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Jett Superior laid this on you on || July 17, 2004 || 8:05 am

Midwifery

Watching someone –especially someone you love– veer drunkenly across and back over the line that separates the land of the living from the land of the dead is surreal. The one thing that is remarkable, however…the one thing that quietly astounds me is how no two deaths really mirror one another. Sure, clinically, there are the similarities, but…

Just as our births have their own personality and our lives are possessed of a grouping of individual subtleties, so too with dying.

I have attended the bedside of more than one person drawing the curtain and the questions do not get any fewer or less complex. I am of the ilk that likes to have straightforward answers, clean-cut resolution, a basic timeline by which to map events. Death affords me none of these things, and that is the only aspect of it that truly seizes my heart and shakes it.

I spent much of last night watching and trying to assist someone usher in their own end, in their own way. It was not so much literally as metaphorically, as I don’t feel I have the right to put a period on a sentence I didn’t start in the first place (some people say they feel that is their duty, and that is a decision best left to them). Me, I’m the glorified head-caresser, ice-bringer, tube-disentangler, pillow-adjuster. She is strong and hangs on, falling in and out of lucidity with the errant grace of an accidentally-dropped ragdoll. I can only hope to make this time as comfortable as possible while praying fervently for God to rain down a spirit of peace and “…just get on with it, will ya? Pull her on over into Your embrace.”

Long days, in shifts of this, are anticipated, but I hope it won’t come to that. I hope she is afforded the grace to not have to suffer much more.

5 worked it out »

  1. Patrick 7.17.2004

    I have to admire you … from afar ofcourse.

     
  2. Nina 7.17.2004

    Having just gone through the same thing a few weeks ago, I can totally relate.

     
  3. ntexas99 7.18.2004

    this can’t be an easy thing to witness, and I’ll add my prayers for all the grace that can be afforded for her. (and you)

     
  4. red clay 7.18.2004

    i have spent some time doin that very same thing.

    part way thu it, you think, here i am talkin bout my love and the good earth she is leaving.

    you got to think, is it meet, is it right? my love, yes, that is past. but the world? what she is leaving, and scared to miss?

    you can’t kiss all of it off her either.

    her face and fore head pearled with fear and pain.

    sweet soothing words.

    nothing, honey.

    darkness ahead, but you’ve seen it a thousand times, and what’s in it but beautiful bright stars? how many nights have we spent transfixed, the limitless sky almost washed out our love.

    you got climb up into the bed to whisper straight into her ear. you can’t shout, and the pain is so loud.

    when all you want to say is screw your husband, forget your kids, i need you here.i don’t want to learn how to miss you.

     
  5. John 7.18.2004

    I am not one for metaphysical certainly, but I am certain of those I’d wish nearby once that final answer hung close. Anyone would surely be blessed to have you there.

     

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