Notes on Dying

Photo by: ChattyRuth sxc.hu
Photo by: ChattyRuth sxc.hu

Dying.

As diverse as it is similar.

Don't we all go alike?

The heart stops,

Then life ceases.

That is death.

Dying is never unvarying.

Some accept, some cannot.

To some the end of suffering.

There are those at peace,

And those who fight.

Expected or unexpected.

Gradual or immediate.

Moments of lucidity,

A final goodbye of sorts.

Dying prolonged indefinitely.

The comatose,

Exists on life-support.

The social unit,

Refusing to give up.

Quality of life,

An unenviable issue to confront.

Facing the loss of a loved one, 

What an arduous duty!

To some it is terrifying.

There are those who pray,

Or curse in denial.

Enduring CPR,

with it's violent chest thrusts,

and invasive activities.

Some are prepared.

Others refuse to think about it.

I am not afraid.

Being too well acquainted,

To be intimidated.

                             By: Tammy A. Lochmann



Copyright © 2010 Tammy Lochmann

Photo by: lindamac sxc.hu
Photo by: lindamac sxc.hu
Photo by: carneyc sxc.hu
Photo by: carneyc sxc.hu

More by this Author

  • Little Girls Love Polly Pocket Dolls
    6

    I'm writing this because I just finished cleaning out my daughter's room. There must have been fifteen Polly Pocket dolls under the bed and in every crack and crevice there were Polly's accessories. Every holiday,...

  • My Favorite Southern Expressions
    49

    Eat up with the dumb-ass Balls to the walls People would look at my feet all the time...to see if I was barefoot. Older than dirt gimme some sugar You goin Jukin tonight? He sure is puny She treats me like the...

  • What I Love Most About Being a Nurse
    34

    Nursing is a very demanding profession, both mentally and physically. Nurses work long hours. Nurses spend most of their working hours on their feet. Nurses do not just take care of patients; they take care...


Comments 86 comments

wolfpack5 profile image

wolfpack5 6 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Tammy, that was a beautiful read. Great job ! :)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Death is such a great leveller - and so final, isn't it? Loved this, Tammy - it makes one think about one's priorities while living!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

wolfpack5...Hello my friend. Thank you for stopping in and for such an encouraging comment. I am happy to see you.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Shallini...It is always wonderful to see you! Living is what is really important isn't it. Thank you for your most kind comment, coming from such an accomplished author it is an honor.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Tammy-I have found in the many deaths I've witnessed that they are so varying, as you point out.

Lovely-

Laurel


DiamondRN profile image

DiamondRN 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

Being a Christian takes the "sting" out of death. I used to fear it. Now I know it is just another chapter in our existence, Tammy.

Some of my happiest days are when I see a friend or relative turn to Jesus for their salvation.

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." - 1 John 5:13 (NIV)

Praise God.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Laurel...Thank you for your wonderful comment. I am proud to hear them from such a wonderful writer as yourself.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

DiamondRN...Thank you for adding your very spiritual comment. I really appreciate it.


Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

Ghost Whisper 77 6 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

This was excellent! I am not afraid either, actually I welcome it! Good poem ROCKSTAR!


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

Tammy-

Wow-this is incredible;I know so many nurses would empathise with your feelings in this poem.Well done.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

GW77...ah Warrior Princess, as strong and faithful as you are there is no doubt. Thank you for the encouraging comment. Lotsa love Tam


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Ita...I hope this doesn't sound as though I am in burn out...just contemplative. So glad there is another Nurse around to know these things. Thank you so much for your enthusiastic and encouraging comment.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Tammy, I have seen a lot of death in my nursing days. Those that have faith die so easily most of the time. They know where they're going and they don't seem afraid. On the other hand, I have seen people very frightened and there is nothing you can do to take away the fear they have. I thought you wrote a very special poem. Good hub.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

No ,not burnout-reflective.It shows you have a big heart.


Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

My dear Tam...

That poetry touch was exquisite! You sure expressed it beautifully! I enjoyed it very much, my dear!

Thanks for sharing this!

Thumbs up!

warmest regards and blessings galore,

Al


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

WOW! Poignantly beautiful. You touched upon so many ways that we as human beings experience and confront the finality of death. Your warm and compassionate heart came through with the style of grace.

A very beautiful and well written poem,

Sage


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Ah, the steps of dying. Versed as a true health professional could. Very beautiful. Thanks


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Death is such a mystery to me, especially after being with my Dad when he died. I very much appreciated your words on the subject.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware

You managed to cover all the emotions, feelings and reactions to the one constant in life - death! Well done, I always look forward to reading what you write, thanks for that!


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 6 years ago from Central Texas

Exceptionally and beautifully done, Tammy. Thank you for these thoughts. As we all begin dying with out first breath at birth we've got (if we're lucky) a long time to contemplate the end of our journey. Truthfully, my only fear is living past my usefulness and just existing -- which for me -- would be a living death. Best, Sis


christalluna1124 profile image

christalluna1124 6 years ago from Dallas Texas

Tammy,

How beautiful. I just lost my niece and sister-in-law in an accident there on highway 42 at Hattiesburg. It was in the Hattiesburg American. It really killed me . It was on Monday night around 7pm. They were both so young. Good to be in the mix again.

warmest regards,

Christal


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hi Tammy, go girl with poetry, I think everybody is almost scared of death, I for one, am scared for my childrens sake, what if I die early and I cant see them have a good life, but then its part of life, Thank you Tam and happy weeekend, Maita


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Mystique...thank you so much for the accolade. I always look forward to seeing you.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Sage...thank you so much. I really put extra time into this one. Great to see you!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Pamela...Thanks so much for stopping in and taking the time to make a comment. So glad another nurse who knows has dropped in. It's always a pleasure to see you.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Micky D...Thanks my friend, I hope things are going great for you lately. I will be by to visit some of your words next week.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

sheila b...thank you so much for sharing. Death is a mystery to me too. I am not afraid of it though. I am like Angela more afraid of ending up being feeble and a burden on someone else. Sorry you had to endure the loss of a parent.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Jen's Solitude...Thank you my friend I always look forward to your new hubs too. It is always wonderful to see you.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Sis...thanks for the wonderful comment. I have the same fear as you. I would hate to become a burden to my family or anyone else. Great to see you.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Christal...Are you still in Mississippi? I am so sorry for your loss. That is really heart breaking. I hope your family is okay. I will have to look up the article. My sincerest condolences on such a tragic loss.

Thank you for reading. My thoughts are with you.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Maita...I worry about that too, but not afraid. I would hate for anyone to lose their mother or father early in life. Life is precious and I am sure you have been told many times that it's short too.

Thanks for the lovely comment and for stopping by. I always look forward to seeing you.


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

Way to go Mrs. Lochmann you are a poet to the Nth degree. I thoroughly enjoyed your view on death, your words (and I know a lot of folks say this, but I don't often) really touched me. I have been donating plasma a lot, and I don't know, something about all the needles and blood, has got me thinking about death more lately.

At the end of your poem, I can tell you are someone who gives or has seen CPR given. I gave it one time to my childhood friends Grandpa and watched the purple color leave his face. The intensity of that moment will live with me forever.

Now it's off to read your "Death To Funerals" article, from the surface, it sounds exactly the way I feel, I think we share some of the same wavelengths lady.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

Hi my kindred spirit! Lovely and frank poem.

People that deal with the sick always ponder on such things. It is like we are seeking meaning - we are fascinated by death, but it fears us too. It is like touching the flame, don't you think?

'Life is for living'

Shaz x


Moulik Mistry profile image

Moulik Mistry 6 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

Sure this is a good poem - death always lurks about us...


avangend profile image

avangend 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

"Too well acquainted/to be intimidated."

In its familiarity, Death becomes almost as a friend; you know its habits, its profession, its ends. You can predict the reaction to its arrival, for once it is present, the surprises generally stop.

