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March 4, 2021

Mourning # 13

Mourning # 13


Before I slip into the dimension of mist

so thick I can’t see my arms or legs

before intubation ventilation compensation

I want to say one last word: not blame

or love or regret or stay home or

mountain top or sunset or rosebud


I know what not but not what


surf’s up, rock ‘n roll, peace out

the name of my first cat, remember that?

I get one chance, why waste it?

sex, money, fame, I want to live …

I want to learn how to fly …

maybe if I wrote it on my hand …

if I only had my glasses …

I don’t wear glasses …


---- Rose Mary Blackwell, 65, and her husband Paul Blackwell, 61, of Grand Prairie, Texas died of the novel coronavirus within minutes of one another holding hands. Holding hands like they had been for 30 years of marriage. They felt ill and missed a family Thanksgiving for the first time. The next day they were hospitalized. Their sons, Shawn and Brandon, remembered their final struggle. “It did give us some sense of closure that they both went together.” They all said goodbye by video chat. Then, at the end, the nurses moved them together so they could hold hands, and they let the sons, Shawn and Brandon, come in in hazmat suits and hold hands with them too after the parents were taken off life-support. Their souls departed together on December 13, 2020.


The Blackwells were both educators at the Grand Prairie Independent School District. They were due to retire this year to enjoy their 20 grandchildren. They are mourned by former students and colleagues, and a large number of friends and family. Paul was black; Rose Mary was Hispanic. They died holding hands.