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Ernie - A Poem

Updated on September 12, 2013

This poem is inspired by PHILLYDREAMER's weekly poetry challenge "The Faces of Death".

This is the third and final poem in my series about the many faces of death. From working in the care home with the elderly, these things usually happened in three's, and this is another completely different view.

This poem is about Ernie. He lived in the home with his wife, Kath, and he was a jolly chap who was always singing. Ernie's death in particular touched me, because his was the first one I witnessed first hand, he literally died in my arms...



Blue eyes that sparkled,

When you sang your song,

I didn't really know you well,

You'd not been with us long,

Your wife who'd sit next to you

Was the one who you adored,

She loved you too

With all her heart,

Never looking bored...

When you flirted with the girls...

One morning

In your room I came

To offer you my help,

Your wife,

(Kathy was her name)

Was already getting up.

Look at Ernie

She asked of me

I don't think he's very well

He's in his bed

Ignoring me

Like he's under a spell!

I came to look

And saw that you

Were lying in your bed,

Ernie, you alright my dear?

I think that's what I said...

You looked at me

And smiled your smile,

I feel a little rough,

Just leave me here

For a while

I don't feel like getting up.

I asked you lot's of questions to

See if I had to call

A doctor or an ambulance

Or if you'd had a fall

You said


Just help me to the loo

That's all I need for now

Then back to bed,

To sleep I think

If you will allow...

Then Ernie, love

What happened next

Still haunts me to this day,

For as we walked

Towards the loo

You leaned on me some way

That wasn't right,

You see.

As I caught you in my arms

We landed on the bed,

You lay across my lap


And I was cradling your head.

I called for help

A nurse came in

And went straight off to phone

An ambulance

Double quick

No time to mess around

Except it was too late

Wasn't it Ernie!

For as I looked

Your lovely eyes

Went dull as they could be

I saw you,


Leave yourself

Your essence,



And that was it

For you

I see.


For you,

Came out of the blue,

No warning


Only you,

Feeling a little rough...

Your spirit was a happy one

And while you lived

You sang your song,

You spread your joy

All day long,

And loved your wife

You did belong.

I'm happy that I met you


And for you the end was quick,

That sparkle in your clear blue eyes

For me will always stick

In my mind

And my dreams

When I remember

You, Ernie.

For me, writing these poems has at times been tough. It's out of my comfort zone to write "serious" poetry and this subject has been a real challenge, and emotional to boot!

I hope I've done the people in each poem justice, as these are my tributes to some wonderful characters that I have met along the way on my path of life. By talking about their different ends, I hope to make a new beginning, where living is paramount, and worrying about Death, which is inevitable, however he takes us, is not on the agenda. Staying healthy and living life to the full is the only ticket in my(humble) opinion.

Thank you for reading my poems, I hope you've enjoyed them.


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    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Thank you for reading about Ernie raciniwa, he was a good man... all the best, Jen

    • raciniwa profile image


      5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      so sad...thank you for letting us know about Ernie...

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Thank you for commenting spy, I suppose it's good that the emotions in my poem come out but I hope you don't stay sad for too long! :-) hugs from the riverbank, Jen

    • unknown spy profile image


      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Jen..this is sooo sad.. T_T

      I always remember gran when I read poetry like this..

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      kanupriya sharma, I'm glad you liked it! Best wishes, Jen

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Thank you Epi, your words are kind and encouraging... I haven't gone through this with my parents yet, I'm in denial I'll ever have to! :-} (but would hate to think it would happen without me there!) Thanks for visiting me, best wishes from the riverbank in England, Jen

    • kanupriya sharma profile image

      kanupriya sharma 

      6 years ago from chandigarh

      nice one... :)

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      ..lovely lovely writing here Jennifer - for the enlightenment and humanity of Ernie - you are a wonderful poet and a humanitarian too and yes I held the hands of both my mum and dad when they died and it's something you never forget when you feel the life draining out of their hands - lake erie time 1:09am

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Jean, I'm sorry you went through that with your dad, I think you're right about the mind acting as a buffer to help us get through. I think it is harder when it is people who are close to us. I think I'm able to talk about these deaths so freely is because I was at work and it was my job, so although I loved every one of the elderly people I looked after, I always knew being there at the end with them was inevitable, and what was expected of me! Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment, and thank you for sharing your stories with me.

      All the best Jean, *hugs*

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      6 years ago from New Jersey

      You have done all of these people justice. Ernie was a tough one. When I was 27 (long ago) my Dad had a massive heart attack. We never even knew he had a heart problem. I was married, but was visiting my parents for dinner after work. We ate, and Dad went to lie down for a bit, he was working a late shift that night. He got up and said he felt like he had the flu. As he went back to the bedroom that used to be mine when I lived at home, he gently fell to the floor, and I was just able to sit with his head in my arms. He smiled, and told me it was "just a cold." My Mom called the ER, and they took both of them to the hospital, but I knew he was already gone. Yet it got weird, I didn't want to admit it to myself, I guess. In a while, the hospital called to say "they needed someone" at the hospital. I said my Mother was there, but the woman at the hospital insisted I come. The hospital was only a mile away, but I kept getting lost and going on dead end roads. I guess I didn't want to face the truth. My husband says I called him when the ambulance left for the hospital with my parents, and that I told him that Dad had died. But I truly don't remember saying that. Our minds try to act as a buffer to help us get through hard times, I suppose.

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      I'm finding exactly the same thing Christy! Thanks for your comment, best wishes, Jen

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I find that poetry helps me work through some issues and is a kind of release. Thank-you for sharing your story with us xx

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      soldiersmuzzle, thank you for your words, I'm glad that came across! Best wishes, Jen

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      alphonse george, thank you! Best wishes, Jen

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      midget38, thank you! There were a few tears, but I was having a bad day aswell.... Best wishes, Jen

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      I was surprisingly calm when it happened PHILLYDREAMER, I guess you just do what you have to in this kind of situation... Thanks for commenting, Jen

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Thank you billybuc, your words mean alot to me... best wishes, Jen

    • soldiersmuzzle profile image


      6 years ago from UK

      A beautiful emotional poem, from it you can imagine his great character. thank you for sharing it.

    • alphonse george profile image

      alphonse george 

      6 years ago from Kerala,India

      Beautiful work.Keep it up.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      My blessings for Ernie and you, Jennifer - it must have been a bit of an emotional write. Thanks for sharing.

    • PHILLYDREAMER profile image

      Jose Velasquez 

      6 years ago from Lodi, New Jersey

      This must have been so emotional for you. I can't even imagine.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a lovely tale....the human connection is what life is all about....sometimes sad but always rewarding. Excellent poem my friend.

    • Jennifer Stone profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Stone 

      6 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Thank you Debbie, your words mean alot to me! Jen

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      just beautiful and sad.. You described it so well. bless you for being whop you are.. you are special and so is this poem



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