What I Know About Dying

Everything I Know About Dying

Aile Shebar


You say a prayer.
You lie on your back in a hammock with the petals of gardenias
And lily of the valley covering you
And you look at the fireworks overhead.
You count the stars
In between the technicolor light show of red, white, and blue bursting
Showers of glitter strewn across the night.
You put yourself on the star that has your name on it.
You watch a diaphanous winged insect emerge from its cocoon,
And you marvel at the rainbow its wings are made of.
You breathe deeply into your heart and let it expand and break apart
With feeling and love for everything you see and smell.
You touch the hand of your child,
Now a grown and exquisite woman,
And you pass the spark to her,
You give it up to her
And you continue to follow your breath.
When you hear the music you know you have arrived.
It is a whimsical Debussy piece
Played with great skill and caring by your daughter on the piano,
And it holds you in its spell a moment longer.
New music spirals upward, a serene symphonic score
Of depth and beauty, created this day for you,
And you think, “They’re playing my song.”
You smile because you feel that good, clinging to nothing, no one,
The fragrance from the petals on your body, so pleasing that
You breathe deeply again and
Remember you are dying.
You have on your body a white satin lace gown that shows the color of
your skin
And feels more comfortable than even your own.
You are ready to dance back through your life;
You feel yourself in a forest of your experiences,
You see every blade of grass underfoot,
The cobwebs on the leaves of the low shrubs,
The massive redwood trees,
And those who inhabited your garden: men, women, children, all,
Precious cats and canines, wild dolphins that knew and loved you
Are with you.  And you see by their presence that it’s time…
Everything you know about living and dying is with you,
And you use it to remain relaxed, conscious, at peace.
You close your eyes, and
The geometric design of the air you breathe is what you see,
The molecular structure of your own matter,The very walls and faint pulse of your dying cells.
You sigh, “I go back now”
Raise the index finger of your right hand
And draw the small circle of your life in the air
As you enter yourself completely, at last.

Aile Shebar is the originator of Writing from the Heart™, a writing process that helps writers and non-writers alike to find their inner voices and set them free. She is a published author and poet, a writing coach and editor, who also produces events in Asheville relating to music, mystical poetry, and sacred dance. She can be reached at aileamana@charter.net

Love Joy Peonie
Photo by Skye Stanton Gold

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker