Haibun for a life drawing to a close

We don’t fight death, we resign ourselves to letting go, bit by bit, little by little. Like pebbles in a cliff, we accept to part with just a handful more, until that wave, that has our name wreathed in spray, rises from the depths, and when it breaks, the heartslip, landslip, lifeslip slips away into the rolling blue silence.

Dry seed heads bend
beneath the wind’s hand sowing
flowers you won’t see.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

37 thoughts on “Haibun for a life drawing to a close”

  1. Oh, this made me cry, “until that wave, that has our name wreathed in spray.” It’s so beautiful but I know it could only be written by someone who is seeing a life close. My heart goes out to you.

    1. Thanks Marie. It’s that time of year. He has good days, like yesterday and this morning, and you’d just have said, that’s a well-behaved greyhound on his morning trot, but when he has bad days I just want it all to be over.

    1. Thank you. We’re taking it hour by hour almost. He had a peaceful night and seems quite sprightly this morning. Went walking in the warm wind and the leaves. Each time I think this could be the last. The year’s going too.

      1. I can imagine! We rescued a cat from a near-by shelter last spring. She’s a house-cat, except that we occasionally take her outside for a walk with a harness and leash. Recently my husband let her outside when he went out… thinking he could trust her. Nope. She took off chasing a squirrel and ran right into the street. Fortunately we live in an area without a lot of traffic, but had anything happened to her we would have been devastated. I can’t imagine losing her. I’ve also gone through that process of grieving “the aging process” with a beloved pet. I had a cat years ago… Ulysses… and as he aged I noticed how he had less spring in his step, how much weight he was losing, how his whole being changed as his time to leave us drew near. He lived a long and happy life, and we allowed him to choose when and how he left us. He asked to go outside late one night, and we knew that it was his time. We petted him and said our farewells and watched him walk out. The oddest thing is that we never found his body or had any indication of exactly where he chose to die, but I know wherever it was, he understood and was ready. It was hard for me, though. He’s been gone for more than 20 years, yet I still think of him and miss him every day.

      2. Oh, what a lovely story of saying goodbye. Our first cat didn’t go outside to die, but the way he looked at me the last night, I knew he was saying, this is it. It’s so hard to lose them.

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