Readers' Poems

A Parting Poem: When I Die by Sheryl Wentworth Woods

My dear friend, Sheryl, wrote this poem during her battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. Her daughter read it at her memorial service. It reflects her deep spiritual connection with nature and her belief that when we die, we are never truly gone. Sheryl was a kind, loving, and gentle human being. She was also a trauma survivor. Like many of us, she struggled with anxiety and depression for most of her life. She is finally at peace. I will miss her.

Sheryl

When I Die

I will wander with the wind
Free gentle wild
You will never catch or glimpse me
Who knows where the wind goes?

You will know I am there when
March blows spring in
rain slants to the ground, brings birth and green
robins return riding on my shoulders
I carry their song to you.

You will know I am there when
summer stands so still you will think I have gone
then I will rage with bluster and storm
split the sky with light, shatter the silence
my presence will be known.

You will know I am there when
Autumn leaves rustle, I nudge them to the ground
Hurricanes rave, rush mighty breakers to the shore
Trees bend, branches break
I roar, howl, sap warmth from sky.

You will know I am there when
I knock at your door and rattle windows on wintry nights
Wood smoke winds ‘round chimneys, falls over rooftops
Silent snow drifts, sifts through my hands
I scream and turn your back to bluster and cold.

I am there when
eagles hover on invisible currents
I travel continent to continent
change course, stop to wonder.

You will never catch the wind or hold it in your palm
I am the first breath, the last breath
Spirit.

Sheryl Wentworth Woods

8 thoughts on “A Parting Poem: When I Die by Sheryl Wentworth Woods”

  1. She left a pretty poem, but truth is so much better than fiction. The true God can sometimes be compared to the wind, because you can’t see Him, but we can understand how something invisible can have awesome power. Someone who has died, is in others’ memories, but sleeping and powerless. They cannot be anywhere else but in their loved ones memories- until the day Jesus talked about, when the Resurrection takes place. Then, without painful memories and afflictions, they can wake up in a healthy perfect (sinless) human body and see what God’s original purpose for the earth and humans is like. It is a wonderful hope, a real hope, that Jesus gave his life for.

    Like

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