As I sit in Heaven Poem by Hazel Birdsall

"As I sit in heaven” is an insightful poem where the departed soul speaks to the living people and makes them hopeful for a better tomorrow in spite of experiencing the trauma of losing someone near and dear.

By Jenny Dsouza ~

As I Sit in Heaven

About the poem  

Losing the people, we love is not easy. With every person that passes from our lives, we lose a small part of ourselves. It depicts the sentiments of an individual who has passed yet wishes to converse with those living here. 

The poem aims to alleviate the sorrow of people who lose close ones. The departed wish to leave a reminder to show that they are still present and are looking out for what remains. It is a letter from the departed soul letting us know that they are still here to accompany us until the finish of our journey.  

The poem gives us the impression that we are reading a close exchange between two regular people in a world where conversations after death are possible. It feels like a letter sent before the final journey.  

As I sit in Heaven by Hazel Birdsall

To many I am forgotte
Just a sad story from the past
but to those that love and lost me
the memories will always last
As I sit here safe in heaven
and watch you everyday
I try and let you know with signs
I never went away…
I hear you when your speaking
and watch you as you sleep
I even place my arms around you
to calm you as you weep
I see you wish the days away
as you beg to have me home
so I try and send you messages
that you are not alone
Don't feel guilty that you have a life
that was denied to me
oh, heaven is truly beautiful,
just you wait and see
Please live your life and laugh again
Enjoy yourself, be free!
Then I’ll know with every breath you take
you are taking one for me…

Listen to the poem - As I Sit in Heaven

About the poet:

The poet has written an astute monologue for everyone. Most sources on the internet site Hazel Birdsall as the poet of this beautiful poem.
Regardless of who authored the poem, the eulogia of the message and guidance to the grieving soul is undoubtedly optimistic. The poet takes us through sorrow and loneliness by making us realise the optimism of the poem.

“Legacy is not leaving something for people. It is leaving something in people.” – Peter Strople

Analysis of the Poem:

‘As I sit in Heaven’ is a poem that expresses the journey of coming to terms with our grief from the narrative of a person

The mark of a good character is not only how many people surround us during celebrations but also how many people will attend our funeral. When we are young, we always have people through thick and thin, however, in our senescent years, life becomes lonely. The poet expresses the same concept, she starts the poem by astutely accepting the reality of life. 

Further, she explains how most people tend to forget the dead as time passes by, and it is only (us) the close ones who will miss them every day. We will cherish the fond memories and experiences that we shared with the deceased person. These are the souvenirs that we truly treasure on our journey of life. The poet is content with the idea that a mere few will genuinely miss the person, and the rest will carry on after the mourning.

There are some days when the sense of Deja-vu envelopes us. Scientifically it is unreasonable to go to places once visited with your loving companion. Here the poet starts unfolding the unfolds true meaning of grief not for the dead but for the ones who continue to live. It is a flashback that follows like thoughts when we listen while listening to their favourite song or even open going through an old album.

We wish for a miracle or even hope that it is a nightmare, we want that empty void to be filled. The people who die leave indelible marks on not just humans but also the tangible world around them. The bed, the ceramics, and the plants all have the touch and feel of a person memorised. Even pets find it difficult to cope up with the grief of losing someone from the owner’s family. Life has a funny way of guiding us to the next adventure but the people we have lost do not leave our side. They are watching over us like guardian angels.

The poet confesses that even though we miss the warmth of the people that we have lost, they are omnipresent in our lives in a spiritual sense. We often speak to the dead, hoping and praying to have one last conversation with them. The poet confirms that even though we feel that there is no one to accompany us on our journey of grief, our words and emotions are conveyed across the veil. 

During the nights when we are truly lonely it is these spirits that keep us warm. Although, it is a fictional concept that the souls can never sleep and are looking over us while we are asleep. This expression holds great depth. There is nothing more peaceful than watching someone you love to sleep in serenity.

Grief is not a disorder, a disease, or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical, and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve."
Earl Grollman

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The poet starts elucidating the essence of the poem, in the final two stanzas. One of the feelings that we all live through when someone passes away is the poignance of guilt and sorrow. Therapists and medical professionals at times address the issue as ‘survivors' guilt.’ This is common amongst survivors of not just armed forces, bomb squads and fire departments but also victims of accidents, diseases, and addictions.

All living beings must die. It is the law of nature which disallows immortality. The poet accepts this verity of life. She is confident that the day will come when we all must partake in our journey to the heavenly abode. However, she remarks that while we all are alive, we must not carry the burden of loss, sorrow, and guilt. The dead would have wanted us to live a life full of fervour and love. Here the poet makes an important note- the departed know that it will not be easy to live such a life. They are not simply advising but assuring the living world that with the passage of time, life will give you the chance to get better and happier.

In the final stanza. The poem asks us all to live in the present moment and move ahead in life. We need to understand how to be free from these burdens. In the end, the people who have died are requesting us to have fun. They want you to enjoy life and chase after your dreams (not someone else's goals). It is only after their death; that they understand the value of life. They do not want you to spend the rest of your life mourning the loss of a life which you never had control over. 

The poem expects us to seek closure, laugh and be merry. If we respect the wishes of the dead, it is like living a life for them. The poem concludes with the sentence which means, that in order to liberate the deceased, the living must be the torch bearers of hope and happiness for the dead. We must soar where they failed, we must find the strength to wake up in the morning and continue the rest of our lives... not just for us but we owe it to them too.

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
― Anne Lamott

A message to take home:

This poem is a composition that takes us from denial to acceptance. It is a simple piece of literature and not a sermon from the living but the last message we crave from the dead. While addressing the topic of death, the poet does not dwell on thoughts of misery and loss. We learn how to overcome human loss. 

In the end, this poem gives us a sense of satisfaction and long-awaited closure. We feel as if our own loved ones would deliver the same message if only, they had the chance. Our grief and sorrow do not belong to the world of the living, we should gradually learn to move on and find unconditional happiness. This poem gently evokes the optimism or silver lining from the dark cloud of anguish and despair.

A small speech on how to deal with grief.


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