The last breath

Personal Stories | December 29, 2023 | Gretchen Huntley

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A photo by Sam Battams. It is a beach scene at dusk with a beautiful sunset over misty water and rocks.

Gretchen Huntley is a Poet Laureate from Gananoque, Ontario. When she saw a photo from photographer Sam Battams, it touched her heart. “I think it represents death in a beautiful way and I have tried to capture his image in words.”

The last breath holds beauty 

Just like the very first 

As a loved one enters the world 

And then they slip from earth 

It breaks our heart as it happens 

But life begins and ends in a breath 

That single slow release of air 

As they slip from life to death 

But try to see it like a sunset 

Their life a glorious sun 

Then slowly the beams slip towards heaven 

As their life is finally done


But look at what they’ve left you 

A reminder everyday 

Of how wonderful life has been 

As the sun slips slowly away 

Every tear we shed  

Is heartbreak to the core 

But for the ones that leave us 

They pray for something more 

We celebrate their first breath 

When their life has just begun 

Let’s celebrate the life they’ve had 

With the setting sun 

Draw comfort from each evening  

As the sun sets in the sky 

Our loved ones have found peace forever 

From suffering they’ve said goodbye 

You can read more from Poet Laureate Gretchen Huntley here.

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