A year of grieving loss is about to close for our family. We sat beside two dying loved ones a year ago this summer. First was my husband’s mother, and then my sister. Both times we wondered what each woman knew, or remembered, of spiritual realities.

Every death serves as a reminder of our own mortality. As we watched and waited, twice, I thought of the teasing request I had once made of my children. Among life’s sweetest treasures to me are the rare occasions when they are together, making music. I once made them promise to sing me out if they got the chance. The memory prompted the following reassurance:

Know That I Know

When it’s my turn
Like the flowers by her bed
To fade
To shrink
To leave just the stark and shriveled stalk
All the rich wonder of the colors gone
Know that I know

Know that I know
That fear lies
And the truth is in the trees
Though the branch is stripped
By winter gripped
Still death is a deceit
Radiant green will yet burst forth
And sing praise to the loving hand
Of its maker
Know that I know

Know that I know
That through the mercy of another tree
My sins and sorrows will fall like leaves in winter
Gone forever
Then all that was promised
All that was best
Will bud and never fall
Will celebrate
And wait for you
Know that I know

Know that I know
But even so
Sing me your gentle reminder