Poem: When Someone Dies...

Updated on November 25, 2017
TessSchlesinger profile image

In times of great emotion, Tessa Schlesinger writes poetry. She's done so since she was five years old.

RIP : Graham Robert Farrel : 21st July 1947 - 25th November 2017

This morning, at 5.10 am, my brother-in-law passed. He had a long and happy marriage to my sister, Charmaine Schlesinger.

He left peacefully, still loving my sister, and while he made peace with the fact that the end was near, he did not want to leave.

It made me think about my own ambivalance about life. I do not treasure it, for it has been too hard. Yet, in his passing, I have come to value mine.

Self Portrait of Graham Farrel

Self portrain of Graham Farrel
Self portrain of Graham Farrel


Death, when it comes, brings a sharp clarity.

It strips us all of superfluous hilarity.

Those of us it leaves behind,

To sorrow, we are confined.

But it’s way much more than that.

The meaning in our own lives falls flat.

What did it matter?

All that lengthy chatter?

Did every moment count?

To what did our lives amount?

What does it all imply

When we leave this life to die?

So many now are gone,

And we that are left must soldier on.

As my mind and heart deliberate

These complexities I contemplate.

I have only one thing left to give.

I will value this life I have and I will live.

Graham, and my sister, Charmaine, on their wedding day, so long ago, now.
Graham, and my sister, Charmaine, on their wedding day, so long ago, now.

The Chemical Man - For Graham Farrel

Graham bent down over his chemical work.

It was something he never did shirk.

The stuff in the bowl

Played a great role

In cleansing the soul!

He sold it to some

Who bad things had done

And then they became

Saints of the game

And were never the same.

So one day God came down

And looked at him with a mighty frown,

“What are you doing, my son,” he said,

“I’m fixing the men who evil do spread,

So all can safely tread!”

“Well, that’s very well done,” said the God of the earth,

“Your chemical skills have certainly given birth

To a greatness that I never did think

Could be accomplished by a simple drink.”

Then, he turned, smiled, and was gone in a blink.

Well, the chemical man was so pleased with this thought,

That he gave it away free, and it was never again bought.

Soon the world was a great place,

Full of kindness, and love, and grace.

But the best of the lot

Was the pleasure he got

That God had a smile on his face!

© 2017 Tessa Schlesinger


Submit a Comment
  • Mark Tulin profile image

    Mark Tulin 

    11 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

    Enjoyed the Death poem. I gravitate toward this theme because it speaks to the purpose and meaning of life when someone close to us goes. Thanks.

  • k@ri profile image

    Kari Poulsen 

    16 months ago from Ohio

    My prayers are with you. Sorry for your loss.

  • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

    Ram Ramakrishnan 

    16 months ago

    Poignant words ...

    Indeed nothing matters, yet everything does.

    We realize the first only after experiencing the latter.


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