Ceremony for the Dying
by Ursula LeGuin
from "Mountain Ways"
Now all that was owed is repaid,
And all that was owned, returned,
Now all that was lost is found,
And all that was bound is free.
A short verse by Ursula LeGuin, recited in the context of euthanasia. This appears in her short story " Mountain Ways", for which I do not have the date at hand. The verse is said by a herdswoman as she euthanizes an elderly animal (of species similar to llama or alpaca) who has broken its leg. To me, it shows enormous respect for the dying animal and for the process of setting it free of suffering.
For myself, I would only add at the end of the verse the words "except me, " thus ending "and all that was bound is free .... except me." I , the euthanizer and mourner, will for now remain bound into an unknown future of life with both joy and suffering certain to occur.
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