‘Embracing Death’ – A poem by Dr Uma Bhardwaj

Categories: Opinion and People & Places.

The Indian Association of Palliative Care celebrated this year’s World Poetry Day by publishing ‘A symphony of Words: A collection of poems‘ penned by our very own friends from the palliative care community. We continue to share a poem, each week, for our friends to enjoy!

The poem for this week, Poem #21 of 25..

‘Embracing Death’ – A poem by Dr Uma Bhardwaj, Bhubaneswar, India

I sit beside her rumpled bed,
Listening intently to her myriad stories
Of hope and despair, ecstasy and pain, life and death.
All culminating in the unknown fear of the morrow.
She wanders lonely as a cloud,
In the looming horizon of frightening uncertainties.

I listen to her silently, feeling her pulsating pain,
Wondering furtively if at all there is life after death.
When I pray for her, it is my hand she yearns to hold and squeeze,
As a frantic reaffirmation of her love for life.

I write poems for her and for me, reciting them in triumphal exultation,
To bring succor to her broken faith and my sagging spirit!
She finds in them a cathartic solace,
And soon indulges in penning a few, as if a requiem for her sorrowful soul!

Days go by in her poetic journey of self realization,
As she discovers a numinous peace with her foreboding gone.
Arising from the sullen earth she sings the hymns at the heaven’s gate,
Learning to live more deeply by embracing death.


About the poet:
Ms Uma Bharadwaj is a volunteer with the home care team at the Amrit Dhara Palliative Care Trust. 

To read poems from the entire collection, please click here.




  1. Rama Sivaram

    Uma, it’s touching and painful when we know time is slipping away from our hands and the poignant beauty of it all is also present in her recall of agonies and ecstacies as if looking at herself, not as the main actor in her story but a spectator. And when spectators leave, there is a sense of acceptance of detaching or detachment, to embrace death naturally. Stay blessed.

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