It seems so obvious. The only way to know of death is to experience it. But I don’t mean your own.
I have experienced death – first hand – twice now. I am a child compared to some. A virgin. Innocent. When I think of the world around me and it’s wars and tragedies, what do I know of death? Except that I know. I know my apples amongst the oranges.
My nana’s death is a story I tell like this …
I sat on one side of her hospital bed. There was music playing; we were laughing and talking. We had put lotion on Nana’s feet and settled in just to be with her.
Nana opened her eyes and the energy in the room shifted. My mom and sister stood at the other side of her bed.
Nana tried to say something but no real words came out. My mom and sister became very distraught. I remember my agitation at them; Nana was dying and needed our help. Eyes on Nana.
Then she passed. The marathon breathing she had done for over 24 hours, ended. And I felt her in between my lungs. She stayed there for six days, and then she was gone.
My girl asks if I miss Nana. I say no. Because I don’t. I used to thinking this was because she was old when she died. But now that I have led my husband into death, I would say that missing is for the living.
Someone once told me that missing them meant I would see them again. I won’t see Nana again. Nor Beardo. Not in this form.
And I have felt their energy. So the missing … Well they are here if I want them. Those objects that embody. Images that remind. But most of all, the feelings when I close my eyes.
The loose, buttery skin of Nana’s hand as she gripped mine before I left. To somewhere. Those three rogue hairs that grew in the middle of Beardo’s cheek and could never be kept in check. They were a game he played, to see if they could be pulled with finger tips. These are the movies that live with me. Bits of joy.
Death is not something I want to turn my back upon. And much like memorializing a Facebook page, when I step back into the path that lead to death, I see it’s best to step out. There were no rules in that box, not for the one dying nor those close by. Just be. Do your best. One will be no more and the others will continue.
And on my palm now, I hold time that has passed.