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Life and death

Life, death-different ends of the same spectrum

in a box together. I think I’ll feel them through

the small hole big enough for my hand to reach.

There’s a void inside that’s not quite ready to meet

me. She has tasted of death, after life; a

life full of worries and strife, from a child to

mother and wife. Loss of a son, then a

husband, who she loved more than life itself.

I can’t feel her through the hole, which

makes me wonder where we go after

we take our last breath on this earth.

No sound of her laugh, always so hearty

and loud. No sight of her bright purple hair

or seeing her smile through the pain; I

wonder if she’ll ever be seen again.

But that’s death for you.

Death has a bitter taste to it, the

taste of stale bread and dirty water.

It’s as if the very essence of life has gone away

to nourish a new baby somewhere, maybe

not today but soon, maybe just before noon,

in the labour suite where new parents get

to meet their new born child, not thinking that

its life, their spirit has come from another

somewhere else in this world; someone who

no longer has the need for this essence called life.

But wait, I see life in the other corner of the box;

it’s calling me, shouting and all the while smiling.

It tastes like the sea, salty and briny, and it

feels like freshly cut grass under bare feet.

As I wrap my arms around life, I hear my children,

my lover, my friends laughing and hugging me,

and I choose to keep hold of this and not weaken.

I drop the box and life bursts out to meet me,

and I wonder where death has gone. The

smell is fading and all I can taste is freshly

baked scones with jam and cream,

accompanied by a pot of Belfast tea.

I can hear the tears of those left behind,

but life goes on and the pain will lessen,

but never leaves until it’s their turn to meet the

grim reaper who will say that it’s nothing personal.

I once heard that each heart has a set number

of beats, and then off to the next life it wanders.

Life and death-different ends of the same spectrum

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