Desensitization, in the form of eloquence.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Ben...Thanks my friend. I guess I got a lot to let out. It's great to see you!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Shazwellyn...We both share that little dark rebellious side for sure. Thank you for you wonderful comment. It is so nice to see you.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Moulik...Nice to meet you. I have checked out some of your poetry. Thank you so much for the very kind comment.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

avangend...Wow what a beautiful comment I am stunned, thank you so much.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Very moving poem - thank you for sharing it.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

2patricias...Thank you so much for taking the time to read and make such a nice comment.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Very touching! I know you've seen your share of death and dying.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Thanks Holle, always good to see you. lotsa love Lockerman


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

I have put his up on my blogsite-backlinks to here-it's too nice not to share.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Oh thank you Ita, what a really nice thing to do for me.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Really beautiful. it touch my heat. Nice hub, Tammy.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

prasetio30...Thank you so much my friend. I must go and see what you have been up to. What a sweet comment you have left.


poetlorraine 6 years ago

i thught i understand dying very well, until i saw my mum die with cancer, and now i do not understand anything about it...... i think when you come back to this work in about 3 months time, you will have surprised yourself at the depth of your understanding on this subject. I feel you could use this one poem, as a template for many many more,


jayjay40 profile image

jayjay40 6 years ago from Bristol England

Beautiful words, such emmotion. well done on an excellent hub.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

poetlorraine...Sometimes I wish I wasn't so well acquainted with dying and death. But being a Nurse was something that I chose to do consciously. Funny though I am coming upon my 40th birthday I have been thinking a lot about more meaningful things such as in this poem.

Thank you so much for the encouraging words. Your comment means a great deal to me.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

jayjay40...Thank you my friend! Your little monkey speaks a thousand words...LOL I love it!


electricsky profile image

electricsky 6 years ago from North Georgia

Thank you for your beautiful thoughts on something that will touch all of us eventually.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

A very thought provoking and interesting way of looking at death. It's funny how that goes, the acceptance or the non-acceptance of it all. The fearful and the unafraid. My grandfather who is 93 says every day that he wants to die and I often find myself unable to rationalize that. His perception of the fullness of his life now, and the quality of his life now is, of course, very different than mine at 36. I'm sure that has something to do with it. And I'm certain that when he was 36 the thought of WANTING to die may have been equally foreign to him then.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

electricsky..nice to meet you. You are welcome. Please come back and see me again. Thank you for taking the time to read and make a comment.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Springboard...Hey haven't seen you for a while. I liked your fox news interview. Anyway... I thank you for your personal comment. The perception of dying and death I have found changes with every person and every situation...it's very interesting really...in a morbid way. Thanks again, I really appreciate you taking the time to read and make a comment.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

I came by just to read your response and I want to see that smiling face, Maita


TattoGuy 6 years ago

Workin late tonight so popped by here to get cheered up, jeeez I think I will slit me wrists ; )


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Maita...thanks my friend.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

TattoGuy...Sorry man! Why do you think I am such a faithful follower of yours?


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Gosh, Tammy. I've been meaning to come over to read this and I'm glad I did. You did an excellent job expressing your thoughts and theories on the idea of death. I really think you got it right. Thanks so much for this poem.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

dohn...Thanks so much! I am so happy you approve. Your opinion means a great deal to me.


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

I'm a little late in reading hubs this week, sorry for my delay. Tammy, you know I definitely love your writings, they really let transpire your personality, which appears to be wonderful. You are the kind of nurse who would have worked well with my father, he was an exceptional doctor (this is what his patients said) and had an exceptional staff. This is the greatest appreciation I can give to someone. Sorry but I had to say it. Good caregivers always improve my faith in humanity.

Anyway your poetry is great, if it can be appreciated by someone like me who is not really into it. :) Very beautiful piece of art, thumbs up and stumbled.


pretzie 6 years ago

Very nice...keep it coming


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Hypnodude...Thank you for such a wonderful encouraging comment. I am so happy to see you. It's hard to find time to read all the other hubs I need to also. I probably won't get too much time in the next couple of weeks either. I see you have added yet another hubnugget award...you are really great!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

pretzie...? Thanks for the encouragement.


Hillary 6 years ago

Hey Tammy, this is one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever read! thanks for sharing with us.


GreyMoon profile image

GreyMoon 6 years ago

Selling tickets for a journey to the gates of oblivion? Hard to put a good spin on that pitch.

We can dress it up do its hair, colour those cheeks, but death is still as rotten as the corpse we will become.

We are but goldfish to eventually be flushed down the toilet bowl of life... weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :)


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

GreyMoon...Nice to meet you and interesting opinion. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this page.


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

I just made an aimless hub hopping for hubbers I follow and I came right here. Your poem about dying is vividly etched in my mind. Somehow, your details about dying was so true I wonder how I can be like you- unintimidated by death.

