musings of a hopefilled soul

Posts tagged ‘dying’

If I Knew


In light of the shootings in Aurora Colorado, we are reminded of the uncertainty and  fragility of life.  As I was going through some grief information, I came across a poem of whom the author is unknown.  It reinforces the need we each should have to remind those near and dear to us how much we love them.

If I knew it would be the last time
That I’d see you fall asleep
I would tuck you in more tightly
And pray the Lord your soul to keep
If I knew it would be the last time
That I would see you walk out the door
I would give you a hug and kiss
And call you back for more
If I knew it would be the last time
I would hear your voice lifted up in praise
I would video tape each action and word
God knows I would play them back day after day
If I knew it would be the last time
I could spare an extra minute
To say “I love you”
Instead of assuming you would know I do.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day
While I’m sure you’ll have so many more
So I can let just one slip away
For surely there’s always tomorrow
To make up for an oversight
And we always get a second chance
To make everything up just right
There will always be another day
To say, “I love you”
And certainly there’s another chance
To say “Anything I can do?”
But just in case I might be wrong
And today is all I get
I’d like to say how much I love you
And I hope we never forget
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone
Young or old alike
And today may be the last chance
I get to hold your love so tight
So if you’re waiting for tomorrow
Why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes
You’ll surely regret the day
That you didn’t take that extra time
For a smile, a hug or kiss
And you were too busy to grant someone
What turned out to be their one last wish
So hold your loved ones close today
And whisper in their ear
Tell them how much you love them
And that you’ll always hold them dear
Take time to say”I’m sorry”,
“Please forgive me”, “Thank You”, or “It’s Okay
And if tomorrow never comes
You’ll have no regrets about today.
Author unknown

Letting Go

How life could exist, apart from him, was inconceivable!
Yet, he was fading away before her very eyes. 
If she could just get him to eat a bite or two,
Maybe a glimmer of the strong, vibrant man he once was, could be seen. 
Yet all her efforts produced only piles of favorites, untouched on the plate.
Eating was no longer a desire, but an event of exhaustion.
The disease was relentlessly luring him away from her.
She begged him not to go…. not to give up! 
Her tears, a river of grief, became a friend that would not leave.
“He’ll be better tomorrow, he just needs to rest,”
She would tell herself, to make the burden of today, bearable.
Yet cruelly, tomorrow’s hope was not dressed as she imagined.
She saw the distant look in his eyes, now begging to close,
The strength it took to summon one more breath to be labeled alive,
The cool, moist skin never to be warm and loving again.
And in that moment her love for him was stronger than 
Her desire for life’s aria to be sung as SHE had written.
He was struggling and leaving and sighing and slipping through her fingers.
She whispered words she felt would never be true, 
“It’s ok to go, sweetheart .  I’ll be just fine”
A sigh… a sob… then she spoke again,
“I love you too much to ask you to stay.”
…The spoken key, gently unlocked the door, swinging it wide open,
And he drifted peacefully to another world where pain and suffering are not known.
Goodbye… my… love…
……..Ahh!.. the courage, the love, to be found in letting go!

Having provided Hospice care for 12 years of my nursing career, I write this in honor of women and men everywhere who must find the courage to say goodbye to their dying loved ones.

Lynn Radke May 23, 2012