Oh my children, my children,
my sweet, sweet children
how I so very much love you all!
Come to me again that I may hold you in my arms,
clasp you to my breast
and kiss your eyes one last time.
My hearts, hear me:
cry only in joy,
weep only for others
and promise me that you will laugh out loud
whenever you think of me hence.
I know that you will not forget me—
but I go hoping that someday
you will also understand me.
This is the second of two poems I call my “Epitaph Duet.” The first was My epitaph. The idea is that both stand as separate poems but that together they form a vague third.
But the issue with such serious weighty things as the last words you get to say is that it is hard to deal with the thought of how much you will hurt—if only for a little while—the loved ones you leave behind. As I wrote this poem, I realized that is why so many epitaphs are humorous: it is a great way to escape the awful finality of the idea you are facing.
Thank you so much for reading Laugh out loud. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.
Thank you for several people asking if there is any significance to my writing an epitaph. As far as I know, no, I am well and will, I hope, remain a burden on the poetry writing community for years yet to come. Dealing with the subject of a personal epitaph was an intellectual and emotional exercise only.
© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2013 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.