‘The Merciful Hours’

Paula Meehan kindly gifted her poem 'The Merciful Hours' to the Irish Hospice Foundation to mark their 30th anniversary in 2016. Paula made a recording of the poem for Poetry Day Ireland. Take a moment to stop and listen. Poetry connects at our most difficult times.


The Merciful Hours

Because we have known Death come the hard way —
knock at the door in the dark of the night,
all of us breaking with the shock of day —
this precious time to sit with our living
while they enter their peace, is pure gift.
It falls like healing light on our waiting
for heaven, or nothing, or another lifetime,
be we lovers or father or mother
or child to each other. Our mortal dream
is to step out together the long road home,
hand fast in hand whatever the weather,
whatever the twists and turnings to come.
So: to the vigil bring candles, bring flowers,
heart’s gratitude for the merciful hours.
Paula Meehan  
Music by Stano and Billy Farrell
Produced by Stano
Poem recorded by Denise Dunphy
Image by Inchy