Seasons Change

This is for gues prompter, Merrill who asks us to write a haibun on transitions. Haibun are factual accountings usually of one to three brief paragraphs ended with a seasonal haiku.

Seasons Change
Winter changed to spring and spring changed to early summer. The sun was mild and roses were blooming everywhere. You had changed from happy and verbal to non-verbal and sad. I watched you changing before my eyes. I would wheel you around the skilled nursing facility, taking you to activities and into the dining room. You enjoyed your table mates and the musical activities. You liked going out into the garden and having your hair done. You had a stroke and then another and another. You became non-verbal and bed ridden. The last two weeks of your life, I sat by your bedside for hours reading your favorite verses from the Bible and singing hymns to you. Suddnely one day you said to me, “Mama is here. So is your father.” The next day your father joined them along with your beloved Grandmother. I knew the end was not far away. I left you that day after praying with you and telling you I loved you. The look in your eyes was sad as you watched me leave the room. The next morning, your nurse called me to let you know you had died. I went from beloved daughter to orphan.
blue sky of autumn –
the earth moves to silence –
leaves drift like the clouds

copyright kanzensakura


35 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. merrildsmith
    Oct 29, 2018 @ 20:20:26

    Very moving, Toni. I remember you writing of this before. I’m so sorry for your loss. The haiku is wonderful–the leaves and drifting clouds–time passing.
    I see a bird–maybe a peace dove–in your clouds photo.


  2. Glenn Buttkus
    Oct 29, 2018 @ 20:28:51

    The biggest transition of them all; again shared–thanks. Many of us are seniors in this group. I love to think Zen–death is a doorway, fear is futile.


  3. Grace
    Oct 29, 2018 @ 21:41:36

    A sad and moving experience Toni. I hated seeing my father changing from strong to weak due to health issues; my sister from being happy to being sad. I feel you on those silence, gaping open like a sky.


  4. V.J. Knutson
    Oct 29, 2018 @ 22:10:11

    A heartfelt testament of losing a parent. So good that you were able to be with her during that time. Hugs.


  5. Gospel Isosceles
    Oct 29, 2018 @ 22:25:08

    How terribly sad. Even though there was a joyous Homecoming just around the bend, losing a loved one is still a blow to the heart.


  6. Maureen Sudlow
    Oct 29, 2018 @ 22:46:00

    wrenching – always so hard saying goodbye to those we love. A lot of peace in that closing haiku


  7. rothpoetry
    Oct 29, 2018 @ 23:11:19

    Watching our loved ones come to the end of life is always difficult. It is never easy to say goodbye!


  8. anmol(alias HA)
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 07:44:04

    This is heartfelt — the days preceding their passing leave an impact which stays with us — it is moving and beautiful in equal measures.
    Leaves drifting like the clouds is a lovely image!


  9. lillian
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 07:56:14

    Beautiful, Toni. I never thought about becoming an orphan at an older age….but it’s true isn’t it? And the feelings we have when we lose our parent make it so.


  10. areadingwriter
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 10:02:41

    Oh dear. Oh dear. Another brilliant tearjerker. Prayers for you. This is beautiful.


  11. jazzytower
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 12:30:24

    My goodness, so sad. Good you were there at the day before. A path we must take. Good writing.



  12. Frank Hubeny
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 12:37:54

    Very nice description. I like how she told you whom she saw.


  13. Charmed Chaos
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 12:38:49

    Ah, Toni. So beautiful, and heart wrenching. Those days of watching their decline are the toughest.


  14. Kerry
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 14:15:50

    Change is the only constant after all.


  15. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 15:03:23

    This made me think that somehow you are blessed in some way… I see my mother still alive but without any means of communication I almost wish that she could die… but on the other hand i have no clue what she actually feel deep within.. I feel for you and the contrast between the beautiful weather and the dying makes it even sadder.


  16. Pat: willow88switches
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 15:14:21

    Death is never easy, unless it is swift. But to watch one slowly drift, and then lose more and more of their autonomy, can be exceptionally difficult. It is hard for the person who lives it, and for those who are witness. And yes, some people are gently visited and welcomed by those who have passed before – and I *do* think it brings them comfort (or can) – which it seems to have done, with your mother. And if this is how she found peace – which I hope she did and think she did (you mentioned her eyes seemed to be sadly regarding you upon your last visiting with her), then this is a blessing. And perhaps, her final sadness was in knowing how much grief and sorrow you would be feeling, for so much time. But I’d like to think, you mother walks and watches over you Toni.

    Prayers in light for you both, my friend.

    A sensitively penned haibun. And a very peaceful haiku you have shared. 🙂


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 30, 2018 @ 17:03:43

      Thank you so much for this thought. I had not thought of my mother looking over me. I had taken care of her so much in the last 10 years of her life, like a parent. Thank you thank you thank you.

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10



      • Pat: willow88switches
        Oct 30, 2018 @ 17:05:29

        you are welcome Toni – and honestly, I’m recalling a photo you posted not too long ago, of your mother, and remembering her face and her eyes, and I honestly think, do believe, she *is* with you – and will always be.


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 30, 2018 @ 17:06:14

      Prayed every day for her death, to be released from her suffering. the summer was one of the most beautiful I have seen. Ironic. Mama could still communicate with her eyes – and she did. I am left with the memory of her eyes that last day.


      • Pat: willow88switches
        Oct 30, 2018 @ 17:10:08

        I understand. My maternal grandmother suffered a stroke when I was but two. And after the necessary operation, she was left partially paralyzed and “speechless” – she could only say “Fafa” – and this from a woman who spoke at least 7 languages, fluently. And so the eyes, the eyes became the means and ways of trying to understand. And I too, saw my grandmother days before her death – she had been trying to “talk to me” for about a week, to communicate something “direly important” – and it was so hard, so painful and frustrating. 20+ years laid up and now, it was the anniversary of her death a few weeks ago, even after 28 years, I still recall it all vividly. So yes, I can relate.


  17. Beverly Crawford
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 16:49:10

    It is hard to watch our parents, once so alive and vigorous, fade slowly away. You were fortunate to have those last gentle visits with your mother. They were your final gift of love. Blessings.


  18. rivrvlogr
    Oct 30, 2018 @ 19:44:12

    Knowing the end is coming for a loved one doesn’t make it any easier to accept. This is very moving.


  19. oldegg
    Oct 31, 2018 @ 05:38:01

    Sadly I have seen a few people die including my own wife. The experience is both good and bad. You haibun is really beautiful.


  20. Frank J. Tassone
    Oct 31, 2018 @ 20:26:02

    A poignant witness, Toni. Having been there myself with both Mom and Dad, I feel what you went through! Beautifully written!


  21. KB
    Nov 01, 2018 @ 02:11:03

    Heartbreaking and beautifully written..


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