“Grandmother” by Denny Haskew
…on the Passing of Elders
You sit still among us, Brother (Sister), your person retains its usual resemblance, and continues similar to ours, without any visible deficiency, except that it has lost the power of action. But whither is that breath flown, which a few hours ago sent up smoke to the Great Spirit? Why are those lips silent, that lately delivered to us expressive and pleasing language? Why are those feet motionless, that a short time ago were fleeter than the deer on yonder mountains? Why useless hang those arms that could climb the tallest tree, or draw the toughest bow? Alas! Every part of that frame which we lately beheld with admiration and wonder, is now become as inanimate as it was three hundred years ago. We will not, however, bemoan thee as if thou was for ever lost to us, or that thy name would be buried in oblivion; thy soul yet lives in the great Country of Spirits, with those of thy nation that are gone before thee; and though we are left behind to perpetuate thy flame, we shall one day join thee. Actuated by the respect we bore thee while living, we now come to tender to thee the last act of kindness it is in our power to bestow: that thy body might not lie neglected on the plain, and become a prey to the beasts of the field, or the fowls of the air, we will take care to lay it with those of thy predecessors who are gone before thee; hoping at the same time, that thy spirit will feed with their spirits, and be ready to receive ours when we also shall arrive at the great Country of Souls.