Death, be not proud
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
Natalia was one of my daughter’s best friends and although my daughter is no stranger to death, having lost friends to accidents, elderly relatives to various illnesses and even some of her young students (she teaches visually impaired and multiply handicapped children); this was her first up-close and personal encounter with the viciousness of cancer.
Heidi stayed with Natalia and her husband in the hospital every evening after work, spending the night when needed. She called me every morning to vent about the previous day’s declines, fears and horrors. We talked about death and spiritual matters, our experiences and our realities. My daughter and her husband were with Natalia and Franco until yesterday when it ended and will now help Franco continue without his beloved wife.
Over the past few days as I ‘ve gone about my happy life, planning my upcoming travels and enjoying my days doodling around my house and playing with my granddaughter, I have held Natalia and Franco in my heart, but even more so my daughter. I ache for the pain she is experiencing but I am so proud of her faithfulness to her friends, her wonderful supportive husband who stayed by her side through this journey and her belief in my ability to comfort and guide her. We have learned a lot about each other this past week and I am so grateful for the beauty of her mind and heart, her compassion, loyalty and strength of character.
So, death, be not proud … “One short sleep past, we wake eternally and death shall be no more…”