When I die
Write to my friends.
Tell them what time of day or night
I died and what the weather was.
Tell them the color of the walls
that last contained me.
Describe the quality of light in the room,
its brightness or its greyness. Did light
make a pattern on my face?
Tell them if I closed my eyes myself; or
Give the name of the one who closed them for me.
Tell if there were flowers in the room,
Or outside the window, or if there were any scents
That might be called the scent of death.
Tell them the sound of my silence.
Listen carefully for this.
Say who pulled the sheet over my head;
Describe the shape of my body underneath it.
When had I last listened to music?
What was the sound of my last breath?
Was there any small ugliness?
A trail of saliva? A drooping?
Did anyone notice an insect in the room?
Write quickly; avoid nothing.
My friends are poets. They need details.
Anne McCrary Sullivan