Death Come a Knockin’ at the Door

Heaven's door

 

Death came knocking at the door this week.

He took my brother away.

And it’s really put me on the floor.

I’m having a hard time getting myself picked up off that floor.

Death looked, sounded . . . and most especially felt–a lot like this old spiritual.

Here it is, all six verses–words and music–in it’s entirety.

 

 

You know that death came a knockin’ on the mama’s door
Singin’ come on mama, ain’t you ready to go
And my mama stooped down, buckled up her shoes
And she moved on down by the Jordan stream
And then she shout “Hallelujah, done, done my duty, got on my travelin’ shoes”

You know that death came a knockin’ on the sister’s door
Singin’ come on sister, ain’t you ready to go
And my sister stooped down, buckled up her shoes
And she moved on down by the Jordan stream
And then she shout “Hallelujah, done, done my duty, got on my travelin’ shoes”

You know that death came a knockin’ on the brother’s door
Singin’ come on brother, ain’t you ready to go
And my brother stooped down, buckled up his shoes
And he moved on down by the Jordan stream
And then he shout “Hallelujah, done, done my duty, got on my travelin’ shoes”

You know that death came a knockin’ on the neighbor’s door
Singin’ come on neighbor, ain’t you ready to go
And my neighbor stooped down, buckled up his shoes
And he moved on down by the Jordan stream
And then she shout “Hallelujah, done, done my duty, got on my travelin’ shoes”

You know that death came a knockin’ on the preacher’s door
Singin’ come on preacher, ain’t you ready to go
And my preacher stooped down, buckled up her shoes
And she moved on down by the Jordan stream
And then she shout “Hallelujah, done, done my duty, got on my travelin’ shoes”

You know that death came a knockin’ on my front door
Singin’ come on sister, ain’t you ready to go
So I stooped down, buckled my shoes
And I move on down by the Jordan stream
And then I shout “Hallelujah, done, done my duty, got on my travelin’ shoes”

Death came a knockin’ at my brother’s door this week–just as he has knocked at so many others in my past. I’ve lost count over the last sixty-five years.

I can’t remember how old I was when I attended my first funeral.

It sure wouldn’t be the last.

Death ate them all–one by one–like an evil, twisted, and demented child plowing through a bag of goldfish snack crackers.

First beloved grandparents, great-aunts and uncles. Then parents, friends, neighbors, preachers . . . and sisters and brothers.

Somehow I managed to survive each grief. There was always one ahead of me in line.

There was plenty of time.

Grandfather was first in line. Death knocked on his door in 1969. I was nineteen years old. My dad was ahead of me, and then death knocked at his door–in 1990. I was forty. My older brother was ahead of me, but death knocked at Dale’s door this week–and all of a sudden, at nearly age 66, I’m at the head of the line.

I’m the last one left.

And there’s no more time.

Time is an illusion.

And you know what I hate the most? Not dying–but continuing to live–all alone. Missing each and every one of those wonderful folks gone before, all of them becoming ever more, just thin and misty memories.

Each increasingly fading–as they move further away–down that “Jordan Stream.”

And knowing . . . in my heart of hearts, that death isn’t going to come knocking at my door anytime soon.

It’s not death at my door, or the reaper’s blade that I fear.

What I fear the most is that he’s not going to come anywhere near my door for a long, long time.

And I’m not very sure I can handle that.

Death is easy.

It’s living that’s hard–with precious and loving memories–that eventually bring more pain than joy.

Sorry for the downer blog. I promise I’ll be better next time.

Goodnight everyone.

Hug the ones you love . . . Hug them good and tight.

. . . and don’t answer the door.