The reckoning

When you find death or death finds you what is it like? Your cat on the floor, I remember that. The first time you felt something taken from you you treasured and knew from the time of its birth. Because it was a part of you, you felt a kind of death yourself. You were there when the cat was born, you had the mother still. You had her put down years later, you dug the grave. It was a healing process, a loving thing, to bury the dead. To wrap them in a shirt as one might swaddle a child. So this is you getting a taste of death but there is more to follow. You know this, you learn to accept the world for what it is. The fact that life and death go hand in hand, the two coincide. We don’t “find death” any more than death finds us, for we are never far apart. We overlook the great significance of what it means to live and die until we have no other choice. And then how we wish we had sooner.

Categories: prose, writing

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9 replies

  1. This will no doubt percolate through my day: probably wet by renewed tears. But the brew, not bitter, will lift me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stirs inner questions … how much leverage should one have in accelerating death’s arrival? We help our pets “go easy” but deny such options to humans capable of choosing just that for themselves. Since my son’s death, my perception/anticipation of my own death has changed radically. In no rush, but no longer in much dread.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Death isn’t the opposite of life but part of it, and what gives it its meaning. There’s a reason most stories of immortality are cautionary, and even one of the oldest remembered stories, the epic of Gilgamesh, ends with the lesson that nothing lasts forever. Getting a taste of death in the loss of a beloved cat, or any loved one, helps teach us to live with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! And I always go back to what little I profess to know through what I’ve read in some of the cool excerpts of Carlos Castaneda’s talks with Don Juan, the peyote Indian dude.

      Liked by 2 people

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