Laughing About It

there are times

that going to see the saw bones

can be quite the experience

so, doc, how were the test results”

oh, not so terrible but at this rate

you’ll be dead in a couple of years”

how do you react to that news

what kinds of things go through your mind

it’s amazing the way news like that

changes your day

changes your mind

changes your outlook

changes everything


that’s a lot of nights

a whole lot of days

many miles walked

contemplating the end


the images it brings to mind

are sure as hell nothing to take lightly

but it’s what I do

we all have to die

I’ll die like every other human ever

and I’ve already been told

I should take it more seriously

as if no one understands

if I can’t take this seriously

then I can’t take anything seriously

of course I am

but I’m not going to spend

every waking moment looking glum

and I’m going to deal with it how I deal with it

if I laugh about it

well, I guess I laugh about it

and if I remake my bed

so I can die in it comfortably

well, then I guess I remake my bed

this is my life

and it will be my death

whenever it comes

and I just might laugh about it


My Facebook PageMy Twitter Account


About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on January 6, 2016, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 78 Comments.

  1. John. This is seriously sad and sounds very personal…is it true…just a thought in poem…or
    what? Diana

    • Thank you, Diana! 🙂 It’s true unfortunately but nothing that can’t be lived with for quite a number of years provided I follow doctor’s orders. It’s great to meet you!

  2. 16 years ago, my doctor wanted to slash off a piece of my anatomy. I bought some herbs to slather on the spot and within a year, felt better. So many of them have that “god” complex. I say, do as you may…live life and enjoy it!

  3. Being dead should not cause anyone to worry, but, the actual process of dying does worry most of us. So the idea is to be prepared for the end because it comes to all.

  4. No one has an expiration date stamped on their foot. There is much more doctors don’t know than do know. Still, we must take good care of ourselves and enjoy all of our days.:0)

  5. John you are an incredible soul. Thank you for sharing your raw truth. Love and prayers sent to the skies for you my friend. You have a brave spirit and it is certainly full of life :))

  6. thesesoliloquies

    Well, you were honest, so I’ll be..😭. I admire your attitude and ability to express in writing.

  7. Peter Schreiner

    There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t think about death, a sort of mental calisthenics. Will that help when my time comes? I’ll find out, perhaps. But as I see the matter, still among living, death should be embraced, although I’m not suggesting one expedite the process. It’s just that it’s inevitable, right? After all, isn’t it death that which gives life any meaningful sense of worth? Without it, what’s life? And life really isn’t all that pleasant after all. At least I’ve not found it to be. All we can do it seems is make the best of it.

    May you find peace.

  8. It’s a beautiful poem, John, but very sad to hear that it’s true. As a fellow author and poet, I feel a great comfort in knowing that I will have left footprints in this world that cannot be erased, which will endure throughout time, long after I’m gone. I hope you take comfort in that as well. A writer’s life is to be celebrated rather than mourned. And our accomplishments will be enjoyed forevermore. I hope to see many more of your accomplishments for years to come.

    • Thank you! 🙂 I agree. The mark may not be permanent but it can leave a mark before the sun can explode or the planets in our solar system can drift apart. Our honesty and sincerity as writers – well that’s something we can’t learn in a lit class. It’s great to meet you!

  9. An indomitable great spirit continues his journey. All Light’s power to you, John.

  10. Life is just a role that we play only once, my father says. And then, I say, let’s live her triumph every day! Be strong, John! I am with you, dear friend.

  11. It happen to me over the summer
    Went to the chiropractor he said all kinds of stuff
    Showed me my xrays
    Never went back to see him
    Bedside manor my ass
    We will go together my friend
    They say there’s a package deal for more than one
    The Sheldon Perspective

    • Thank you, Sheldon! 🙂 Doctors can be good and bad. Oh, be honest with me of course but understand that I’m human too and don’t just throw some info at me with some clinical coldness. Either way, we have to muddle through, I guess. It’s good to see you back around these parts! 🙂

  12. John, I can relate because I had the same conversation last year. Loved your thoughts. Laughter is something that makes me feel better every day. Its also good to take the edge off because so many people have trouble processing that information (family and friends). But once you laugh with them again, it makes it easier to get on with the LIVING. Best of luck to you John and a toast to all of us who hold each day special.

