Today, I saw death

This site was something nobody could have prepared me for

Some say they can taste death or smell it, but today I saw it

I stared death straight in the face

I stared at a lifeless body

I stared at a body that was once so energetic and spirited

I stared at bones nearly piercing through skin

At lungs grasping for breath

At eyes that wanted nothing more than to see loved ones around them

At a mouth trying to utter words in order to maintain our connection

Until I realised that we didn’t and don’t need words to maintain our connection

That we have the same blood running through our veins

So by virtue of that, we are always connected

I uttered no words but just stared

Stared at how she was holding onto this life she had become so accustomed to

But this life, this image in front of me, was in immense pain

Pain so excruciating that those around her could feel it

Today, I saw death

Just because death is inevitable, it does not mean that it is easy to accept

So I sat there in silence, reciting my prayer

For 30 minutes, I prayed to the Lord

My prayer was simple

Father let Your will be done, hear her cries, oh Lord. Father let Your will be done, hear her cries, oh Lord. Father let Your will be done, hear her…”

Nene_McKerry[1]
Photo by Lerica McKerry of Nene, as we referred to her. Nene was my inspiration for this poem as I saw her lay in bed after she had passed away.
Nene[1]
Photographer unknown. Nene, from my mother’s side of the family always had a ton of energy and continued working in her garden up until she could not physically do it anymore.
 

 

And this prayer of mine was heard

It was heard much sooner than I expected

But this prayer was a painful prayer

One that hurt all of us, immensely

But it was a prayer that needed to be said

It was a prayer that needed to be heard

One that needed to be repeated

For it was inhumane for her to live a life but to live it through those around her

She was living a lifeless life

One she needed to let go of

One we needed her to let go of

And that’s what we needed to do…

Before she passed away

To let go, to let her go, to let go of her

Kitty[1]
Photo by Keanu Grootboom of Aunty Kitty was the proverbial glue that held her family together, an elegant woman indeed.

But we only did it afterwards

So I say this again

“Father, Let your will be done. Hear her cries ,oh Lord. Father let Your will be done. Hear her cries , Oh Lord. Father let Your will be done, hear her…”

Ma[1]
Photo by Dean Findlay of Ma Minnie Elizabeth Cassels, my grandmother, and I wish I could have spent more time with her as her strong-willed personality inspired me. I love and miss you Ma
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBiMDPDEgS8

Feature image taken by Charissa Cassels

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