Faces, by Mandy Preece

My story has birthed itself as a poem. I sat quietly wondering how I could encapsulate all I have been taught at the bedside and beyond it: the experiences at end of life and in grief as a daughter, friend, volunteer and soul midwife. So here it is …


I know your face

the sounds of your breath

the scent of your labour

the inner sight of your eyes.

I have sat alongside

those I have loved more than anyone


those whose last breaths were my only knowing of them.


I know your face

the sounds of your voice

the scent of your sadness

the emptiness of your eyes.

I have experienced grief

mine, raw and haunting

yours, different but the same.


I know your face

the sounds of your living

the scent of your efforts

the panorama of your eyes.

I have lived life

madly, joyously, deliciously


troubled, challenged, destructively.


I know your face

the silence of your presence

the scent of your peace

the vision of your grace.

I am allowing life

to live me

in all its shapes and colours


through death meeting life

to find my truth


for you to find yours.

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