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Wrote this poem after my Granny died at age 99, in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, close to where she was born.

Velma Joyce McKeachie (Nee Morley)

b. Dec. 14, 1923

d. Feb. 8, 2023

As you can see in the photo, Granny had a lot of character and charm, always good for a laugh. Even the dogs knew it!


When someone dies,

the family planets realign.

The solar system restructures itself

around the vacuum 

where once shone

the one now gone.

Gravity changes.

The moon's pull 

on the tide of tears

is stronger, full.

The roles we play jump orbit, 


Understanding of our place in the system


The value of the one now gone,

appreciated, glorified as an angel,

praises sung.

It takes effort to relieve

the pressure of grief.

Spinning in messy, weepy orbit,

we pass each other and, maybe,

forget to look.

The other planets keep us in orbit.

Relationships show us the path 

we must follow around the sun

that is uniquely our own yet 

giving room for the other.

These magnetic forces which created us

now push us out past where we know 

who to be.

With the death of a planet, a loved one,

all of us expand into their space - 

photons getting further 

away from each other - 

until we dissolve into the void with them and the traces of 

our own planetary trajectory are 

spread all over,

are wept over 

by every moon and sun and star.


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