… That You Were Born and You Will Die

Beautiful pieces of poetry often get sent to me… especially around death and dying. Today, my dear friend, Margot Smith, sent me this poem by Pádraig Ó Tuama, The Facts of Life.  You can click here to have Pádraig read it to you.

The Facts of Life

That you were born

and you will die.

That you will sometimes love enough

and sometimes not.

That you will lie

if only to yourself.

That you will get tired.

That you will learn most from the situations

you did not choose.

That there will be some things that move you

more than you can say.

That you will live

that you must be loved.

That you will avoid questions most urgently in need of

your attention.

That you began as the fusion of a sperm and an egg

of two people who once were strangers

and may well still be.

That life isn’t fair.

That life is sometimes good

and sometimes better than good.

That life is often not so good.

That life is real

and if you can survive it, well,

survive it well

with love

and art

and meaning given

where meaning’s scarce.

That you will learn to live with regret.

That you will learn to live with respect.

That the structures that constrict you

may not be permanently constricting.

That you will probably be okay.

That you must accept change

before you die

but you will die anyway.

So you might as well live

and you might as well love.

You might as well love.

You might as well love.


I could listen to Pádraig Ó Tuama read his poems over and over… and I do. You can listen to this poem here.

Pádraig hosts the podcast series Poetry Unbound which I would highly recommend signing up for. Short bursts of inspiration and respect.

Photo: Wendy Haynes, Emerald Beach at sunrise with Kangaroos on the headland.

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The Facts of Life Pádraig Ó Tuama