Once I was afraid of dying,

Terrified of ever lying,

Petrified of leaving family, home and friends.

Thoughts of absence from my dear ones

Brought a melancholy tear once,

And a lonely, dreadful fear of when life ends.

But those days are long behind me,

Fear of leaving does not bind me,

And departure does not hold a single care.

Peace does comfort as I ponder

A reunion in the yonder

With my dearest one who's waiting for me there.

sam.farmer@latimes.com

This article was originally published in the Los Angeles Times' 125-year commemorative section on March 30, 2006.