What Fragile Thing Is Life?

10/09/2012 § 3 Comments

When I first held you I was surprised
To see frailty in your eyes,
To feel frailty on your skin,
To taste frailty on your lips.

You were young and so was I,
But even then I knew we’d die.
For Death is the only thing life brings;
Our lives are such fragile things.

Even in the prime of life
We’re only ever half alive.
Each day we’re one step closer to Death—
That day we draw our final breath.

Even in a moment of passion
Death remains, in a fashion.
Even when we create life,
The thought still haunts us:  we all must die.


When you gave birth to our first daughter,
You sat so silent as you held her;
Watching her small chest dip and rise,
Seeing life shine in her eyes.

But even then I could see
You knew our daughter’s mortality.
Though she would grow into a girl
With bright brown eyes and a head of curls.

And later still a fine young maid,
Whom boys would court and woo and chase.
And perhaps eventually a mother
Who would give birth to her own daughter.

You still knew on her first day
That she would eventually decay.
For such is life, this fragile thing—
A bittersweet ending it brings


On the day our son turned four
Death stopped by for us once more.
Our neighbors said it was an accident;
Nonetheless our lives were rent.

We wept as we buried our only son,
A life ended far too young.
Never again did we ever doubt
That we could escape Death’s strong clout.


As we grew older our fate was sealed,
Though our many scars had healed.
Immortality was not meant for man;
Death ever remains in our plans.


Even when your hair turned grey
I still held you every day.
And I felt deep down in your bones
That human fragility of old.

No matter what we try to do,
Death comes to me and comes to you.
It’s written in our eyes and flesh
And can be tasted in our breath.

As you grew even older still,
The song of Death grew ere more trill.
I knew one day I’d bid you adieu,
For we always live in Death’s milieu.


Tonight when I held you I was surprised
To see your Light pass from your eyes.
To taste naught but coldness on your breath,
To feel the trenchant hand of Death.

As I watched you pass from this life—
To go on to the great divide—
I could not help but shed a tear,
For I was losing someone dear.

And as I wept it occurred to me
That Death had made life worth living.
For if I had you for forever
I would not have treated you better.

What made me cherish your life so
Was the knowledge that you’d one day go,
And so when faced with such limited time
I resolved to make you mine.

To cherish every moment we shared,
To let you know how much I cared,
To see that smile on your face,
To feel the warmth of your embrace.

So as I watched you die tonight,
I realized that Death gives meaning to life
And we cannot escape this fate
Tis ours, it will not pass away.


Therefore what remains is this:
To make our lives a time of bliss.
Life is far too short for hate.
Life is far too fragile to waste.

Let us then not waste our lives;
Let us fill them with good times.
To have a life bathed in love:
What more could we ask this world of?


The truth is that man’s not made to grasp
For material things that do not last.
Man was made for other things:
People and the joy they bring.

For life is not merely what we own;
Rather, it is who we’ve known.
Life’s about love and joy;
Smiling girls and laughing boys.

Life’s about happy mothers,
Doting dads and cheerful daughters,
Smiling sons and family,
Gracious friends and repartee.


And so as I bid you goodbye
I realize that I need not cry,
For you made my life worth the living
By never taking but always giving.

You enjoyed a life well spent,
Imparting joy and merriment.
For even in your parting breath
You lived a life in view of Death.


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