A Humble Request

When I die
I want an anguished but feisty funeral

tears—lots of them—streaming down everyone’s face

and wailing!

Lots of wailing….

Go ahead and rent your clothing.

Collapse in heaps if it helps you.
Dissolve, sobbing, in each other’s trembling arms.

Load the pews with tissues, people are going to need them.
Even the pastor should choke on her words,
biting an occasional knuckle for the strength to get through this.

For this funeral you will need a big boisterous choir
and possibly a trumpet or two.
Long blue robes will be a must to hide all those hankies.

Have them belt out “O Happy Day”
roaring up from a hush
to drown out the weeping.

As for me, I’ll be up there praying
that eventually
you will reach
the greater understanding
of why I had to come here

teach you what I could

and leave you, sadly, aching with loss.

Comfort each other
and try, bravely, to carry on.


This poem appeared in Evergreen Living, Nov/Dec 2005.

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