I was in the room when the doctor announced “There appears to be a mass behind your aorta.”  

My father is an intelligent man and although we spent the rest of the week in the hospital for the biopsy and a week more for results, we both knew. 

Fucking cancer. 

I wish I had words for the experience of breath leaving your body. 

It’s as if time stops.  

Short enough for no one else to notice but long enough to recognize when it begins again. 

She left the room. 

And we just stared at one another, half smiling. 

“So this is how it ends.”  He almost chuckled.  

Even when you’re 91, you never expect it. 

And ignorantly, neither did I.  

Weeks later we were having breakfast together, discussing death (as one does when upon death’s door) when he did one of my favorite things:

He spoke in poetry. 

“Death, be no proud, though some have called thee . . .”

I asked him if he had a copy of the poem and he described the color, size and feel of the book I should look for on the wall-to-wall bookshelf.

I found it, along with many of his other favorite poems and (as one does when upon death’s door), I asked him to share. 

Because at the end, isn’t that what we all seek?

Time to share. 


Let us share. 

Written by John Donne. This poem essentially laughs at death.
Death thinks he wins but in the end, we live eternally in the after-life.

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