Aloha,  I found this poem in one of my notebooks. I don’t know who wrote so I’m unable to give credit. Several years ago, a woman who regularly attended my Maui Oceanfront yoga classes called me and said she was diagnosed with brain cancer and was unable to attend upcoming classes. As difficult and challenging as dying can be, she always gave yoga credit for preparing her for life’s trials and tribulations.  After she informed me of her condition, I went to visit her a few times at her home and one of those times she asked me to bring her this poem that I read during yoga. I’ll never forget her simple request and the truth of this poem. I was fortunate to know her and have the privilege to be with her for a few visits as she stayed present with losing her bodily form.

I love how this poem deals with both life and death.


You may not think the world needs you.

But it does, for you are unique

like no one that has ever been


or will come again

no one can speak with your voice

say your peace

smile your smile

or shine your light

no one can take your place

for it is yours to fill

If you are not there

to shine your light

who knows how many travelers

would lose their way

as they try to pass

by your empty place in the darkness. ”