Poems of Loving

Living Doesn’t Stop for Death

Living doesn’t stop for death.
It takes a breath
and simply sheds
all its former overheads.
Like a well-worn coat,
too shabby to be given
to a charity shop.
No, living doesn’t stop
for death.
It comes inside to lie by the open fire
on a thick shaggy rug, free from desire,
even a bit relieved.
It doesn’t forget us, the ones who are bereaved.
It wants to tell us that all
is well. But we, the embodied, we
seldom hear its call.
We can’t – we’re grieving. We weep bitter tears.
We feel abandoned. We’re stuck in our fears.

But living doesn’t stop –
it opens its heart and sends a shower
of love-soaked light, of life-giving power.
Sometimes, some of us get it.
We pause and smile,
stop crying for a while.
We nod, take a deep breath
and say, ‘It’s true.
Loving doesn’t stop for death.’

About this poem: This was inspired by my mother who died on the 20th January 2011.