The passing was gradual, natural,
Just as the brochure said.
Slow, raspy breath, unaware?
But I spoke to you, told you
You had been a good Dad.
And, as if you heard, you stirred.
Then I saw you hours later,
And you were gone.
Loking no different than before,
Lying stiffly on your back, half-clothed,
Eyes open, mouth agape, cold hand.
But no more breath.
Later, I thought we should have closed your eyes,
Your mouth, dressed you nicely. But we left that
To the experts, not the nurses,
Whose job was done, but to the two men in black,
Who entered silently, respectfully,
Covered you and left without a word.
Later, I wished for a leave-taking,
Comfort and understanding in ritual,
But no one else seemed to care.
So I hung your favorite cap
Upon my living room chair
And went on with my busy life.
A few days later, standing outside,
I saw a cloud, pink, wing-shaped,
Recede into the Western sky
And felt, not heard,"We are taking him now."
And I knew your soul had flown.
But who was there to tell?
Do not rest in peace, but wander, be the cloud,
Pink, wing-shaped before the rising sun,
Visit places fondly remembered,
People loved, never lost,
Drift, at rest with the self
A Dying Mother
An ashen craggy face devoid of its intimate familiarity,
Pale thin skin deeply etched by toil and time,
Cheek and chin bones, nose and ears strangely prominent,
Mouth and thin lips expressionlessly distorted,
Eyes cloudy then clear, confused then full of fear,
A face become a mask.
A once lean being, and now a shrunken twisted body,
Arms,hands and fingers once so strong and skilled,
now only limp and lame,
Legs and feet, once tirelessly active,
now only know a restless rest,
A mouth that once could smile and talk,
can now but moan and grimace,
A mind once self-aware and proud,
now lingering on in helpless anguish,
A being become a body.
The person, my dear mother, has almost left,
Her spirit is almost gone,
Dying is hell and death a welcome release!
An epigram a day:
Death takes what life gives.
Having done one's best, one deserves one's rest.
The tooth of time gnaws relentlessly.
Old age is haunted by fading shadows and dying echoes.
We die in death but linger on in memory.