    • Thank you, Mike! 🙂 It can be too easy to upset someone by laughing or joking during tough times or dark times but it can sure help. It’s a pleasure to meet you!

  13. In a recent FB post of a Peanuts cartoon (in French no less), Charlie Brown said, “One day we’re all going to die.” Snoopy’s retort, “Yes, but all the other days we get to live.” As one who relies on your poetic wisdom to make my daily life better–live long and prosper, John, and regardless of how annoying it is to be told so, follow your doctor’s orders. Or at least follow THIS doctor’s orders! Karen AKA Doc Flamingo

    • Thank you, Karen! 🙂 Snoopy is right. We’re alive for only o many days so we need to make the most of them. I’ve had to follow doctor’s orders almost to the point of being anal retentive. Thank goodness it’s helping. 😉

  14. tunisiajolyn84

    I love your attitude. I send prayers and I say laugh a lot cause they say it is the best medicine!

  15. Laughing at death means defeating it. This reminds me of John Donne’s Sonnet 10, one of my favorite poems.:) Years ago, when my friend was only 48, she was told she won’t live to be 50. So she tried to do everything she wanted to do before dying. Now at 60, she’s still doing everything she wants to do. Be well. 🙂

  16. Be well John, I dig your positive attitude, and! your writing 🙂
    Peace to you,

  17. I hope for you to have strength, love and joy for all the rest of your days!! 💜

  18. Very well written. I struggle to write about mortality….probably because I’m reaching an age where I think about it too much.

  19. Live long and prosper indeed. Carry on writing and carry on breathing and, when you do eventually have to stop breathing, please post a blog to let us know! Stay happy John.

  20. I believe the hairs on our head are numbered as written in the Word of God – not because He makes it so – even though He certainly could – WHAM BAM….but maybe because He knows how we choose to live and what choices we make and anyway…I’m getting too deep and Im not prepared to explain myself, but I wonder how we would choose to live our days if we knew the exact date? Right? I would be a fearless bitch. Knocking it down. LOL, sorry my redneck came out….but, anyway…quality not quantity – that is the ticket.

  21. John! They really can’t say things like that with any certainty. You have many more years to regale us with your poetry.

  22. I love the honesty with which you write. Please follow those doctor’s orders and stay well.

  23. You said saw bones. I haven’t seen that in donkey’s years.

    Well, your news is an interesting way to start the day.

  24. Well that certainly does suck. I’m glad to see (on an earlier reply you made to a comment) than your condition can be managed. Follow doctor’s orders, Live long, and prosper. ❤️

  25. Thanks for sharing the positivity 🙂 So powerful and inspirational

  26. Live your BEST life! ❤

  27. You have reminded me of my mortality on reading your blog. Indeed stay well.

  28. As someone who is going to the doc in a couple weeks and being of a certain age and ailments, this hit home. Thank you for creating it and sharing it.

  29. I am sad to read this post but take great joy in seeing how positive you are and you are right, we all need to live until we die. No one has a guarantee of tomorrow so let us all live and love in the now, the future will bring what it must…. much love and light to you. I look forward to reading your poems for many years to come. Michelle

  30. I have “interesting” medical problems, nothing short-term, fortunately. I won’t be concerned about my death until after it happens.

    I’ve never heard “at this rate.” What would it mean?

    • Thank you, Alan! 🙂 Mine is an issue that developed over years meaning if I don’t follow doctor’s orders I might be looking at a major problem rather than something manageable. I hope all is well for you. 🙂

  31. This one is particularly moving, tremendously sad. The death, sure, but most of all, the reaction, is intense. I wish you all the best.

  32. By 78 I have held the hands of loved ones as they died, I have lived to laugh another day after a scary prognosis, I have been in enough prolonged pain to want to die, I have risen from that and experienced new life, and while I realize I can see the door from here and that getting through that door may be hard, there’s life’s greatest mystery on the other side. Sometimes I imagine my atoms being freed from the limits of my body, each containing my spirit and and Spirit, shooting joyously off into the farthest embrace of the curved edges of the glory of beauty, truth, and love….in other words, God.

    Blessings…..we only have this moment…..and laughter is Carbonated Grace.

  33. Thank you! 🙂 It’s great to meet you!

  1. Pingback: On living, loving and leaving | Thoughts on Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: