In Case I Die Before I Wake, Just Know…

Writer’s Note: Once a month, I lead a workshop called ‘Writing As Yoga.’ Today, our practice was to write about death; a few students decided to write a letter to their children to receive after they die. Here is mine:


Dearest Emma and Ruby,

Can you feel me? Can you feel my caress of your cheek? Can you hear my whispers in your ear?

I am holding you now; just as you cradled me for all those years, now I can do the same.

You have moved me like no one else; you have healed my heart with your eyes, your smiles, your sweet little hands, in mine.

You are my earth, my sky, my sun—now, let me be yours.

In every gentle brush of air that strokes the leaves or light glistening on your arm as you drive. In the coo of the birds eating leftovers off the cafe table, the cricket chirping outside of your window and the rain drumming her wetness on the roof—know it is me reminding you…it will always be me.

An eternity of bedtimes—snuggled closely together, intertwined vines of legs and feet, leafing through pages of your books, love feasting on our womb of safety—never-ending, even as the last book closes, we remain—woven together, braided forever.

As our bodies evaporate, the root has knotted herself in soil, never to be untied or unearthed—mother to daughters, daughters to mother.

My touch, my hugs, my kisses will become a memory; that’s ok. Let my memory be your blanket. Wrap it tightly around your heart whenever you feel cold, so that you know, you are never alone.

I watch you by daylight, I protect you by moonlight—the wind will carry your prayers into my palms of devotion.

I see you. I hear you. Never question my presence.

And when you sleep, let’s dance, or go to the zoo, or maybe we sit and watch the clouds; I’ll help you reach out and touch them this time.

Ask me your questions of uncertainty; in the morning, you will wake with the answer of understanding on your lips.

When you marry your love, I will be the billow in your veil.

As you birth your precious child, I will be the echo in her cries, the blink of her eyes.

I am your mother and you are my children; this will never change, even though everything else does.

You are my legacy.

Hold me close as an urn of ash and then let me go. Spread me across the world. Scatter my dust in every crevice, so that no matter where you go, I am your footprint, guiding you home.

I love you,




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