Death is a strange thing
It is neither good nor bad
It is peaceful
I learnt this while sitting with a dying man for his last hours
I dreamt his story as I slept

I remember fear
Cold anticipating fear
Of facing another day against people like me
Of leaving everything behind
to be taken by the angel of death

I remember climbing over the trench
The screams of my mates drowned out by gunfire
And explosions
Beautiful fields now a barren vision of hell
Flowers replaced by dead bodies and rotting flesh
All greenery choked
Just like the soldiers by burning gases until they ceased to live

I remember the smell of smoke and dried blood
The searing pain of a bullet now lodged in my spine
The vision of guns blurring
Seeing a young girl running across the field
My daughter
The vision of my beloved wife
Possibly never to be seen again

It is now when I awake that I realize that the suffering goes far beyond the hospital
And so forever and for generations to come
We will remember them