On Saying Goodbye at the River in August


The weary world turns
and burns away life
to ash.
The flame that remains
is love.

The wild world winds
and grinds away life
to ash.
The song that goes on
is love.

Blessed lives seed goodness:
a garden of grace, a family, a world,
Love’s unending genesis
passed on…

Passed on
to death, to life.
to ashes, to life,
to dust returned and life renewed;
spirits free of matter
sloughing off the stuff of stars
life revolving, love’s revolution,
wild, turning, whirling world
by love alone survived.

And we, the fruits of your love,
plant you as fruit for the earth,
again and again resurrected
and ground to ash.

We consecrate the grinding,
life to ashes,
yet not wholly:
holy lives make holy ground;
life at rest,
but love unbound.


I wrote this poem in 2002. (Nearly 20 years ago? How can that be? Surely time should stop when our loved ones die…and it seems to, for a while, but then the years roll over us and we look back further and further, marveling at time’s passage and pondering our use of it and how, through all those years, the memories of loving presence endure.)

I shared this poem and its story in a recent interview with Susan Lambert, the gifted host of the podcast, In the Balance. I encourage you to visit this site and, when time allows, enjoy the many episodes of this stimulating and inspiring food for the spirit that’s so generously provided. We need it more than ever.

Be well and safe, and gentle peace.


© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.


4 thoughts on “On Saying Goodbye at the River in August

  1. Oh, how utterly heartfelt, true, raw and beautiful! You have such a gift with words. The pictures are so apt and stunning too. You were always meant to be on air, such a natural with such wise words. Love and hugs to you all…keep going gal! xxxx


    1. Thank you, dear one; your visits and support mean more than you can know…but I’ll keep reminding you! Keep taking good care of yourselves and your sweet world of gardens and wildlife. 🙂 xoxo


    1. Thank you for sharing your feelings; that is kind and brave of you to do. Yes, I agree; when those we love die, we grieve the loss of their physical and intimate presence and the dreams we imagined we would yet share, but, as grief abates, the blessings that our loved one offered our life continue to give us comfort and accompany/influence our choices. Be well and safe, and gentle peace.


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