“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”
Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial
The poems in this collection are about walking the road to death’s door with a loved one and returning alone. The first group deal with how we listen to the dying, respect their needs and choices, set our personal pain aside, try to ease their suffering while also confronting the inevitability of our own death and the impending loss of the one we love. The experience is one very few people escape. It’s as universal as the idea and experience of death itself. The second set of poems in the collection deal with what happens following the death of a loved one, that is, how we who still live survive such a close brush with death, how we untangle our memories, and how we must turn our backs on that dark place to embrace acceptance and life.
This is no guide on how to die or how to support the dying. It is an examination and exploration of one person’s unraveling of the experience: the loss, the guilt, the recognition of one’s own mortality, and the learning to let go of it, so that life can be lived despite it all. The poems will evoke the reader’s own experiences; they will present ideas and images that shed light in buried places. And perhaps a degree of acceptance, even healing will follow with a new willingness to forgive ourselves and others for being human, and a new appreciation for air, water, earth, sky.