Posted in Jamie Dedes, Perspectives on Cancer, Poems/Poetry

PERSPECTIVE ON CANCER #5: Done and Not Done Yet



Jamie Dedes


Click on the post title for the poem to lay out properly.


I watched it all over my friend’s dear shoulder,

that day of living and dying and celebrating

like a garden snake the shedding of the skin,

the detritus of material man with its hunger and

wild, woody creative soul, sketching ruby-jeweled

memories in sand to be blown like a Tibetan mandala

across Timelessness while he, lone monk, gripped

by systems on systems of hospital wiring, billing,

approvals, and laws around funerals and burials,

estates, plans, and proposals for headstones and

the where, when, and how of a memorial service,

the left-overs of his life to be sorted, stashed, stored

or sent  to the right people in the right places. Done!

… as though there had been nothing. No one.



* Dedicated to my Group for People With Life-Threatening Illness*

A Chinese advertisement based on a true story . . . Sounds strange, but go ahead and give it a chance …

Thanks Laurel! 🙂

Posted to YouTube by .

Photo credit – flowers at Filoli Garden by Parvathy

Jamie Dedes ~ Jamie is a former freelance feature writer and columnist whose topic specialties were employment, vocational training, and business. She finds the blessing of medical retirement to be more time to indulge in her poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. She has two novels in progress, one in final edits, and is pulling together a poetry collection. Her primary playground is Musing by Moonlight. She is the founder and editor/administrator of Into the Bardo. Jamie’s mother, Zbaida, was diagnosed with cancer the first time at thirty-six. Zabida went three rounds with breast cancer, one with thyroid cancer, and died at seventy-six of breast and colon cancer.



is out today.

The theme is Buddhism.

You’ll find some interesting pieces there including a

short piece that I wrote on Buddhist poets in the West. Jamie



is now on Facebook and Twitter.

Please join us there.


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

22 thoughts on “PERSPECTIVE ON CANCER #5: Done and Not Done Yet

    1. Diane, I ‘m not sure that’s the sum of it all, but I did feel like that in the moment. Sometimes I wonder why at such a time in life when we should be allowed to enjoy nature, meditation, and our art, we are forced to deal with the awful practicalities … and we do deal with them because we all have family we want to do right by.


  1. This illustrates a good reason to make these plans well before the end of life. At least as much of them as you are able. I agree, Jamie, later days in life should be spent in as much peace, comfort and enjoyment as possible. Powerful–I remember this and that very cool video!

    I worked for an attorney for several years who dealt in wills, trusts, estate planning, ect. I had all that done for myself when I worked for him.


  2. I find the first line particularly intriguing, because it reminds me of the struggle we often feel when we are watching something from the outside, and feel a bit powerless to fix it.


    1. I like to think we always learn and that in the end – and there always will be an end – all is well.

      Thanks for your visit here, Sarah. I hope everyone will come back and read other contributions in this series from poets and writers of many different backgrounds and places.



  3. There were many good images in this, Jamie. And I am glad your friend had you there with him at the end. So many die alone. Maybe the lesson of this piece is one he would have approved – detachment from all the “stuff” and things of this world, so that there is less that those left behind will have to deal with. I’m sure he is in a good place now and surely you will meet him again! 🙂


  4. Brilliantly done, Jamie…and that video! Thank you for sharing it! I am overwhelmed with gratitude for Dave. May I ride on the back of his motorbike to the very end 🙂


Kindly phrased comments welcome here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.