November 1, 2021

Life and Death by Diana Raab

Tonight I think of how death
reminds us how to live—
engraved on beloved family tombstones

words to tell us to
enjoy simple pleasures.

Or maybe it’s a Buddhist textbook
with earmarked pages perched
on my bedside table

which describes powers
of living in the present moment—
and about life’s impermanence,

like time spent time brushing our teeth,
watering flowers, walking about our gardens
or mindful meditations in local parks.

Or maybe it’s those dead philosophers
like Socrates who profess that death
has no place in our lives.

Maybe I feel this way because
many friends died last year,
and memories of mother in oblivion

in intensive care unit after multiple tumbles
from her aged horse’s back.
Is this nature’s song

and a reminder to forge ahead
dwell in the moment
and make the best of each day?

Perhaps tonight I collapse into sleep
and not wake up to feel the satisfaction

of how I knew
how to smell flowers,
water my internal garden,
and give myself permission to live.

Diana Raab, PhD, is an award-winning memoirist, poet, blogger, speaker, and author of 10 books and is a contributor to numerous journals and anthologies. Her two latest books are, "Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life," and "Writing for Bliss: A Companion Journal." 

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