Without Passing Go

My first thought about Existence
Upon coming into Being
Was that it simply wasn’t so...
This world that I was seeing.

The ecstasy of colors,
Red, yellow, green, and blue,
The tastes and smells and sights and sounds
Were too good to be true!

And then the warmth of being loved
Promised riches further still,
Ecstasies unlimited,
Thrill after joyous thrill.

But when the fun abated
And I saw some things were sad
And life was not a joyride,
It really made me mad!

Then someone said there was a God
To whom I might appeal,
A warehouser of ecstasies.
Perhaps He’d make a deal.

“Could I get back on that joyride, Sir?
I’d be grateful if I could,
And I hear You favor goodness,
So I promise I’ll be good.”

But joy continued stained with grief
As Life grew more forlorn,
As the poets put it...
Licking honey from a thorn.

What could I do? I soldiered on
And gave up being mad,
Up the long and winding road,
Not joyless, simply sad.

And after many, many miles,
I neared the final crest.
Joy and grief were just Life now: One.
I hoped I’d done my best.

Resignation is a comfort.
Acquiescence is a balm,
And yielding leads to solace,
Ease, serenity, and calm.

But before I reached the summit,
I read of further grief and loss
In a book on death and dying
By Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.*

She claimed to know Death’s process
As I turned the morbid pages
And read about Grief’s journey
And its tedious five stages.

And I thought, “Oh, Lizzie, Lizzie,
I’ve made this trip before,
And I don’t need Death to take me
On the same old ride once more.

Who needs denial, anger, bargaining,
Or depression once you know
How to step right to acceptance
Without even passing GO.”

                           * Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
                             On Death and Dying (1969)