Death and Dying

Do not stand
at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds
that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awake in the
morning’s hush
I am the soft uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star that
shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there.
I did not die.

— Anonymous

This is one of my favorite poems found in “Death and Dying” E.Kubler-Ross. I read this when I was 19 years old, and read her book on Death and Dying. The funny thing is, I don’t think I have ever been afraid of dying.  When I was younger, the first death to impact me was that of my grandmother. I had a very close relationship with her, and when we got the call she had passed, I already knew. It was like I was on the phone when my uncle said she was gone, but I was in another room, and I laid on a couch crying, because I knew, she was gone.  When we returned to the reservation for the funeral, it felt so strange for me, to see her there, but she wasn’t, she was all around us, she was standing in the room, listening to people, comforting them as they cried. I cried, because in some strange way, I always thought she could live until I was older, and she didn’t, and I was left alone without her.  I was mad.

When we returned back to Phoenix, the emotions I went through had tired me completely. I remember going to sleep in my room, and something woke me up.  I looked around, and I could smell my grandmother, but I thought it was only my blanket I had taken from her house.  I fell back asleep and another sound woke me up.  Looking at the end of my bed, she was there, telling me not to be mad at her, and she would always be with me, and then she was gone.

I know she is with me, through thick and thin, through wrong decisions and happy occasions like the birth of my daughter and my son. I could feel her there and she still makes her presence known. I just wanted to say, I miss her physical presence, and I honor her always.


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