The End of Time (a poem)

We all know and care about people at or near the end of their lives. Maybe the closer each of us gets to our own end, the more aware we are of those in our lives who are arriving there.

These are not just statistics, but family members and friends, real people, real stories, real pain.

Death will happen to all of us. How we care for each other, with major illnesses, long-term degenerative diseases and the effects of age, shows the degree of our compassion and humanity. To live long and healthy, and to quietly pass in your sleep does is the way most of us hope to go. The reality is much different.

I see your pain, even in your quiet
The life has drained from your eyes
Emptiness has eaten your smile
I can’t even hear your silent cries

The nurse is kind but hurried
Patient as a mother with a child
You came here without any say
Living here permanently exiled

The days turn into months
Every visit shows a continued decline
Disappearing into oblivion
Drifting further from the shoreline

I wish I could reach inside you
To find your inner flicker
Before the fire is extinguished
Sadly, you get much sicker

Shouting to the heavens is fruitless
Nights of praying go unheard
Everything has changed in life
What was clear is now so blurred

Start thinking of the funeral
A thought chilling me to the bone
I know you’re never coming home
The darkening future is now known

I have been working on saying goodbye
Frustrated thinking about your obit
Traveling the road alone is scary
And I don’t have the courage to face it

At night I wish upon the brightest star
Lighting up my world like always
I’ll have to learn to breath again
And how to live the rest of my days

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