The Picturing Death Project Journal Entries from 1999-2003

The simple but effective structure for the Picturing Death Project, a cast glass table, four chairs, and journals, provide a structure for journal writing with 4 questions that help participants examine how we will choose to live with the knowledge that death is inevitable. Currently, the project table, chairs and journals reside at Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan in Kalamazoo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Journal Entry 684


Death of someone close to me, my father, my happy, silly, father when I was fifteen! Why did you leave us? I still want to sail with you.

My grandfathers one so big, one so tall, kind and gentle, gruff and martial. I still want to eat oranges with you.

My grandmothers - one tiny, one fat, one proper, one laughing. I still want to eat soup with you.

My babies. I still want to hold you.


I remember the day, the day before Thanksgiving. I was putting a ham into the oven cradling the phone on my shoulder. You have cancer the phone said. Come to the hospital on Monday. We need to do a complete hysterectomy NOW!

Just then my guest arrived. Thank you God. Ginny's soft warm hug, Jacks reassurances, Hank's concern. My baby's total indifference, cookie, cookie?

I don't think I remember anything for I felt nothing, nothing but loss. No more babies, in fact I felt no more woman. No more, no more, just emptiness. I cried over baby food commercials, I cried when I saw a pregnant woman. I cried and cried and cried some more.

Then one day I woke up. I smelled a rose. I brushed my daughter's hair. I ate ice cream. The world is a beautiful place and I'm going to enjoy it.

Thank you!


Deepest, deepest fear. loss, loss, loss. Loss of control, loss of control, loss of love. But is death loss of love? Or is it the return to Perfect Love? Oh one who loves perfectly, please don't remove control of my body and replace it with pain, or if that is not possible please send someone who will love me with no control or constraints when I have lost control of all.

My deepest hope is that Death will come as quietly, as peacefully, as comfortably as I sink into sleep with my comforter, my comforter, holding my hand and drifting away. Silently, peacefully, serenely.

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