My Siddur (Jewish prayer book) is filled with gems of poetry. Not only the beautiful Shabbat prayers which we recite as a group, extolling the wonders of Creation, blessing and praising the Creator; but also poems which capture the mood of the Shabbat service.
Such is a poem, When I Die, by Merrit Malloy. It is one of several meditative poems to be read prior to the recitation of the Mourner's Kaddish. Poems which ask us to reflect on the frailty of our human condition, our too human body. Counterpoised to the actual Kaddish prayer which clearly proclaims the perfection of creation, and God's plan for creation which of course contains the living and the dead:
Exalted and hallowed be God's great name
in the world which God created, according to plan.
I'd like to quote the last stanza of Ms. Malloy's poem, When I Die. It is one of the poems I'll ask to be read at the service held in honor of my departure from life. Yes, I have begun to collect such poems because I am fully aware of how fleeting is our stay here.
Last stanza of When I Die by Merrit Malloy:
You can love me best by letting hands touch hands,
and by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn't die, people do.
So, when all that's left of me is love,
give me away.
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