Death Sits Here

Death sits here
At our table, served tea and wine and water in our mugs.
He hangs his wide-brimmed hat by the door, places his cloak with our coats in the closet
kicks the mud from his well-worn boots and leans his staff by the door, next to Beth’s.
Our home is as much his as it is our own
We mark our calendar by this mask of the Masked One
When death howls, and when it rages,
when it whispers, and when it embraces
We are not a life at any cost family
We do not recognize death as The End.
Our family is filled with spirits of those once-incarnate
I’ve been haunted by the cries of cats who no longer have throats to voice those trills and chirps
We’ve stepped in well-placed puddles of phantom pee, given to us by a puckish once-Pomeranian
I have warm, happy conversations with my grandmother, dead these last three years
And I’ve met Beth’s gram, who I never knew in life.
We see the boundary, we know it is there, but it a threshold as substantial as our front door
It opens and closes, and traffic passes both ways.
And Death sits here,
At our table, served tea and wine and water in our mugs.

Despite this, impending death reduces me to a child
Tears and pleading and desperation.
Not him. Not yet. Not now. Not like this. Please, please, please.
Do you not love us? Will you not stay your hand?
We’ve given ourselves to this dread god, the Hanged One, the Terrible One,
and our household, too.
But, not him. Not yet. Not now. Not like this. Please, please, please.
I whisper this and catch the words, shoving them down, down into the bottom of my heart, into my stomach, where they churn and burn and writhe.
I stop them, stoppering myself up, as though He does not know, cannot see, will not hear.
Foolish daughter, He is the Far-Seer, and there’s no secret in my heart that He does not own.
I am left with ‘please, please, please‘, and I don’t even know what I’m begging for.

~*~*~*~

edited to clarify: Grim is still with us and as well today as he was yesterday. This is me just dealing with the knowledge that we’re counting down and that he is terminally ill.

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8 thoughts on “Death Sits Here

  1. Even though we know death waits for no one, we still plead for life, this life. Even when we see or feel our ancestors standing by our side. I see Death or the “passing over into the afterlife” as my Goddess Hathor standing at my side, with Her hand reaching for mine. One day I will walk with the “Lady of the West” into the field of reeds, to everlasting bliss.
    But, we & I still say, not just yet, no not today.
    Blessings to all who live with life & knows what awaits us,
    Reverend Donna M. Swindells
    Fellowship of Isis

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