Death In America
"Death in America" - 6/9/21
When someone dies, it is almost always sad
When someone dies, and has lived a long, beautiful life
With few regrets and loving family by their side
I am not sad for myself, but may nonetheless be varklempt
For their children, their children's children, for whom
The absence of said loved-one will be most deeply felt
Death in America is so many things. Especially now -
It often springs from violence or neglect (whether by oneself
Or by systems corrupt); every once in a while, it seems to me
A death should be downright celebratory. A chance to realize
With wide open eyes and a crystal clear heart
That such-and-such person's life lived was pure art
My family average has never been high; diseases from cancer
To heart failure's why I've never met so many elders myself
Including both grandmothers (cancer took them)
Those are the deaths I mourn most profoundly
They did not happen recently, they weren't here yesterday
I did not know the creases on their face with familiarity
But through the odd story told I've managed to derive
A handful of not-so-vivid, barely envisioned memories
I am saddest, admittedly, for these losses grieved
Subconsciously passively subtly courageously
Their closest kin forged on losing parents so young
No chance to share their own children's accomplishments
No mitzvot to reminisce on together recurrently
No debates to have together on high holidays
No questions answered about which I've often wondered
Death in America is a strange thing, especially now
Cut off from the spirit-world, most of us lament any loss of life
Automatically sending condolences and I understand why
But I think, to be honest, it's important to reflect on the difference
Between lives well lived, lives cut short, lives long-suffered
And lives, tragically, regretful
Where the repairing of restless souls
Must be done after-the-fact
By those who survive, all too loss-awake