Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition

messenger_death john sparacio

Messenger Death by John Sparacio

Josephine Jacobsen composed the following poem in 2002, not even a year before her death. When she composed it, she was 94. She had been paralyzed by a stroke and was also no longer able to read or write. That’s why I say “composed.” I visited her in her nursing home around that time, and she told me she composed this poem in her head, overnight one night, and kept repeating it to herself through the night until there was someone in the morning who could write it down for her.


The Companions by Josephine Jacobsen ( 1908-2003)


Living close to death

Is not just a case of breath after breath.

It is to realize that to fraternize

With the dark prince is possible and wise,

So that in the final weather

When together you quit the room

Though tentative ad weary

You will have the enormous answer

To the enormous query.


Josephine_Jacobson 2000

She was such a well respected poet that the New Yorker published this poem very shortly after she sent it to them.

The transition from this life to the next is not such a fearsome thing for a 94year old with a full and mostly happy life behind her, and a faith in what/who was waiting for her on the other side, with open arms.

Death to her did not appear as a grim reaper but as a dark prince, much like the film representations of past years:

fred march death

Frederick March, in “Death Takes a Holiday”

meet joe black

Brad Pitt, in “Meet Joe Black”


And even as the welcoming lover in “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”



And the reunion at the end of “Titanic.”




<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/transition/”>Transition</a&gt;


Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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