If you only knew

Light through a doorway on a dark night
Light through a doorway on a dark night

Mother (as we called her then) had lost her friend
her dear friend Verity had died
and Celia was sad. Three days later
in the dead of night she had a visitation.
Verity stood at the end of her bed
laughing and laughing and laughing
and shining with delight.
Celia was enraged. “How dare you laugh
when we are weeping?
How dare you laugh when you are dead?”
and Verity said, “Because it’s all so simple!
If you only knew! It’s wonderful!
Dying is simple and death is fine!”

MP3 recording of this poem

Poem and photo by Rachel McAlpine CC BY 2.0

Alternative recording: m4a

22 thoughts on “If you only knew

  1. When my mother passed in her sleep at 92 and I spoke to her friend later, telling her that mother was ready to go, she responded as follows: “I know she was and I told her, ‘Mary, when you go, let me know and I’ll go with you’!” Sometimes, death is better… Nice poem.

      1. As my dad lay dying, he told us his friend Joe–who had recently passed–was at the foot of his bed. Life does go through phases. We seem to be in the good-bye phase now, although there are mighty sweet little hellos coming from grandbabies.

  2. I had a similar experience when my grandmother died. I was washing a wall at the time and she “dropped by” to say she was fine and was going far away. Glad to read another account of a similar event. Few people share those experiences.

  3. I like the symbolism of the light in the door against the lights of the larger world to accompany your poem’s descriptive language.

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