Why?

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!

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6 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Beautiful, poignant thoughts. That cat got me! I like to believe light and love make those last moments also the start of a more beautiful existence.

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  2. Interesting piece, and take on the word departed. I have never given it much thought before, but it isn’t as if your father was on a Boeing 777 and his flight departed…
    I think birthdays and holidays (and Fridays and Mondays and summer vacation, etc.) stir up emotions and thoughts that we hold at bay most of the time, so it is only natural that turning inward with your thoughts and feelings happens around this time. My mother left 9/4/15 and I just couldn’t deal with her first birthday without her, so I threw her a party, with my class. We did a craft, ate cake and peanut butter crackers. The kids wanted to sing, and so they did. And a few brought me flowers to take to the cemetery after school. It was very, very moving…
    Best wishes to you. May you find peace and joy!

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  3. Through your writing, I feel that you are sorting things out. By reading what you wrote this evening, I feel there are things I’d like to incorporate into my thoughts and feelings about “departing”. Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Your post is beautifully balanced! I love how you take us from your own personal ponderings and memories to a right now example. And you did it with style and grace. Thanks for leaving me with so much to think about!

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  5. “…but I never shared my thoughts.” This line stood out in particular. I could relate to the feeling of being able to go on with everyday activities, even some “fun evenings” while still feeling internally unsettled. Writing is a way that I can process some of those underground emotions. I’m glad you wrote and shared what you have been experiencing. Thank you.

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