When Death begins to circle its wagons
drawing ever tighter spaces
around our dying loved one
we circle our wagons as well
drawing on previously untapped emotional and physical reserves
in order to do what we felt was beyond our ken.
Never did we think
that we could do what we are now doing.
Never could we picture the compromises, the sacrifices,
the emotional stretching that we would need to endure.
Never did we consider how Death---so patient----
would slowly and inexorably remove our loved one
from our midst,
allowing us an intimate view
of how Death begins to take our loved one
even while he is still breathing before our very eyes.
Listen and breathe.
Death may be cruel, Death may be kind
but Death is eventually our final friend in life;
removing our physical presence from this mortal coil
when our personal Sun has set.
Even as Death causes our loved one to wither
and unequivocally disappear
before our very eyes,
God(dess) is there,
holding the hands of all, the dying and the bereaved alike,
guiding us to a place
where Grace, Wisdom, and Beauty make their home.
We watch the wagons circle, helpless, yet
poised for the future,
but still clinging to a present
that must eventually give way
to a new world for our loved one,
a world to which they must travel alone.
Alone, yes, they must take their leave of us alone,
to release themselves from a body ready to return to Source.
We cannot accompany our loved one on that final road,
yet they are released by us with blessings
for a sweet, sweet hereafter.