I just lost a dear brother- cardiac arrest. Two days before he went comatose, we were talking about his emergency heart bypass because his breathing became heavy. It seemed that his angioplasty (lasted only 7 months) didn't work all right. He was in good mood teasing us, his family and siblings around his hospital bed, about not having to feel anything when he went under knife.

He was intubated to take out fluid in his lungs before the bypass. He slept for a while and then woke up complaining about his tube. He struggled due to the painful insertion. Then he had an attack. Just like that.

Death came when we least expected, and our grief was devastating. He would have celebrated his 66th birthday last February 12, but he died February 11.

I hope to get by soon. Thanks for the exact thoughts I need through your poem.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Lita C. Malicdem...I am so sorry about your loss. I am glad though that you got to spend some time with your brother. I am also glad that I could help you with your grief even in a small way. Thank you for taking the time to read and make a comment. It's nice to see you and thanks for sharing.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

That is a powerful poem there. I'm glad you are not afraid. I surely admire the strength, courage, and compassion of nurses. What a gracious group of gals. (And a few dudes, I imagine.) :D


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

James...Thank you for taking the time to drop in and for the lovely comment. I am always glad to see you!


juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

You have written a beautiful poem on dying. I recall being witness to a totally distraught husband who pulled over to a rest area with his wife slumped in the front seat. An ambulance came shortly (as he had probably called 911) and the paramedics kept doing CPR on her dead body with zero results. The husband paced back and forth at the rest stop way out on the lone prairie of Wyoming. At least she died in a place where land is mostly sky.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

juneaukid...What a sad story...This poem has let a lot of people share their stories. I appreciate your sharing yours too. That must have been very disturbing.

Thanks for sharing and taking the time to read.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

juneaukid...What a sad story...This poem has let a lot of people share their stories. I appreciate your sharing yours too. That must have been very disturbing.

Thanks for sharing and taking the time to read. This is a nice complement coming from a published author. Thank you.


juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

Thank you Tammy Lochmann. We were on our way to Yellowstone National Park with friends when we happened to pull over to that very rest stop. However, Yellowstone is so magnificent, it erased that experience.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

juneaukid...I am glad that it didn't ruin your holiday. Nice to meet you by the way!


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

I have only ever experience death up close and personal when my gram passed away a few years ago. It was not what I expected. She had a smile on her face and just quietly slipped away. I think perhaps gramps was waiting for her.

Great poem Tammy. Thank you for sharing it.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Duchess...I sure appreciate you stopping in and sharing your story. No one dies in exactly the same way. It's always a pleasure to see you.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Tammy, this is beautiful and caring. The ways of dying are varied. I think that respect and dignity are what a dying person needs. I have seen a few deaths and they were all moving moments but in very different ways. The one that hurt and disturbed me the most was that of my brother-in-law who had been badly beated up and he was kept alive artificially for far too long. We tried to persuade the doctors to take off the machines but they were unwilling to do so until it was far too late in my view. He was by then in a bad way. It would have been more dignified and respectful of him as a person if he had just been allowed to die. The end was pretty predictable, so why prolong it? This was a good few years ago now.

Anyway thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and insight.

Love and peace

Tony


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Tonymac...thanks so much for sharing your story. I am glad you don't think it too morbid. It's always nice to see you!!


DustinsMom profile image

DustinsMom 6 years ago from USA

Great job on this one. The emotions come shining through. Dying is part of life, we must accept it. As difficult as it is, there is nothing we can do about it.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

Hello - it's your Canadian friend by the lake of Erie in Ontario - I hope all is well with you - down south - enjoying a very hot summer and hopefully a mild winter to come - This is a very profound and evocative piece of writing to be sure - because we're all in it together (life and death) and we all end up the same way - sooner or later!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago Author

Hi epigramman...Nice to hear from you and the weather. It has been unbearably hot here in the south. Thanks for your assessment it is well taken and I am honored that you think so highly of this poem. Say hello to your beautiful kitties for me and I do miss home lately.


IsadorasThought profile image

IsadorasThought 4 years ago

This poem gives me shivers. In a good way.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 4 years ago Author

Hi Isadoras Thought. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. This poem still surprises me every time I read it. Thanks again.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working