A Death in the Family

by Daniel   Jun 14, 2019

I was 6 hours ahead when
you rang.

You sounded relieved
as if years of limp weight
had been lifted
from your shoulders

Old crutches -
it was the day I turned
back to nicotine,

the cause of her death.

“Everyone needs a vice -
mine’s whiskey on ice.”

Her at her wisest.

On the flight home,
I wondered how it’d feel
to die alone.

I went to my mother’s to discuss
her funeral;

Uncles and estranged aunts,
who now knew her better;
fair as the weather,
some had never met her:

“I told her those things
would kill her.”


“she was the backbone
of this family,
she’ll be sorely missed-“

“Well tell me why you’d
never visit-‘

“I’m not the only one.”

“I’ve got the little ones-“

“And I’m so busy at work!”

“Why don’t we stop bickering,
and talk about our fondest
memories of Grace.”

Now not a sound.

Cutlery on china
never sounded so loud.


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Latest Comments

  • 1 year ago

    by nourayasmine

    I feel super uncomfortable at funerals. My cousin died a few years ago. I loved him so much, he was like my big brother. But nobody else in the family (except his parents) was saddened by his death as much as I was. At his funeral, I was feeling devastated, so it felt pretty hurtful to hear my relatives talking about the weather, their kids, schools, work... etc. This piece was full of unease and feeling of loneliness. They're family members, blaming each other for being so busy to visit or call. But in fact, they're not close at all, they don't even have memories of each other. Very sad.

  • 1 year ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    So much heaviness in this, and often, uncomfortable to read. It's so hard because what is ever the right or wrong thing to say? When family speaks their minds but may also be self-conscious on why they didn't do more, visit more, etc. How will they be perceived by other family members? Those ending lines gave me such a taste of sadness, the overwhelming loss and wonder what to do now...

    Take care <3

    • 1 year ago

      by Daniel

      Funerals are always a little awkward. So many things to say and so many questions. Death has the power to connect and divide people.

      Thank you MA. :)

  • 1 year ago

    by (Olwin ) Lee Mcdonald

    This poem is so well written and definitely leaves the reader thinking. Too often funerals ARE the only place and time that familys ' meet up" which is very sad :/
    " Cutlery on china
    never sounded so loud"
    Loved this expression.

    All the best
    ~ Olwin.

    • 1 year ago

      by Daniel

      Thanks Michael, Oldwin. Glad you guys liked the ending :)

  • 1 year ago

    by Michael

    A very well told story fella, with the ending a loud verse! :), M

  • 1 year ago

    by Scott Cole


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