Death - A Journal Entry


Coldness hangs in the grey air and settles on the frosted ground. The shovel freezes blisters into my hands as my labor reveals ice crystals, like worthless diamonds in the slowly building mounds of hard, red, clay. The hole below me widens and deepens to the dead monotony of digging.

Death lies on the ground next to me, wrapped in a blanket to hold the dignity in. One paw protrudes, rigid and still. No animal fades away, even in the balmy embrace of Disease, with her hungry kiss, does a creature fade. It weakens, flutters, fails—but when it finally dies the transition between life and death, between a raspy breath and sunken chest, between blinded eyes and empty eyes is far greater than distance to be fading.

I had a dog named Luna. She was a quiet, introverted, but sharp and clever animal. One time while on a walk, she ran off, bounding after some rabbit that she could see and hear but I could not. She didn't come back. The sun set and the clouds rained heavy curtains of dark water through the pitch. To my surprise, when the deluge stopped and the dawn came, Luna stood on the front porch, her tail wagging slowly, asking to come in, her eyes concealing where she'd been.

As the years wore on Luna wore out. Her loping slowed to a stumbling strut on stiff legs. Her back arched, pinching sharply just above the hips. Her eyes and mind dimmed, her head swinging back and forth, searching for something she couldn't see. Then one night, at a precise and single moment, Luna disappeared, and there was only Death.

Death is not allowed to stay. It is not the friend you took on hikes up rolling hills. It is not the companion that slept on your legs and kept you warm on chilly nights. It is not to be cried for, or cried over. Death is to be buried, covered, in the cold, still earth.

Nathan Little, 2006