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Spring has announced itself
All around me outside
Signs of new life---budding tulip trees,
Grass remembering its green,
Peepers crooning love songs
And I sit inside, next to you
As you begin what some will call
your long slow walk towards death.
But I know better,
For I have been given the honor
to bear witness to the birthing of your wings.
I have watched you now for days,
As the crystalline webbing is spun around you
And if I look, with soft eyes,
I can see those ethereal threads of light.
And if you turn your head away from me
As I try to give you a sip of water or a bite of food,
I am not offended,
For I know that you are drawing your sustenance elsewhere,
From that place that seems beyond the density of earth,
Yet surrounds you
And if you do not seem to hear my words,
I draw comfort that you are pulsing
to the rhythm of divine sounds,
in order to synchronize the fluttering of your wings.
Some may focus on how your body has withdrawn into itself,
But I watch how you are forming your wings,
Within that cocoon of light,
And how they are growing and growing
And I know that as you rest with your eyes closed,
You are testing the strength of those wings,
Until that time when you will be no longer able to hold back
And you shall take wing and soar, soar, soar.
for my mom, Bolyn Imperial (gbm)
April 10, 2002
Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the
morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and
strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white
cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
"Gone where?" Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and
hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port. Her dimished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the
joyous shout: "Here she comes!"
And that is dying.
So they cry healing waters come on down
Healing waters come on down
Keep holding on
Giving out the best that you can give
Sometimes we're not that strong
Keep praying for the healing
Don't give in
Don't give in
(You're not in this alone)
(You're not in this alone)
---from "Tears Like Flowers," on Sarah Masen's Carry Us Through CD
Do no great things,
Only small things with great love.
Life is short and we do not have too
much time to gladden the hearts of
those who travel with us, so be swift
to love and make haste to be kind.
---Henri Frederic Amiel
Strength Against Sorrow
Sorrow comes in great waves...
but it rolls over us, and though
it may almost smother us,
it leaves us.
And we know that if it is strong,
we are stronger, inasmuch as
it passes and we remain.
---Attributed to Henry James
When you are sorrowful,
Look again in your heart
And you shall see that, in truth,
That for which you are weeping
Has been your delight.
This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your
And nothing we can do
And nothing we can say
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you,...but
We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
There's a place with God's grace
There's a place where we'll see your
We'll see your face again
And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father smile and say "Well
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and...
We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so...
We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
And we let go with hope
---Words and music by
Steven Curtis Chapman
As You Slipped Away...
Today, such grief does fill my heart...
This life is done; you must depart.
I take your hand and draw you near,
and whisper softly, "Do not fear."
Your heart beats out its last goodbye.
The time has come for you to fly.
I hold you as you slip away,
but know we'll meet again some day.
Though tears of sorrow fill my eyes,
I feel such peace in your last sighs...
Knowing now that you will soar
far away to distant shores.
No longer will you feel the pain
of being bound by temporal chains.
No earthly garb to weigh you down.
On wings of peace, you leave the ground.
An awesome gift was given to me
to hold you while your soul went free...
With freedom like you've never known.
The Voice of Love...has called you Home.
---Sue A., friend of Sally D. (gbm)
God saw you getting tired
When a cure was not to be....
He closed His arms around you
And whispered, "Come to me."
In tears we saw you sinking...
We watched you fade away.
Our hearts were almost broken,
You fought so hard to stay.
But when we saw you sleeping,
So peacefully, free of pain,
We would not wish you back
To suffer that again.
So treasure him, Lord,
In your "Garden of Rest,"
For here on earth,
He was "one of the best."
You have to accept whatever comes
and the only important thing is that you
meet it with the best you have to give.
I am home in heaven, dear ones:
Oh so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.
All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed:
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in Heaven at last.
Did you wonder I so calmly
Trod the valley of the shade?
Oh! but Jesus' love illuminated
Every dark and fearful glade.
And He came Himself to meet me
In that way so hard to tread:
And with Jesus' arm to lean on,
Could I have one doubt or dread?
Then you must not grieve so sorely,
For I love you dearly still:
Try to look beyond earth's shadows,
Pray to trust our Father's Will.
There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand:
Do it now, while life remaineth---
You shall rest in Jesus' land.
When that work is all completed,
He will gently call you Home;
Oh, the rapture of that meeting,
Oh, the joy to see you come!
And the day came when the risk to
remain tight in a bud was more
painful than the risk it took to
I walk; my soul is flying
I cry; but I'm rejoicing
I hunger; You're edifying
Bathed in light I roam this life
'Til time takes me home
Forever I will live
Immortal, immortal, immortal
I talk; my heart is singing
I kneel; and I'm ascending
I'm wounded; but You are healing
Earth is bright through Holy eyes
That search from above
And my spirit's leaping
Straight to the gates of heaven
Where I belong
My feet have journeyed
Longing to reach my home
I'll be safely home
I'll be safely home
---Michelle Tumes, from the CD
Center of My Universe
To love someone is to learn the song
in their heart and sing it to them when
they have forgotten.
When you get to the edge of the light
that you know,
And there is only darkness in front of
Faith is knowing that there will either
be Something solid to stand on,
Or you will be taught how to fly.
What becomes of the light of the
stars when the sun appears on
Such light is ravished and absorbed
into the sun's supreme light with
which it is happily joined!
He who binds himself to a joy
Does the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.
You can't direct the wind,
but you can adjust your sails.
God didn't promise days without pain,
laughter without sorrow or sun without rain.
But God did promise strength for the day,
comfort for the tears and a light for the way.
And for all who believe in His kingdom above,
He answers their faith with everlasting love.
Most of the important things in the
world have been accomplished by
people who have kept on trying when
there seemed to be no hope at all.
Requiem for the Living
Don't weep for me when I'm gone.
Those who knew me know full well
that in love and in laughter, I lived as
In my heart of hearts I have served
my calling, waiting for this time to
come, when I would see my king.
is a precious thing
and a little thing:
my life is a little thing
when it will end here
is God's secret.
And the world
is a little thing,
Like a hazelnut
In His-Her hand---
but it is in His ever-keeping,
in His ever-loving,
is in His ever-making,
how should anything be amiss?
Yes, all shall be well,
and all will be well,
"and thou shalt see thyself
that all manner of thing
shall be well."
I pray God grant you
all your good wishes,
desires and dreams---
it is all in the choosing,
it is all in the asking.
---meditation adapted from Julian of
God's Heavenly Garden
Sometimes God picks the flower
That is still in full bloom;
Sometimes the rosebud's chosen
That we feel He's picked too soon.
Sometimes the flower is fading
With petals floating down,
But God knows the perfect time
To gather flowers from the ground.
There is a heavenly garden
In which God takes great pleasure
Because He's placed within it
The loved ones that we treasure.
He walks among the blossoms
Giving them eternal rest,
And I know that it must please Him
Because He chose our very best.
---Dorothea K. Barwick
When you were born, you cried and
the world rejoiced.
Live your life in such a way that
when you die, the world cries and
---Native American proverb