Who has gone on to that proverbial better place.
It is an odd progression
Birth to death.
Death seems so final
But I hope it isn’t……………
When I find someone I know who has died
Feelings of regret and sorrow and maybe relief intertwine.
Regret that I did not know the person better or that I had
Not fulfilled my obligation to them
Sorrow that now I will not be able to right the wrongs
I may have inadvertently—or hey, if we are being honest here
Advertently cast on that person
And relief—perhaps an odd emotion but relief for that person
Now that they are out of pain—either physical or emotional.
Admit it, this life is a roller coaster
And sometimes the ride gets rough
And sometimes it is exhilarating
It all seems to be the luck of the draw–
When we are happy, when we are sad
When we are born, and when we die.
I like to think that death is not the end
The end of what—I do not know–
It is just that I cannot imagine no longer being here
To breathe, to laugh, to cry, to mourn…..
Death takes us all in the end
But I like to think that it takes us elsewhere
To dimensions unknown, pathways untrod
And that in those dimensions and on those paths
We have choice
Choice as to what we want to do with the rest of our life