The death of Terence , the funeral , and the aftermath .
It rained the morning you died.
The traffic was slow , the bus late.
I missed your passing by ten minutes.
Stood you up on your final day.
The hospice was as usual , peaceful.
I arrived half-running , half-walking.
There is something very humbling
about a nurse who can look you in the eye
and convey a personal message
without the need for talking.
Alone , I held your hand and smoothed your hair.
Struggled to control my emotions.
Accepted this final act , this closure.
The world swam through out-of-focus eyes
and I felt enlightened.
Relieved of the burden of care.
All the trauma now means nothing in summation.
Thank God I didn't have to flick the switch
to instigate your passive termination.
We cannot even speak now.
You , lying there on death-bed sheets.
Drawn up , foetal and coma-curled ,
compromised by redundant catheters.
Me , furrowed and harrowed with concern ,
realizing the end has finally come ,
fraught with the power of still enduring love.
There is no great comfort in this release ,
but the silence of the moment is , for now , enough.
I watched from the church doors.
Saw myself at the graveside ,
saw you leave this place.
They said I spoke ,
I can't remember that ,
just the sorrow and the broken hearts
and the red-rimmed eyes
under wide brimmed funeral hats
and the state of sombre melancholy ,
that brought us all too near perhaps ?
And everybody was far too nice.
I just wanted to be alone.
To leave this place of final goodbyes
before my world collapsed.
Acceptance is instant.
Coming to terms is anything but.
Sometimes I think I see you ,
in a crowd , on the street .
Tricks of the mind , wishful thinking .
Grieving takes time
and it doesn't get any easier.
When it get's dark in the afternoons ,
that's what I don't like.
The sense of solitude , of loneliness ,
is somewhat overpowering.
But time moves on.
Today I planted crocus bulbs on your grave,
and come the Spring ,
new life will be flowering.
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