On His Death Bed

At the Death Bed, 1940
On His Death Bed by Mikines

He died…
but not before he said goodbye
to everyone and everything
he knew and loved.
Sadness came and went
perfuming the air
around his final breath,
but there was more….

Was it the color
of the room
or the choice
of music playing
that helped them
all forget that they were
standing at the deathbed
of someone,
who had touched
them to the core?
He was not in pain
not at the end;
in some ways,
he had already left,
his worn-out form
shrinking smaller
and smaller,
while Death…
was in the corner,
holding out her hand.

Later people would talk
of it… of that day
when the sun flared
and everyone felt
a little giddy…
like they knew each other
for at least one lifetime,
much like roots
connecting and interlacing
tying all the trees together
in loose knots.
Not related by blood
but by luck.
The good luck of knowing
that shrinking figure
in a white gown,
slipping away
from the talk
and the tears
the music.

Where was the why of this?

Because everyone
in that sunlight parlor
had loved him
at some time,
in their own way,
long times for years,
or a fleeting moment
for a day…
or in other lives,
perhaps lived before.
Who can say?
At some point,
each of their lives had
a little brighter
tears formed
a little bigger
when they parted…
because he brought passion
to the stage
everyone in this
day and age,
was starving
for some of that.

Say what you may,
no one ever forgot him…
and when it was talked about
months later
what a singular death
in such a beautiful
sun’lit room,
with just the perfect music
so harmonious in vibration
and everyone there was so gentle
and special
as if picked by hand carefully
one by one
and stored in his story…
Some, remarked
as they always did,
“Oh yes,
what a beautiful
death he had,”
But the wiser ones
nodded knowingly…
“On the contrary,
“What a beautiful life he lived”.

Karima Hoisan
January 22, 2022
Costa Rica

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25 Responses to On His Death Bed

  1. daleinnis says:

    A beautiful reminder, that life is always a cycle, and even the end can come with joy. Something we especially need to remember right now, I think. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Dale for your interesting view of this poem….you are right that now would be a wonderful time to start cultivating a good death…but as I say in the end…living a good life..gets you more than half way there…I do believe.:)


  2. This is so true to life – I felt very similarly at my father’s funeral…


    Liked by 1 person

  3. KK says:

    You have touched a sensitive topic, Karima. There was an Indian guru, whose disciples used to celebrate deaths. Death is not an end, it may be a beginning too. And if one has lived his life successfully in all respects, he has a satisfactory death too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kaushal for your thoughtful comment on my poem..its theme..Inshallah this is what we hope for a life well-lived will be just that, even in the very end… I have been at many death beds and I have seen proof of this..but in the end, it is not under our control but this is what we all would like to happen and that is the point of view of my poem too. Inshallah!! I enjoyed your words on this subject…🙏🤗❤️🦋🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so good.
    Your such a great story teller.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff Flesch says:

    Oh, such a gorgeous poem to end my evening, Karima. You’ve weaved a tale of love and loss, and so much more, leaning into and highlighting the fragrance of a life lived to its fullest, touching and inspiring people along the way; so much so, that even in death this being continued to move, touch, and inspire. Gorgeous poetry, my dear friend. 🤗❤️🌸🌻✨🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww you ended your day on the death bed, but I am glad you were uplifted by it Jeff:):) Thank you thank you for helping me see how my poetry has touched you…through your wise eyes. Yes a life well-lived brings no regrets at the end…It’s something we can all actively do too (while we are still alive:) Now is the time:) ❤️🤗🌹🙏🦋

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Flesch says:

        You’re welcome, Karima. Always. Indeed, I completely agree, now is the time. Wishing you a beautiful and blissful week, my dear friend. 🙏🌻❤️🌹🦋


  6. Often these occasions bring together people who knew the person who has passed away but until then they never knew each other. When my father passed away we got to meet a number of his friends for the first time. A chapel had given my parents a bird bath years ago and they told us about his work there. As a result we decided to keep the bird bath and repaint it as a memory of my father and his work with those folk from the chapel. A great piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jonicaggiano says:

    This is so beautiful Karima. When one has been sick for a while one can shed this old body and be grateful for that who greets the. Some people are so ready to leave this earth knowing that something so much better is coming. It may be my dog that greets me. I have had a life after medical death experience and I will share it some day. I love the way you ended this lovely write too my kind friend. I am sending you buckets of love and blessings. 🤗🦋❤️🥰💋🌹💋🌹


  8. Harshi says:

    Your poem just took my breath away! You have crafted it so well!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh you are most welcome…Enjoy getting to know this old place:):) I’ve been here since 2010:)


  10. Virginia Mateias says:

    Reading this was like observing a preview to a movie. Very well executed, Karima ! Congrats

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you Virginia..what a lovely comment..Now that you said it..Oh yes, I can see it too.. It could be the trailer of something much more developed..with fashbacks, multi-locations etc:):) I love that idea:) Thanks so much for stopping by..


  11. What a wonderful poem! Truly impressive, reminding us to celebrate life and the people who touch our hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

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