Solace: Bittersweet

The time of death could not be set precisely
for that night. No unseen angel stopped
the clock or rang a bell, nor did he prop
a sentinel beside the door to free
the passing of the soul. Grace ceased to breathe
alone, in silence, blest relief she’d hoped
for now obtained. When I was called, I groped
for words and choked back tears in disbelief.

They say we’re never ready for the death
of one beloved by us, no matter how
we plan, regardless of one’s stiffened nerve
or keen resolve. In truth, it took my breath,
a sucker punch that hit down low and now
has clenched our hearts–for her, a grief deserved.

Kris DeWild is the piano accompanist for the music department at Central College in Pella, Iowa, and organist and director of music at First Presbyterian Church in Grinnell. She is also a harpist who studies the therapeutic use of harp music, which she plays weekly for a residential hospice.