Saturday, April 2, 2011

When Someone Is Dying

written by Stephie Goldfish
What do you say to someone who’s dying; he who’s passing from the earthly over to the heavenly realm?
I tried to find some words that were comforting or at least appropriate for something as major as Death.
I have never been before someone in their final hours, except the time my Grandmother died, yet I was out in the lobby with my mother when my Grandmother took her final breath, with my twin sister and aunt by her bedside.
I fumbled out, “It’s OK, Mike,” and “We love you, Mike.”
I prayed silently, as well as openly with him. I, even in my anxious, nervous way, asked him, “Mikey, you want to watch the latest news on CNN (he was always up on the latest Breaking News headline), and I laughed inside at the silliness of such a question when he was going through a most pure and lofty event as his final hours.
My twin sister and mother had been there before he died, but my mother couldn’t bear to see her first born like he was, so my twin sister took my mother back home.
I can’t believe I was there when he spoke his last words and that I was the last earthly creature to hold his hand, to kiss his forehead when he was ready to pass over to the hands of God.
He formed words trying to tell me some things, like when he said, “Maw maw.”
Were others there too; to assist him in this Rebirth, this shedding of the earthly life into a New Life? It made me feel as if he could see our Grandmother right there in front of him.
Is this how it is in the end; like so many think; our passed loved ones waiting for us in order to welcome us into eternity with the One?
I’d rather believe this than not. I do know that this earthly life is not all there is, and God is infinity, and we are made in His image.
Mike had asked me several times during his last hours for the time. And, as the first morning light began making things clearer and clearer, I would let him know the hour, the day, and made sure to remind him it was the first day of spring. I painted a vivid picture of the view outside his French glass doors which opened onto a veranda that overlooked the Ohio River and the new span bridge that goes over into Proctorville, Ohio. The sky had grown silver over the night, but it was still a beautiful view, and the birds were singing a new song.

Michael took his last long exhalation at approximately 8:30 that Sunday morning. And as simple as death can appear to be, he went peaceful as most people say happens at death.
About four weeks before, Michael had hopes of seeing another spring. When I first heard this, I wrote a poem thinking of Michael, but also about the last stage of our life here on earth, when we move from the winter season of death to the spring season of Life Everlasting.
Yes, Michael lives to see another spring.

Another Spring
written by Stephie Goldfish

He's grown dry, like in
the winter season when
dead trees fall down.
Just as a desert that is
barren of water, his tears
have all dried up. Like a
river bed emptied after
a drought, it's hard to
swallow and wash away
his pain. His heart has grown
cold without the warmth
of nurtured love, just as
the land lays destitute
and vegetation becomes
scanty after the harvest
has been reaped. Like a
forest in flames, his nostrils
breathe fire from the burning
air. Yet, relief comes to him
with the blossoming of
a new Spring, when the snow
and ice has melted away
the cold and bitterness
of his heart, and rivers of Life
flow through him once again.

Today I am sharing this poem and story and linking up with Cheryl over at Culture Smith Consulting. I've been away for a few weeks, but I am happy to be back.
Culture Smith Consulting


  1. A new Spring for Mike where the flowers never fade and the SON does always shine. Beautifully written and your poem is lovely.

  2. My dear Stephanie, I'm so sorry for your loss!

    Helping another usher in Death and Life is a holy moment few of us are prepared to do. What a lovely tribute to Mike - this poem, the lovely photo and your thoughts here in this post. I'm sure you'll have more processing to do in the days ahead. May God grant you His very presence, the Comforter and Spirit of Peace, as you walk through this next season.

    Love and hugs dear one.

  3. Hazel, Thank you! Those are such comforting words and thoughts.

  4. Cheryl, It was such a holy moment. Thank you for your comforting words too.

    At the very end, it sort of put me in a state of shock. Death is such a sting. But I know he's no longer suffering.

    May God comfort you as well, and be with you and your family during this most Holy season.

  5. Stephie,

    Your post moved me to tears. What a beautiful account of such a sacred passage. I cannot imagine the pain you have endured and yet, you blessed us, your readers, by sharing. Thank you!

  6. JoDee, Your words blessed me today! Thank you so much for reading my post and for your encouragement.