This is what dying sounds like

15 Jun

A companion to “Pain Demands to Be Felt: An Homage to My Grandmother.” 

The rattle of the oxygen machine, white noise in the background humming day and night. The click of the medicine bottle cap opening, the rattle of a half-dozen pills as they clatter together in your shaking hands. Gentle slurping through a straw, because it hurts to eat solid food.

This is what dying sounds like.

The creak of the hospital bed as you adjust it’s height, the sharp intake of breath as you change positions. The tapping of the walker’s feet along the kitchen floor, the dull thud when you move across the carpet. The shrill ringing of the phone every few hours with friends and well-wishers.

This is what dying sounds like.

 The slam of a car door as the nurse pulls up, the roar of the ignition as she leaves. Repeated the next day with a different car, a different model, and the next with yet another. The soft and steady cadence of a best friend’s voice as she prays for your relief.

 This is what dying sounds like.

The harsh sobs when the pain finally becomes too much, when the dam is released and a hiccupping flood is started. When the quiet agony is finally given a voice, when your internal pleading for respite is cried out. The silent tears rolling down my face as you hold me and I hold you.

This is what dying sounds like.


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