I remember her sleeping peacefully,*
The room’s white, sterile walls enclosing us.
Family gathered around,
Watching attentively like wide-eyed children,
Captivated by every syllable of a story.
I remember watching the tiny, frail body:
A body that scarcely resembled her.
The eerie resonance of air
Traveling in and out of weary lungs,
Slow, meticulous and deliberate.
I remember that gentle smile
Etched across her crinkly face.
Drowsy eyes taking in the sight
Of each of those she cherished most in life.
I remember the words meant to soothe us,
That the eternal place she would be in
Could be our home also.
I remember hearing one final, peaceful breath.
Silence encompassed the room,
And gentle she laid
As her life left its body
To decay on this wretched earth.
I remember the body she left behind,
Empty and worthless without the soul inside.
Instead, now enjoying the presence
Of One far greater than all.
I remember no service to commemorate her.
No cold, gray stone engraved with letters and numbers;
Marking the beginning and end of an existence.
For these are merely vicious reminders
Of the brevity of one’s lifetime.
Yet, the earth continues its rotation
And people progress through life,
Oblivious to the demise of this great woman,
Whether or not the world sees,
Our memories of her are branded
Indefinitely in our minds.
*special thanks to Gregory Orr for the first line