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"Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

Friday, April 16, 2010

ON MAKING ARRANGEMENTS prompt "death" 04.16.10

On Making Arrangements

We are busy doing the things that need doing
Facing up to the fact of our own mortality
And it’s every bit as difficult as one might think

Oh, it’s not that I’m squeamish about dying;
I may not be religious or believe in a specific
After-life, but I do have spiritual thoughts

That co-mingle with scientific ones and they
Comfort me well enough to let me live
Reasonably sure that life has purpose, and death

Might not be the actual end, but just different
No – the intricacies involved with settling our
Affairs, as it were, have to do with pre-arranging

Our unorthodox - at least the unorthodox –
Disposal of my remains; wanting to donate all
My organs, if possible, or do a complete

Anatomical donation, if my organs are not
Fit for the other, is a hard sell in some ways
And an even harder bit to articulate in writing

And, neither one of us – my love or I, want
Much money spent on a funeral – no viewing
Definitely not, no fancy coffin, or perpetual

Care resting place, or elaborate urn, for us
No – we are both members of the Memorial
Society – a group devoted to keeping costs

Minimal – they will see you get buried or
Or cremated, for the lowest amount of money
Possible, and arrange an inexpensive memorial

Too – if that’s what you want – in our case
My church will be doing that – and at a fraction
Of the cost of the usual shindig

So – the big deal with my plan is making sure
My family are on-board; apparently, if they are not
It will not matter what I want, or state in my will

When I go, they will be able to over-ride my wishes
And do whatever they please – so yeah,
We are talking about this – a lot.

Luckily, both their Dad and I believe that what
Happens after death – as far as memorials etc.
Is really for the benefit of those left

And don’t really care much what they do
Whatever brings them comfort actually
So – when they realized that, things grew

A lot less tense – and I was touched when
My eldest, a new mother herself, faced
With the thought that there would be no

One place she could go where “I was”
After I was dead – like a cemetery, or
A crypt, for example, asked if I would pick

A place where she could plant a tree
In my memory so that she could tell
My grandson that it was a place I liked to go

It hit me then, how important things
Like this can be for those that are left behind
And I recalled how often I go talk to my Dad

Who is buried under a tree in my Mom’s
Churchyard, the only consecrated ground
In a new churchyard in the city, as it happens

He is the only one buried there and no-one
Knows but family; there is a plaque inside
But my mother worries about vandals ...

So I will find the perfect spot for my tree
And tell my daughter to be sure to tell
Her son that he can talk to me anywhere

But that for sure, I like to hang out around
This particular tree and if he goes there
I will hear him always, and be glad of his visit

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