Death Comes Swiftly

by Angela Umphers Rueger

‘Tis the lot of everyone to hear the portal call.
Some respond in infancy, and others when they’re old—
Active youths quite full of life, and ancients growing cold.
Many times death comes without a hint of imminence;
Just as oft, the denouement brings sweet deliverance.
All will die, but none can tell just when or where or how;
The duty of each man and child is to be ready now.
Death comes swiftly when it comes, or it comes not at all.

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4 Comments to “Death Comes Swiftly”

  1. Very nicely done! Excellent portrayal of the most certain of life’s certainties. Circle of Life. Love this topic.

    Spiritual ending? “or it comes not at all”? Having personally seen a different reality, I will very humbly and respectfully offer a different opinion to Your line “Death comes swiftly when it comes” and say in Your defense – We hope it does! But surviving is not living and those who live that fate can only wish that “Death comes swiftly when it comes”. Kudos on an excellent piece and prodding us to think about the reality we all like ignore!

    • Here are my original notes, which may help you to see what I was thinking: “In my last line, I do not intend to imply that some will not die, but rather that the swiftness of death is a certain as death itself. Some will argue that they have seen death come extremely slowly in certain cases. I contend that they were watching the life build to its climax, or perhaps settle into its denouement; but they were not watching the death. Death is merely an entrance into eternal life. It takes but a moment to walk through a door. It is not a process, but an instantaneous transformation—some to glory, and others to perdition.”

      • Ok, I guess that makes sense to me if You are using the door analogy. That moment comes swiftly. I guess my frame of reference have been situations were the person is already gone but the body lives on. Thank You Angela for the value of Your time and willingness to elaborate!! So Thoughtful!!!!

      • I watched my dad decline over months from brain cancer, and was with him when he took his final breath. And before that, we also looked on helplessly for 4 agonizing days while my brother lay in a coma after being hit by a car. For both of them, the transition from this life to the next was difficult to watch, but the death itself–the release from his frail body–was a moment of victory, not defeat. I’ve seen others die too, and every situation is different, but I like to look death as victory, for it helps ease the pain of loss.

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