when breath stops
and all cares fade,
slipping away like water;
when eyes close
never to see a sunrise
or a night fall again;
when a heartbeat stills
nevermore to hurt
or rejoice, we change–
moving out of this world
and on into another.

and this I know,
having felt the struggle
of one life’s passing
let go, released–
bound no longer
to its troubled plane
by earthly feet,
and become instead
a loving presence,
filling full the air,
seeking out the light.

this body we wear
is only a shell,
and upon our deaths,
cracks wide open,
eager for the soul
to at last be set free,
to fly up and out,
showing itself ever
only a tender cocoon,
readying us for the life
yet to come.

Listen to this poem read aloud here: