• Celia Marion

Death in the Garden


When one has lived long and fully,

had time to bloom and create seed

for future life,

when one has had time to age,

to slow, to whither and dim,

the expected visits from God's Hand of Death

is welcomed as part of the natural cycle.

We are missed. We are mourned.

We are let go and blended

with rich memories.


But when one is taken unexpectedly,

at the fullness of bloom,

or even before the blossoming begins,

the expectant promise made empty

is wretchedly felt by those who stare

at the empty space.

The color, the scent, the texture

are gone too soon, irretrievably gone.

The shock shakes the foundation of faith,

and grief walks with despair.

For there are no answers from the Gardener

who has cut the flower so soon.


Only when we have walked for a while

holding the Hand of Death,

leaving the door open

for anguish to come and go,

only when we have kept our hearts open

to the acknowledgment of a purpose

greater than our individual lives,

when we have cried out our sorrow and

let the tears mingle with the grief of all

who mourn through time,

then may we see the void filled with a gift

that would not otherwise

have been received.


The loss is not lessened;

but somehow, in time,

room is made for more,

for something new,

perhaps unexpected and inexplicable.

It may be that only God knows

that it is in memoriam.




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