Death and Dying
A poem by Stephen Emerick You ask me to Speak to you Of death and My tongue becomes the pen Of a ready writer Says the psalmist May the words I speak and The pen that writes on behalf of The One Be therefore like springtime where I do not fear its Arrival on the sweet and pungent Air announcing its Eminent presence For death is Undervalued in the Larger scheme of Life as we see it And life itself becomes Something we spend our lives giving up what has Never been ours to possess There are secrets told here By the wise ones when In rooms of dark night they Speak of freedoms visitation In their dying And as death itself visits in its Season of unreasonableness and Walks the hall of your home Nothing can stop its arrival Nor is there need for such Everything comes down to This breath and That is all And this breath in itself Is enough and in that Moment of birth all dross Falls away and Nothing holds us And everything releases us
'Shroud of Christ'
A Poen by Stephen W. Emerick Cotton shroud With Grace Covers the face Of the Christ And whence the hands and fingers That sewed the shroud That exchanged coin for cotton In the days bustling market And what of the hands that drove the wagons In from the fields after hands and fingers Pulled cotton under clouds In fields of labor Coming home to the seeds, roots, and shoots Born from hardened planting hands And whence the seed Traced to its origin Does not spread the story over us In our living and our dying Revealing in signs and wonders That we came before the seed! Let us take upon us The shroud of Christ So that we who carry The seed of greatness From the womb of the universe Planting us on this earth For this moment in time Shall be the light of Christ And He through our hands and fingers Will touch the whole world Let us pray therefore That upon the dying of our loved ones And yes the death of ourselves When our bones and sinew are gone May our shrouds be gathered up And taken to the highest mountain tops To become The prayer flags of the Christ Waving in celebration Of the planting of the seed
'News of Death'
A Poem by Stephen Emerick There is no time for The rising of dough, nor the raising of children Nor the baking of bread When the winged words of death Spring from your mouth And we must drape the Black-laced garment Of the non-living Upon the clocks lifeless hands of Time waiting patiently, outstretched upon The bedroom wall
When a loved one’s life (as we know it) comes to an end… there is to be a new beginning. Whether you believe in an afterlife or not: there is a life after death. We must nurture it. When we don’t do this (or know how) we experience depression, fear, anxiety, and sometimes despair.
When a life ends ~ the relationship does not. The life as we knew it changed. The person in body is gone. They have dropped their robe. Passed over. Died. These are words we use to try to understand or speak about the experience.
Yet the relationship can go on. How?
1. Your loved one deserves a place in the continuity and movement of your life! As your life continues to develop they have a part in it. As a form of guidance, inspiration, deep love, wisdom, remembrance. And of course, missing them!
2. Don’t make the mistake of “eliminating” your relationship with this person (thinking it is over just because they dropped their robe/died). A robe of many colors, worn, carried, shared, dropped, is still a robe of many colors. It will always be a part of the color of our lives.
Color is as energy, vibration, prayer, and movement: it can change forms and expression but it cannot be destroyed.
1. Continue to nurture the relationship! Be mindful of the inner importance that they have/had in your life. The relationship goes on in: remembrance; reflection; dreams; memories. Be mindful of the sacred places and spaces where you were in relationship with this person. Take some of their clothing and sew a covering to wear in remembrance or prayer. Keep a memento in a medicine bag. A lock of their hair. Something to share in prayer or with others in remembrance and gratitude.
2. Mindful Journey Journal. Keep mindful about the relationship (journal about it, or dance it, sing it, paint it!).
As it develops in this new dimension - in dreams, recollections, sacred places-make an entry in your journal. This active reflection helps you see the ongoing, still unfolding relationship!
1. Finish the unfinished business: If there are apologies, requests for forgiveness or things you wish you had said…. go ahead and do that now. Write them out, speak them to the loves one’s picture or special place. Share this with a friend of great trust if you choose. But do this important work. Make room for love.
2. Embody the relationship: Our muscles, heart, mind and spiritual memory and life is with us always. Just as we may have a “body of work” that we are about (professionally)…. we can also “embody the relationship” with our loved one. Healing is to continue in life. It does no one any good if we carry bitterness or resentments of the loss. This can make one sick. It blocks healing.
Help the body to heal: forgive, remember, love, grieve, celebrate, pray, and have gratitude. This makes room for more of relationship into the days and years ahead.
In the one breath of life our loved one had, you were part of it.
You still are. They still can be. Make it a blessing.
Embody the love! Embody the relationship!