Hollow and dim are the eyes that once radiated with life. Mottled and gray is the face aged by pain. The breaths are shallow and infrequent. The loom slowly spins the thread of being. The warmth retreates from the gentle hands, and welcomes the icy chariot of demise. The pendalum swings back and forth. The sand in the hourglass dwindles grain by grain. The heart sings a mournful, macabre tune that fades like an echo over snow-capped mountains. Ashes to ashes, cinders fall on the body like snowflakes, blanketing it in a silken shroud. The slate-lipped mouth beckons a breath of air into the lungs. The loom stops spinning and the happy silver blade cuts the thread. Silence, anxious silence. The body rises, falls, and then is still. Still, and cold, and empty. Peace, long-awaited peace. An owl cries a haunting and doleful song to the bane moon, and the pale horse shakes its ghostly mane. A misty-winged moth breaks from its long-dormant cacoon and flutters silently out of the parted, ashen lips, then vanishes into eternity.