A lovely piece at The New Old Age at The New York Times, A Poet Well Versed in Grief about Thomas Lynch, the poet undertaker.
Here is the title poem from his newly-published collection
Born to a family who ran a funeral home in small-town Michigan, the poet Thomas Lynch began pondering aging and death at a young age, as a child leafing through the gory pages of his father’s mortician texts.“A lot of 15-year-olds think they’re going to live forever,” he said. “But when I was 15, I sort of knew I wasn’t, because I spent a lot of time at the funeral home.”
I say clean your plate and say your prayers,
go out for a long walk after supper
and listen for the voice that sounds like you
talking to yourself, you know the one:
contrapuntal, measured to footfall, true
to your own metabolism. Listen –
inspiration, expiration, it’s all the same,
the sigh of creation and its ceasing -
whatever’s going to happen’s going to happen
I've been posting about Thomas Lynch for years now in The Calling of a Funeral Director
The generation today bringing loved ones to funeral homes is the first generation, he said, that tries to get past grieving by not having a body at a funeral. He believes this carries the risk of spiritual and emotional peril.