I always thought to myself that sudden death was the worst kind on those who are left behind. I thought that dying without notice and without getting to say goodbye was the most selfish of all acts. After all, we are left behind with all our questions and our unfinished conversations. We are left to wonder, on our own. We are left without knowing what could have been. We are left.
Recently, I’ve discovered that an illness, that comes either gradually, or over a long and drawn out period of time, can be just as painful. It’s almost harder to sit by and watch someone you love reduced to skin and bones.
Watching, helplessly from the sidelines as you do what you can to make them feel comfortable. Never really knowing if what you’re doing is enough. Or too much. Too much fussing can be as unwelcome as no fussing at all.
Here, have another drink, eat this, roll over, wear this. Move here, go to the toilet, eat this, drink this, take this, here are your painkillers. Are you awake? Did you sleep? Are you tired? Do you want to sleep? Must we go out the room? Do you have your buzzer? Should we change you? Did you eat? Eat this. Drink this. Take this.
… we are all silently thinking… Day in and day out.
Watching someone die, when you know that is what’s happening, is breaking. Your heart breaks, your soul breaks. You play out all the things in your head that you need to say. All the things you know you’ll miss out on. But you don’t say them. How do you say, “I’ll miss you when you’re gone” when you can’t talk about death. It’s not polite.
Death is not fucking polite.
Death is death. It does not care. It’s coming. It’s coming for you and me….and him… sooner than us all.
And we are reduced to the sidelines, blundering fools… who don’t know what the right words are to say…