Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-dying June 27, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:53 am
Tags: , , ,

One tumour

one bed

two hands clasped

four walls

five chairs

eleven shallow breaths a minute

twenty-four  syringes of pain meds

counting down now

four days since you ate

five days since you spoke

how many hours

of life?




Good bye Auntie Linda

who passed away at 10 p.m. June 26, 2014

apparently moments before I wrote this poem.

I’d been with her at 9 p.m.




56 Responses to “poem-dying”

  1. keelymyles Says:

    Aw… ❤

  2. rolltidejen Says:

    Sorry for your loss. Just found out my own aunt has Stage 4 cancer, so this really made me tear up. It’s so hard.

    • She was perfectly healthy 6 months ago. It’s astonishing how quickly this happened. Blessings on you and your aunt.

      • rolltidejen Says:

        Thank you. I can’t imagine what you all went through having it happen so suddenly. I guess it doesn’t matter how healthy a person is or is not. I’m really sorry for your loss.

        We’re hoping for the best for my aunt, but it doesn’t look good. She had a cough for seven months before she finally went to see a doctor to get it checked out because she was having trouble breathing. She was hospitalized and within days found out she had Stage 4 cancer in her lungs, kidney and liver, as well as another tumor attached to her skull. One of her lungs collapsed and her chest is full of fluid, but she’s undergoing chemo and radiation treatments like a champ, bless her heart. My mom and grandma are taking turns caring for her. They’re in Alabama, so it’s been tough not being able to do anything from so far away. All we can do is pray and offer her comfort.

      • Ah, that’s rough. Blessings on this journey.

      • rolltidejen Says:

        Thanks. She’s going to need them.

  3. Ginz Says:

    Sending you hugs from this side of the pond. That is such a moving poem. Many blessings to you and your family

  4. Embracing a Wounded Soul Says:

    😦 so well written, so hard to read. Presently going through the slow loss of a loved one.

  5. Julian Metta Says:

    Sigh. I didn’t expect that. My heart goes out to you, your husband, and all your family.

  6. sundryfolly Says:

    I am sorry for your loss.

  7. timthepoet Says:

    This reminds me of when my dad died. He was on morphine to the end. Lovely poem and so well crafted.

  8. Very strong writing

  9. It’s a hard thing to watch someone go through – their last task of living. Glad you were able to write about it.
    – former hospice nurse –

    • Thanks, Shirley. The staff have been a blessing. What an important work! We don’t have hospice here, but there is a palliative bed (or 2?) in the same extended care unit where my dad is.

  10. krishhna Says:

    So sorry Shawn

  11. redgladiola Says:

    *hugs* I’m sorry you and your family are facing such a trying time.

  12. words4jp Says:

    The moment I read this i thought of hospice…and my mom – i was there for ‘the’ last breaths. My heart goes out to you and your husband. xxx

  13. raroto Says:

    I agree with your remark in response to a comment above, about how quickly the cancer had affected your aunt’s health. I lost my father to stage 4 cancer approximately 6 months after the doctors made the diagnosis. By that time it was just too late for any treatment. Our only consolation was that his sufferings weren’t prolonged.
    My condolences on your loss.

  14. syl65 Says:

    Blessing to you and your husband. My brother passed away earlier this year. A very moving poem.

  15. Merryn Says:

    Felt the pain and the coldness of this unrelenting disease. How I hate cancer. It has claimed so many of my loved ones. So sorry for you and your hubby’s loss. Just horrible that you had to see Linda go through that. Your poem brought back memories of when my aunty (Dad’s sister) was dying of cancer – I saw her two weeks before she died. Prior to that time, she wouldn’t allow anyone to see her – she wanted to deal with the news first; In March of 2003 she was vibrant and healthy, her musical laugh heard amongst others at my brother’s engagement party. In November, she had gone :(.

  16. How sad, it is difficult to watch this happen to a once vibrant person. All you can do is stay strong and be there for her. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  17. Powerful and real… just beautiful, thank you

  18. I read this to my girlfriend whose father died earlier this year in a way your poem tells, she cried in memory and at the beauty of your words. Such a touching and eloquent description of the last days of a loved ones life, heartfelt. My condolences to you.

  19. thesewordsiwrite2012 Says:

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.

  20. I’m sorry for ur family loss. RIP.

  21. 3RueSleidan Says:

    Beautifully written. Beautifully described. I work in hospice and understand the challenges we face at end of life…challenges for everyone, patient and family alike.

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