My Father’s Death
Two years ago you sat next to his bed for the last time.
The sun set as the clock’s hand moved.
Time had ceased,
measured less in minutes than breaths.
His heartbeat growing fainter as you held vigil.
It is an odd thing,
knowing the end is so near, you can feel it’s breath,
feel it’s cold truth.
And it came.
It always does.
That last breath.
The vigil over, a feeling of lostness,
for in the week before, you had not held vigil,
you had become vigil.
The world passed without you,
and suddenly, in the silence,
you joined it again.
About this poem
This morning my facebook feed had a reminder from the time I was holding vigil with my sisters at my father’s deathbed. It brought back all sorts of memories, and so I had to write of it to help me sort them out.
The picture was taken the day of his death, as the sun came over the hospital roof his last day. I took the picture with my phone, and I’ve kept it ever since.
I don’t actively mourn any longer. It has been two years, after all. But I still actively miss both he, and even more, my mother, who died just a year earlier. You move past death. But you never move past the life before. Not completely.