I was asked to write this poem for a local hospice. It was read by a professional actress at their annual remembrance service, held just before Christmas. This is a non religious event giving families and friends of those who spent their last days at the hospice the chance to remember them and celebrate their love for them.
From baby days to growing old
This precious life of ours unfolds
With mystery, with good and bad
With happiness, and then with sad
Times when we need to find
Some solace, something warm or kind
Or soft, or ours, or always there
Someone who shows us that they care
We hold these comforts very tight
When daylight fades into the night
Nothing matters quite as much
As smiles, kind eyes – a gentle touch
Hot chocolate, kisses, hands to hold
Sweet memories in stories told
Old teddy bears with sewn on ears
And loving moments over years.
A sister, brother, mother, dad
A friend that we have always had
A jumper, a familiar scent
A piece of music – what it meant
In glorious technicolour we
Recall the way things used to be
When we could feel so frivolous
In times when time seemed limitless
The colours of the sunset blaze
The reds and violets end the days
With beauty, warmth, with sweet goodbyes
With hands to hold and loving eyes
To walk a little of the way
To hold us at the end of day
And even at the the fading light
There’s comfort, as the day meets night.
These strangers, showing deepest care
In times of need are always there.
In quiet times they come and sit
Reflect with us, make sense of it
We talk, we laugh and shed a tear
They listen as we share what’s dear
To us, and how it feels to stand
In cracks, between the sky and land.
Because of them, because of you
The people that we know and knew
Because of comfort that we find
In all the love that’s left behind
Because of you we understand
There’s someone close to hold our hand
And wrap a blanket round our pain
Because of love we smile again
Our memories of loved ones gone
Will not diminish. We’ll go on
To say their names, to talk of days,
Of things they said – the special ways
They spoke, they laughed, they made us feel
They bring us comfort. Help us heal.
And strangers, now our friends, who care
Will walk beside us, always there.