The still, quiet figure in the bed

bore little resemblance

to the man we knew.

His recent illness his greatest struggle,

his body fought on as we kept vigil -

but we were not alone.

Death was in the room; hovering.

All day the battle went on;

as his body began to die.

There was no recognition in his dull eyes,

no response to our touch.

His daughter and son

whispered to him all day long,

reminding him; loving him.

His wife, my mother, stood a little apart,

watching, remembering, mourning.

Late in the afternoon,

the pause between

his gasping breaths grew longer.

Still, he was alive.

His breathing stopped;

his heart kept on beating.

My mother sat next to him,

her gentle hand on his chest.

She kissed him, murmuring

private words of comfort; of love -

of release.

Within a split second, he was there;

then he was not.

His final moment was peaceful; serene,

the sound of tortured breathing

replaced by utter quiet.

We all must die

It is those we have touched, those who loved us,

that makes sense of it all.

He was my second father;

he left his mark.



Ellie Maziekien


Return to Next Page


.org">Return to Next Page