I learnt from Death something of Life today, thanks to you
though you didn’t know it and never will.

A vital mind, sharp, determined, and full, so it seems, of memories
too painful to share; I saw this in those few words you spoke,
and in my few moments watching and wondering who you might be.

Your friend, who kept a vigil at your side, shared something of your
life with me, and I lament the might have been of knowing you.

All I have are the images of your laboured breathing and peaceful
stillness in death, and of the disconnected husk, no longer important,
on the autopsy slab.

These, and the lessons of choosing how to live and die; and how precious
is our spirit and how precious are those we love.

by Edward Clapham

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