Life and Death

Tonight I think of how death

reminds us how to live—

engraved on beloved family tombstones

words to tell us to

enjoy simple pleasures.

Or maybe it’s a Buddhist textbook

with earmarked pages perched

on my bedside table

which describes powers

of living in the present moment—

and about life’s impermanence,

like time spent time brushing our teeth,

watering flowers, walking about our gardens

or mindful meditations in local parks.

Or maybe it’s those dead philosophers

like Socrates who profess that death

has no place in our lives.

Maybe I feel this way because

many friends died last year,

and memories of mother in oblivion

in intensive care unit after multiple tumbles

from her aged horse’s back.

Is this nature’s song

and a reminder to forge ahead

dwell in the moment

and make the best of each day?

Perhaps tonight I collapse into sleep

and not wake up to feel the satisfaction

of how I knew

how to smell flowers,

water my internal garden,

and give myself permission to live.

Diana Raab is a memoirist, poet, blogger, and author of ten books and over 1000 articles and poems.  She blogs for Psychology Today, The Wisdom Daily and Thrive Global. Her latest book is Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Program for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life. Visit her at: