May 21, 2017

ave atque vale

Through many countries and over many seas
I have come, Brother, to these melancholy rites,
To show this final honour to the dead,
And speak (to what purpose?) to your silent ashes,
Since now fate takes you, even you, from me.
Oh, Brother, ripped away from me so cruelly,
Now at least take these last offerings, blessed
By the tradition of our parents, gifts to the dead.
Accept, by custom, what a brother’s tears drown,
And, for eternity, Brother, ave atque vale
‘Hail and Farewell.’

Nearly six years to the day now.  And in that six years, I have lived and experienced six lifetimes.  One thing I have learned, that experience, that life, that patients (and patience) have taught me is, I am especially in tune with the dying and suffering.  Time and time again, I gravitate towards those patients, those experiences, those opportunities to bear witness to the dying and suffering.