When Angels Sing: The Time My Cousin Died

The poem, When Angels Sing, was a poem I wrote a few years after the traumatic death of my cousin Mark, who was killed on February 26, 1995, at the young age of 24, in a head-on car and truck collision, with a driver who was drunk and who was driving on the wrong side of the road.

The car and truck collision was so violent in that Mark was killed instantly. His chest was crushed from the deadly impact. His forehead was deeply gashed. One of his legs was broken. In spite of this horrific tragedy—and loss, the drunk driver did not receive a scratch nor suffered any consequences for shortening my cousin’s life.

At that time, I had never experienced the death of a family member or anyone who was close to me who ended up being killed. The emotions I felt were beyond devastation. How can a person possibly wrap their mind around the fact that a young person, with so much life and so much life to share and give, was dead? It felt like a nightmare, but the nightmare was real.

The Sunday night when Mark was killed, I was on-call in providing overnight shelter to homeless youth who were in crisis. My beeper beeped throughout the night. Usually, during a weekend on-call assignment, the need and request for emergency shelter was minimal. But the Sunday night when Mark was killed, there were so many young people who were in desperate need of emergency shelter, and by the grace and the mercy of the Lord, I was able to find shelter for all of them. I sat my grief aside to help a very vulnerable population.

Monday morning, February 27, 1995, was one of the most beautiful, winter mornings that I had ever seen in my life. It looked like a crystal wonderland outside. The trees were covered with long icicles that looked like crystals. It seemed as if heaven had paused for a few seconds to cry over the death of my cousin. The morning was simply breath-taking, and beautiful.

During the week of Mark’s death, I was bold enough to ask God to show me his death through my spiritual sight, and He did. I saw the whole deadly scene. Believe it or not, what was so surprising was the fact that Mark (his spirit, his true self) was not all conscious of what had happened to him. It was as if his spirit was in a daze and shock, trying to make sense of what had happened.

As I was in one of my morning prayers (during the same week of Mark’s death), God directed me to light this beautiful eggshell blue candle that I had bought years ago, to help guide Mark’s spirit to the light. Up to the time of Mark’s funeral, I was in deep prayer and was in tune to his spirit, asking him to go to the light. (I know some of my readers may think that I have lost my mind.) But, truly, this actually happened.

I cannot exactly tell you when, but shortly after Mark’s death and burial, I had a dream of him one morning. There he was in the midst of this beautiful autumn scenery, and he was smiling and grinning from ear to ear (and that boy could smile too). I cannot even describe how beautiful the trees looked. The trees were glowing with beautiful golden and brown colors, and beautiful light penetrated everything around. While in this dream, Mark said to me, smiling, with happiness like I had never seen, “I’m alright. I’m happy. Thank you.” I woke up immediately, in happy tears, knowing that my obedience to God assisted Mark in getting home safely and with the assurance that I will see him again.

Something good can come from a bad situation. Mark’s death penetrated my heart and soul with a fierce and passionate determination to sit at the feet of God to learn as much as I could about death and dying. During this process, God gave me the vision of “Working Through It.” And nineteen years later, after having experienced so much in life, here I am, sharing my vision, dream and knowledge and hoping that someone, anyone, finds comfort and benefit from one of these posts. And to God goes the glory!

I would like to share my poem, “When Angels Sing,” which I wrote in 1997 in memory of Mark. We don’t know how long a loved one or one of our earthly angels will be with us. But while we have them in our lives, let’s cherish them and love them and let them know how much they’re loved and appreciated, even if they are now in heaven.

When Angels Sing

O how beautiful do angels sing
Just like the flutter of butterfly wings
They sing so ever sweetly
Like beautiful cords of angelic melodies
They come in all colors and shades
Beige, licorice, amber, mahogany, including jade

You never know when an angel will sing
Nor what gifts they will bring
Angels cross our paths everyday
Some come for a moment, while others come to stay

If you are hungry and thirsty and someone brings you manna
and drink in your wilderness,
That’s an angel.

What about the time when you were sick and there was
only one lonesome somebody to hold your hand.
That was an angel.

An expense is due, and a gentle hand places a folded napkin
in the palm of your hand.
To your surprise, it contained a hundred dollar bill.
That’s an angel.

O how beautiful do angels sing
Just like the flutter of butterfly wings.

When I see the color purple dancing in the wind
The sunshine in my face becomes a grin.
When I see two squirrels playing and romping about
It fills me with joy, without a doubt.
When I see a baby shaking its rattle in pure delight
It makes my day that much bright.
Or when I see a mother lovingly wipes the tears from her child’s eyes
The feeling that rushes through my heart requires no name or a reason why.

O how beautiful do angels sing
Just like the flutter of butterfly wings.

When you give:
a cup of water
a thank you
a hug
a “you’re welcome”
or even an “I love you”

An angel sings
Just like the flutter of butterfly wings
Just like the flutter of butterfly wings
Just like the flutter of butterfly wings.


2 thoughts on “When Angels Sing: The Time My Cousin Died”

  1. This is so heartfelt and beautiful. I too know Oh so well the tragic experience of losing a dearly beloved person who meant the world to you. Even in the midst of death, there are lessons to be learned and much knowledge and I sight to be gained. For all things happen for a reason. Death brings out the inner strength within us to rely and trust God even the more. Thanks so much for sharing this. Continued blessings to you.


    1. Thank you so very much for your kind words. You are most kind. Mark’s death put my own mortality in total perspective. Here I am sharing and discussing a topic that is very dear to my heart, and all I ask is for God to use me for His glory. I do not take credit for any of this. Out of tremendous pain, there can come beauty and a tremendous gift. I know Mark, and God, are cheering me on to victory.

      God bless you, pressed down and running over with blessings. Again, thank you for reading my blog post.

      Liked by 1 person

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