It’s been a while dear anonymous reader. I was emotionally drained every evening last week and could not think to write. I passed another birthday of my departed dad and I’ve noticed that I tend to retreat a little. Don’t get me wrong, I went out and had fun a few evenings but I never shared my thoughts.
But I’m thinking tonight of that word “departed” and here I am……writing. I don’t particularly like the word. “Departed”……it sounds weird. Like someone went on a trip and will return. If you believe in an afterlife, you will say the person has started another journey. I know that every creature living has a life cycle. People, plants and animals all have an expiration date.
My dad used to say at the end that dying was hard. I haven’t thought about his “departing” in a while. It was hard to watch him slip away because he was larger than life. But even he “departed”.
Tonight, I was sent on an errand to search in the dark for a hat. As I moved towards the front of my yard, iPhone in hand, I saw a small black cat laying face down at the roots of a tree. As I got closer, I noticed that it didn’t run. I realized he was breathing so I went to get my neighbor.
Now my neighbor is the man who takes in and cares for our wild cat population. He came over and gently pulled him out from the tree roots. He said that he was already getting stiff and his breathing was swallow. He was “departing”. As we stood there and talked, I noticed the swishing,ever so slight, of a tail. His little head never looked our way but he could hear our voices. Dying is hard.
Is that what happens? Do we hear a kind voice? I wonder if at that moment as we are hovering between life and death we feel love and does that make the departing easier or harder.
I like to believe that the journey begins knowing that you are “leaving” loved. That someone will miss you, that you mattered, that someone will talk about you with love. I read somewhere that someone dies only when the last person who knew them dies. That we live on in memories. I like that thought! Especially, dear anonymous reader, tonight!