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When I Die He Said

Sandra Yuen

bring me flowers

bury me underground in velvet

cast me into the sea

to be with my dad

don’t forget me

you son of a gun

you will be fine, he said


who will lead my orchestra

who will plant the seed

who will tend my garden

bring me a broken stem

so I can feel better

about the plight of justice or injustice

who will fill my head

suckle me

kiss my furrowed brow

clean my engine

eat my burnt bacon

laugh at my silly jokes

and when I crinkle my nose


I will bring you flowers

bury you in the velvet underground

play your favourite music

tend your garden

take care of your feral cat

whisper the Tao

and dream of the oasis

where we lived in a jungle

of misfits among giants

ready to fall into the ocean of angels


Sandra Yuen

Sandra Yuen

Sandra Yuen is an artist, writer, and speaker on recovery. She developed a form of schizophrenia at age 14, but struggled to earn a Fine Arts Diploma from Langara College and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia in art history. She's published three books and numerous articles under the pseudonym Sandra Yuen MacKay. She is also the recipient of the Courage to Come Back Award and the Diamond Jubilee Medal. Currently she has become a drummer and paints in oils and acrylics. Madness fuels her desire to create. Through art and writing and music she finds herself.

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