I'll never forget what my science teacher told me in 9th grade. She said, "from the moment you're born, you begin dying". Racing toward death, to the moment our vitality ceases: that is our destiny. Some wordless image has been burned into my mind every since I heard her say that ominous and strangely comforting phrase.
At 1:30 in the morning on March 3rd of this year I opened my eyes to realize that I had been lying in bed for 2 hours trying to sleep; the pounding of my heart had shocked my eyes open and caused me to realize the truth: I was mourning. I could feel blood throbbing through my body and pounding my temples and flooding my mind and heart with the image of my mother in her coffin, her hands that had been busy her whole life serving and loving and giving now posed on top of each other, still and at rest. I thought of her lying there and how the seeming torment and pain of life had ceased, and I longed to be like that; I would have given anything to be at peace.
So I did what I do in all of my moments of personal despair and loss and confusion: I wrote.
Hands of Love
I am the racing dead, repulsed by shrill
Pulsings of my own heart, beating bleeding
Life into these veins that would remain still,
Collapsed if my will were a heeded thing.
Lying here bound by the sound of this slow
Death, this carnal clockwork winding down and
Loosing life's coil with each chambered hollow,
I am stilled and filled with peace by Your hand.
Your hand that wrought me in my mother's womb
And through her own touch showed me purest love.
Her hands rest now as You once did, entombed,
But she lives and loves, held in hands above.
In hope my heart cries, "Death, where is thy sting?!";
She rests with Him, the Daughter of the King.