The black door

“For now we see through a glass, darkly;
but then face to face”

A black door, to pass through once.
The flow of time, run shallow, stills at its threshold;
a narrative falls silent, or can we no longer hear?
that silence reaches, touches and affects us all.
Entering alone, an open wall, a one-way lens,
emerging in another place, transformed;
perhaps unscathed? perhaps reborn?

In the short days, the bleak days,
between passing and committal,
the end and the underlining;
we held a celebration of his life
amongst ourselves, moderated,
facilitated, catalysed by a minister,
a participant himself.

A proud loyal skilful man, fierce and dry;
raised in adversity and able to defy it.
Built his own life, created responsibilities,
and stuck it out, with tenacity of purpose,
always there, to see them through;
“Never say die!” he said.
A life complete, a spirit free at last.
While at, or by, the black door:
the reality of life’s laid bare, for us,
but not its essence, of us.

Those that are left, shaken to the core;
the one consumed, we others lost,
our bearings torn away and compass broken.
In private loss and public grief,
to celebrate and mourn,
and then go on: steady, normal; to
maintain our values, but at what cost?

We raise our children, with love;
to bury us, if we are lucky;
to remember us, we hope –
beyond our sight we dare not dream –
and to live on in them,
and their remembering,
on this side of the black door.


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