Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Do not cling

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His mother ill in the hospital
very sick and he is going crazy
not knowing what to do,
so he calls the doctor expecting an answer,
when often the only answer is one he does not want to hear;
she is old
winding down though slowly,
doctors can only do so much in any circumstance
the process cannot be stopped,
for we all wear out,
the journey often grueling,
cruel in its intensity and the helplessness felt.

The doctors and nurses
have seen it all before and so they listen
and try to help,
yet not in ways wanted
for no assurances can be given,
they never can.

In the end we are all backed into a corner
our bodies betray us
dying slowly and cannot be brought back,
though,
perhaps for a time,
the end can be forestalled
the time and place unknown
yet death
will surely come.

Our loved ones
parents,
brothers and sisters,
yes friends
will all one day make that slow journey
to that corner
where when there is no place to turn,
it is then their time
to say their goodbyes if they can,
leaving a void
that can never be filled
though hopefully healed slowly as time flows by.

We so take each other for granted
thinking we have all the time in the world,
yet we don’t,
for the young as well as the old pass on,
some quickly,
others like the old,
a slow painful journey
for all.

So love those you love,
tell them so,
embrace them
but do not cling,
for some things are not possible,
dust we are
we all slip through in time.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Monastery

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