Self-portrait for Ash Wednesday

ash-wed dust you are

Memento mori
For dust you are and to dust you shall return.

And so they did some of my loved ones
And so will I

Can I accept just not knowing anything about the after
Can I live with the descriptions other people have made
People who do not know
Or should I enter the dark world of sleeping I have experienced
And find a glimpse there.

A life real only for me, but oh so real
Mysterious, no doubt
Controlled, not in the least

I have written a poem to my father
About him asleep because
He had expressed a fear he might not wake up one day
In the poem I said “Fear not, it is not death yet”

This summer my father died
It is death now
As he lay unconscious, this time we knew he would not wake
He sighed so expressively when Sister Jeanine, a nun, spoke to him and for him
Saying “I know what it is you want…
And you can ask for it
But God will decide.”
Yes, my father was ready and willing
Let us pray that when the time comes however early or unexpected
We shall be ready and willing.

Margot Krebs Neale

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