How I smiled when my friend messaged me this yesterday.
‘I never knew her (though I drive an orange car..) but I have decided to have a wake for her – and YOU – right now. Death is a c#nt. The End.’
And she’s absolutely right. Her blog post was perfect and I couldn’t put it more eloquently.
But allow me to try. Death feels like there’s a huge weight on your chest, crushing in, stopping you from breathing. It feels like the time the school bully held your head underwater that second too long. It’s that panic when you realize you’ve studied for the wrong exam. Death feels like being in a room filled with people, completely alone. It is overwhelming and then in a split second it becomes small and inconspicuous, and it sits and watches you from the corner of the room. It is the boogeyman in the cupboard, the monster under your bed. It is larger than life and it consumes every single drop of energy you maybe have left.
Death is that constant engaged signal as you try and reach someone. It’s a sudden loss of signal when you’re lost and need your navigation system. It’s running out of time and it’s being trapped in a maze.
Death creeps up on you. Silently. Quietly. And whispers “boo!” softly in your ear. And other times it comes at you like a runaway train. Loud, chaotic, and with intent. Death feels cowardly but yet it isn’t. It has no fear. It’s not attractive. It feels bulshy and arrogant and badly put together. To be honest I imagine Death to look a little Donald Trunp. Weird that!
There is nothing glamorous about death. When I walked into your ward to say my last goodbye,they had propped a rolled up towel under your chin, explaining that they sometimes do that to keep the mouth closed. You were so cold. A cold I can’t describe. A cold unimaginable. There was no more color and every little scar or spot or mole stood out more clearly, more defined than ever.
I stood with you, with Death by my side. I just kept looking at you. Just staring, waiting for you to open your eyes. I whispered “Sally Louise if you suddenly shout out BOO I’m gonna kill you!” Do you remember the time I was watching The Exorcist and you told me you were quickly popping out to the shop. And you crept up to the lounge window, stuck your hand through, grabbed my neck and shouted BOO? I remember the absolute terror but more importantly I remember how you laughed.
I was waiting for that BOO! I was dreading that BOO. But there was nothing. Not a smile or your mischievous wink. There wasn’t the all too often rolling of the eyes and there wasn’t a “Yes Melinda Jane?”
I don’t know how you feel mom but I’m so angry. I’m angry at you for leaving. And I’m angry that Death decided to take you. I’m angry I didn’t get one more minute, just 60 seconds, with you. I’m broken to my very core. I haven’t felt like a hurt like this before. I have never hurt so much very much that I’ve become physically ill. My worry is also for you mom. Because I know you’ll be pissed off for just leaving. You’ll be feeling awful that you never got to give a last hug or kiss. You’re probably angrier about that than about being dead!
And then the hurt and anger subsides and it feels as though it’s a normal day. I feel like I can do this. I can put one foot in front of the other and I can breathe. And in that moment Death and I are sitting on the couch together, having a cup of tea. And I am at peace as he/she explains this isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning of a new relationship with you. Death tells me you’re absolutely fine and that you’ve already found your mom and dad and friends, and it’s like one big reunion up there.
He tells me to look for you in my dreams because that’s where you’ll be waiting for me. I tell him at the moment my sleep is broken and there are only nightmares. And he assures me it’ll take some time and it will start to feel better.
And I look forward to that time because right now, as I stand here, the ache for you is physical xxx