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He’s leaving us

September 19, 2010

My father-in-law, in better days

He’s going away

one breath

one touch

one aching whisper

at a time.

He lies there in that hospital bed

aged a dozen years

in only one.

We don’t know him anymore

this weathered shell

this frailness

this lost look in his eyes.

This man

whose strong hands

once reached for grandchildren

snuggled them close

carried them out the door to ride

on his John Deere tractors.

This home-spun inventor

who crafted one-of-a-kind tools

to make his gardening work

a little easier.

He’s going away

and nobody knows how

to say good-bye.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2010 6:40 pm

    Been there. I know it’s hard. I wish for you whatever you need in these coming days.

  2. faerian permalink
    September 19, 2010 6:45 pm

    holding you all in my thoughts at this sad sad time

  3. September 19, 2010 6:48 pm

    I am so sorry, Heather. Peace and love, O

  4. September 19, 2010 6:51 pm

    Oh, Heather. Sending hugs and peaceful wishes to you and your loved ones as you witness this step in the cycle of life.

  5. September 19, 2010 7:04 pm

    Heather, I am crying right now. For you, for me, for your family, for the very loss that we all feel. The photo and your words say so much to that part of me that knows this is part of the cycle …and yet grieves none-the-less. May you and he and everyone he touched feel peace.

  6. September 19, 2010 7:08 pm

    Love and peace to all of you.

  7. leel permalink
    September 19, 2010 10:00 pm

    love and hugs to you all. he sounds like a wonderful man.

  8. September 20, 2010 9:06 am

    Sending you lots of love, strength and peace. What wonderful words you have for someone who clearly touched your life and many others. Wishing you well.

  9. September 20, 2010 9:35 am

    Heather, This is a beautiful good-bye.

  10. Shadow permalink
    September 20, 2010 9:42 am

    Hugs and may those memories of when he was stronger live on.

  11. COLMORIAIN permalink
    September 20, 2010 9:45 am

    Beautiful testament to a dying man! To quote John O’Donohue, Irish Poet & Philosopher: “We have no rituals to protect, encourage and guide us as we cross over into the unknown”. However your lovely poem will hopefully like the proverbial flapping of a butterflies wings spread a gentle loving sensation radiating love out from his frail presence. My God give you strength and comfort at this time and thanks for sharing your love.

  12. September 20, 2010 12:20 pm

    thank you for being there with me. I love you


  13. September 20, 2010 1:40 pm

    this is a beautiful tribute, and a difficult-yet-beautiful (though the beauty part is sometimes only seen in hindsight) time. (says the end-of-life doula)

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