• Ruth Esau

When Death Comes

Mary Oliver, so delightfully expresses what so many of us feel as we have had to shift, to pivot, to create space for change time and time again this past year. We have sought to inspire others and to find inspiration ourselves. And in spite of all that has been taken away, we wanted to and continue to want to live lives of meaning and deep fulfillment.


When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn;

when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;

when death comes like the measle-pox

when death comes like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering: what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea,

and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth, tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world


When Death Comes

Mary Oliver

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