Always There

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.

Jenny Knight

2020

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