A Wish To End Where We Begin

Poetry Submission

A Wish to End Where We Begin

Through my toddler’s eyes,
The very best part of a package is the paper it is wrapped in,
The most wondrous discovery at the museum is the dried leaves that scatter the sidewalk in front of the entrance,
The best route from A to B is not ever a straight line,
And sometimes one handful of sand can hold more treasures than every structure on the playground.

One day, when I near my own death,
When I feel the constraints of time,
When I feel the constraints of space,
When I feel the constraints of a failing body or mind,
Perhaps this is just the magic I hope to rediscover.

The wondrous tingle that comes from a gentle head scratch,
The floating release of a good laugh,
The deep comfort of a body breathing in sync with your own,
Losing one’s self in the journey through a piece of music.

To rediscover what my eyes naturally knew to see at the very beginning: all of the wonders that can hide in a moment.


Danielle Chammas, MD (@ChammasDani)


Living Human – Dying Human

About this blog.

Hand-in-hand at the core of humanity are both the wonder of life and the vulnerability of death. They cannot exist without one another, and to be human is to be touched by both. How many times have I spoken to a patient facing death, and the majority of our discussion has been about life: how one hopes to live, what one finds important, what one may miss. And how many times have I mused with a friend about life, and the majority of our conversation comes back to death: how our time is not guaranteed, how our mortality is a reminder to maintain perspective.

In medicine, we often forget that at the heart of any illness and any journey are people: patients, health care providers, families, friends… humans. While we all play different roles, this blog, Living Human – Dying Human, has been created in the hopes of highlighting our shared humanity.

We hope for this blog to be both for everyone and by everyone, as a place to reflect on living, and dying, and living through dying. Together we can shift a culture that so often avoids these topics. As such, we encourage submissions from anybody who wishes to share. We hope to hear about any dimensions of existential experience: hope, fear, humor, anger, grief, gratitude, love, pain, and anything in between. Be it the most deep musings or the most frivolous of moments, we wish to hear. We furthermore encourage submissions of any type: poetry, personal reflection, jokes, narratives, stories, letters, artwork, memories/memorials, the haiku you scratched onto a napkin in the three free minutes of your day…