This post on Shu Ting and the following three posts on Rumi, Hanh, and Gibran contain poems which have helped me process deaths I have experienced in my family and which I share with others undergoing a similar experience. Each welcomes the reader into an understanding of dying and grief that reaches beyond a self-centered reoccupation with one's own suffering.
Click on "Read More" to read this poem called "Gifts" by Shu Ting.
My dream is the dream of a pond
Not just to mirror the sky
But to let the willows and ferns
Suck me dry.
I'll climb from the roots to the veins,
And when leaves wither and fade
I will refuse to mourn
Because I was dying to live.
My joy is the joy of sunlight.
In a moment of creation
I will leave shining words
In the pupil's of children's eyes
Igniting golden flames.
Whenever seedlings sprout
I shall sing a song of green.
I'm so simple I'm profound!
My grief is the grief of buds.
The spring will understand:
Flying from hardship and failure
To a future of warmth and light.
There my blood-stained pinions
Will scratch hieroglyphics
On every human heart
For every year to come.
Because all that I am Has been a gift from Earth.