I received the news of my death today.
It was told to me by rustling leaves
in the August trees.
The news of my death came to me
unadorned,
common
and familiar.

The news of my death
was told to me at my birth
and it followed me through my growing.
The news of my death
rejoiced with me when my children were born
and comforted me
as I sat with my dying mother and father.

The news of my death
told me tales about the ones
whose blood runs in my veins
and wept with me
for all the sorrow they endured.

***

Now that I am older
the news of my death comes to me more often.
Sometimes in a forgetful moment
or in the dull and steady ache of my bones.
I set a place for it at my table
and invite it to sleep with me in my bed.
The news of my death nourishes me,
and makes love to me.
The news of my death reminds me to be grateful
when I wake up in the fresh new light of day.

And when my time to leave this world comes,
I will be thankful because
although the news of my death has preceded me
it will labour with me at the end
and together we will celebrate
the story of my dying life.

This poem was inspired by the lessons taught by Stephen Jenkinson, in his book Death Wise.

Photo credit: Qualicum Beach Sunrise by the incredible Douglas Farmer.