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A Child's View of Death

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Below is the poem entitled A Child's View of Death which was written by poet Carolyn Devonshire. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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A Child's View of Death

A Child’s View of Death

People say now that Grandpa was thin
But he had plump cheeks; cancer had set in 

Each Sunday penny candy in my hand he’d place
And with rugged hands he’d embrace my face

To an impetuous toddler, his cigars smelled foul
But I don’t remember him ever sporting a scowl

On the way to mass my hand he’d squeeze
And no one ever mentioned his disease

But I’ll not forget the way mama cried
When she hugged me and said Grandpa had died

Though yellow tulips bloomed outside
I entered that parlor where emotions ran high

Grandpa looked peaceful, like he was asleep
I walked softly toward him, not making a peep

Where was that smile I’d come to expect
Not one movement could I detect

It can cause harm taking preschoolers to funerals
Death viewings can be the most frightening rituals

Fear lingered for months as I dreamt of him
Lying in a coffin, his skin cold and face grim

Children should remember those who have passed
Alive and happy, the way they’d seen them last

A fear of death plagued me for many years
I couldn’t accept that good people disappear

From our lives, to be buried in the ground
In thoughts of this loss, my spirits drowned

It wasn’t till later I realized the eternal life of souls
And that in both forms of life, we each have our roles

Be sure to tell little ones of God’s special home
And how our deceased loved ones sit by His throne

In coming to terms with this revelation
I learned to see death as a new life’s creation

*For Lay's "Darkest Childhood Memory" Challenge

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire

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  1. Date: 10/8/2013 1:16:00 AM
    WOW! This hits close to home for my son. I just recently learned how things a few months ago looked through my sons eyes from the day my Dad had his stroke to the day we buried him.

  1. Date: 1/29/2011 1:19:00 PM
    WoW what a read.I never thought of how it might be percieved by a child but took all my grandkids to say their final good-bys to my mom their great granny.Thanks Carolyn.Congrats on your win.~LUV~Teresa

  1. Date: 1/24/2011 4:20:00 AM
    Congratulations on your win Carolyn in the contest "My Darkest Childhood Memory"sponsored by Walayee (Lay). Love, Carol

  1. Date: 1/23/2011 7:49:00 PM
    This is amazing piece of poetry Carolyn. Many congratulations.

  1. Date: 1/23/2011 7:10:00 AM
    meant " THUMBS UP!".. nette

  1. Date: 1/23/2011 6:59:00 AM
    most beautifully scribed; my kind of poetry indeed, carolyn… one big THUMBS to you! :) hugggs, nette

  1. Date: 1/23/2011 5:39:00 AM
    Hi Carolyn - This is so beautifully poignant. I love your poems. Congratulations on your WIN in Walayee's contest. Best wishes, KC

  1. Date: 1/22/2011 3:21:00 PM
    Congratulations on the well deserved win in the contest, Carolyn

  1. Date: 1/22/2011 1:36:00 PM
    Congratulations on your win..Sara

  1. Date: 1/22/2011 12:00:00 PM
    Congratulations on your great win in Lay's Contest, Carolyn...I'm glad you wrote this as it heals...Love, Annalise

  1. Date: 1/22/2011 11:54:00 AM
    Cograts on your win Carolyn! A beautiful and necessary write; Thank you for sharing... Lay

  1. Date: 1/22/2011 11:54:00 AM
    Congratulations on your in in Lay's DCM Carolyn, love Wilma

  1. Date: 1/10/2011 4:51:00 PM
    That was beautiful! Reminds me of similar experience with deaths in my family, It always makes me sad to think about. Excellent idea-delivered flawlessly!

  1. Date: 1/10/2011 12:52:00 AM
    Darkly beautiful, very strong.

  1. Date: 1/9/2011 4:34:00 PM
    Cancer took my grandfather as well. Thank you for sharing. ~Blaine

  1. Date: 1/7/2011 9:17:00 AM
    Well done, Carolyn, my dear friend! I still remember my granpa's death in 1951! My mom died from cancer but my grandpa hat heart problems. Wish you best of luck in the contest! Love, Gert

  1. Date: 1/6/2011 6:53:00 AM
    Another beautiful and a touching write, as the theme itself is very serious. I think children should be told about those things, which you have explained in the concluding part of your poem. However, on this problem its great write. My good wishes for your contest entry. Love and best wishes always......Ravindra.....Carolyn Devonshire.

  1. Date: 1/6/2011 5:53:00 AM
    there can never be a darkest hour. it last for days and days fear and depression have powers. and lingers too long with pain. john

  1. Date: 1/5/2011 3:03:00 PM
    Hi, Carolyn, this is a beautiful and sweet poem. Through the years I have attended many wakes. However; there is one I remember seeing when I was 8 or 9 ( I am now 74) this kind sweet lady had the most peaceful and beautiful smile 0n her face. You know there is a heaven and she must have seen the angles. Peace and God Bless, Jancarl

  1. Date: 1/5/2011 12:28:00 PM
    Sad, inevitale fate of we humans. My father died a few months ago and I read a poem about him at the funeral. Poetry can help one "weather the storm". Have you sent the book out yet? I look foward to seeing it. Matthew Anish