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Let Night Fall

Greg Alberto  

April 2, 2013

To live is a burden
My wife, my neighbors, I are burdened
I do feel sad, but not to be alive

To be ill is my grief
If I were well I could bear this
But I am not well; I cannot be well

To die is reprieve
My wife, my neighbors, I can rest
I do feel anxious but not for death

To live is discomfort
Though my body is present,
I cannot sustain brain with soul

My wife, my neighbors, I are quiet
Let night fall and bring the last great sleep

Written in loving memory of a great man.

Author’s note: This poem is a reflection on the sentiments shared by one hospice resident with me. I tried to capture two weeks of conversation between the patient, his wife, and myself. No healthy person wishes for death, and the loss that comes with death is never a joyful process. However, it is an inevitable part of life, and there are instances in some lives when Death is gracious. I shared this poem with the man and his wife; two weeks later he passed in his sleep as he had hoped would happen.

 Greg Alberto 

Greg Alberto
Year in Medical School: MS4, Class of 2017
College Attended: Wake Forest University
Hometown: Indiana, IN
Favorite Quote: “For small creatures such as we, the vastness [of the cosmos] is bearable only through love.”
- Carl Sagan



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