Today I saw some people that I had not seen for years,
      We talked of all the good old times and even shed some tears.
      It was not why I went there but one thing led to the next,
      I had gone to see my friend and pay my last respects.

      I stayed around for hours after I had viewed my friend,
      I talked to all the family and his wife about his end.
      He had lived a good long life, it was his time to go,
      But even when the time arrives it's shocking as we know.

      It started getting crowded so I took a seat in back,
      Watching all the people who came in all dressed in black.
      I was so amazed at all the people who came by,
      You never see these people unless one of us would die.

      It seemed like a reunion for the friends and family,
      Acting kind of sad but also happy as could be,
      Because they finally got to gather and update their lives.
      Showing off their growing children, husbands and their wives.

      I expected any moment drinks would soon be served,
      It broke into a party and I thought they have some nerve."
      Laughing, joking, telling tales of how good life had been,
      And no one paid attention to my now departed friend.

      I just sat and looked at all the people that were there,
      And thought "why don't they take him and prop him in a chair?"
      He would really love to be so much a part of this,
      And not be lying all alone up front in some abyss.

      Why does it take a death for us to gather all around?
      Why do we wait until it's time to put them in the ground?
      I know they say it's for the family to give them support.
      I know they say the people come to pay respects of sort.

      But as I sit and watch this mixture of sadness and cheer,
      I think they should have had this party while he was still here.
      He would have been so happy to know all these people came,
      Friends and family gathering together in his name.

      It makes me stop and wonder if it would create some fear,
      If a wake was pre-announced while someone was still here.
      Then you could see all of your friends and join in all the fun,
      And tell them when it really happens they don't have to come.

      Then on the day you do depart just have a notice sent,
      Thanking them for paying their respects before you went.
      You can now be laid to rest the duty has been done,
      And tell them how much you enjoyed just seeing everyone.

[ by James A. Kisner © 2001 ( -- {used with permission} ]


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