by Nancy McKay

She laid back on

her pillow.  A few words

and the fact she was dying

mended a relationship

with holes in it.  She desired

freedom.  She intended to die

with no regrets.  One more

colleague to go then

she’d have only

herself to deal with.

Books on conscious

death, good death

proclaimed forgiveness. Not just

the religious ones.  Forgive

everything in sight and


The less she could

do about anything

the easier to let go.  Resentments no

longer energized her.

What if had scant

meaning.  What was,

was.  What is, is.

She seldom looked toward

the future.  She didn’t

belong there.  Still

“this day” and its awkwardnesses,


reminders and

pleasures sufficed.  Yes,


The to-do list

had only one

entry.  Breathe.  Or not.

The elm tree leaves,

serial companions for 48 years,

waited for her looking.

They abided.

The squirrel played on

the deck railing.  The cats

didn’t bother to look up – some

peace pact negotiated.  Peace

was growing in her.  Green leaves

heralded calm.  Summer is a good

time to die.


Bio:  Nancy McKay gives spiritual direction in the progressive Christian tradition. She also practices and teaches Bio-Spirituality through Focusing.

She is a former presenter at the Cancer as a Turning Point, From Surviving to Thriving™ conference and a current Healing Journeys Board Member.