Friday, November 1, 2013

His Last Day

Just written and spur of the moment in the spirit of the season -s-.

His Last Day-

It was a warm late August day. The sun had climbed, crested and began its descent as the heat intensified in typical midafternoon focus. A breeze thankfully started wafting round, stirring the branches in hope of relief.
Inside the house, it was dark and thick with intensity. A pressure was building, emanating from the master bedroom, where a man lay dying.
Round the house it was quiet and the cliché pin dropping could have been heard. The two dogs cowered under a table in the corner of the living room, heads buried in their paws. The two people present watched, prayed and tended the dying man.

He had slowly deteriorated for several years, his once sturdy body a frail diseased shell. The color of his skin, once robust and tanned, had given way to a mottled, papery tone. His breath had receded to a stuttering living death rasp.
The pungent smell of death was everywhere. The odor was worse where he lay, but permeated the whole house. It was repulsive and disquieting, as if a grim reaper swept through, seeking to destroy.
The night before the man began his descent. He ruptured and vomited blood, black like coffee grounds in a never ending stream, which his wife and son ceaselessly mopped away.

Liver cancer had slowly robbed him of everything, including eventually his sensibilities, like a slow steady erosion. The strong mountain of a man had become the dried wasted hillock.
In the midst of the final morbidity, the son noticed small things, unnoticed by everyone else caught up in grief and the day to day care of a dying loved one.
One of the oddest events was the bedroom window. It was wide open to let in whatever breeze might find its way in. And a breeze was kicking up, bringing relief to the midsummer heat. But not in that bedroom. No air was felt and the curtains didn't flutter. It was as though the room was sealed in a vacuum, allowing a battle to ensue.
And it looked like a battle to the son. His Dad lay there when he suddenly reared up and declared, "I'm not ready to go yet!' He desperately clung to a body which could no longer sustain life. The man then slowly sunk back down, his words having cut through the stuffiness.
The wife immediately tended his brow, a cool washcloth thin comfort.
The man was arguing with someone. And indeed there was presence in that room. It felt crowded to the son, unseen visitors perhaps vying to see the man or talk to him.
Through his dry tortured lips and mouth he uttered, "Uh-uh, Uh-uh, repeatedly. At first it was intense, then withdrew to a rasp.
As the man weakened inconceivably further, the foul odor retreated.
Then, the man's breath seemed to creak and croak, as one last breath exited his battered lungs and mouth. He lay still, the argument over.
At that moment, the death smell completely lifted, gone instantly from the whole house.
And the drapes fluttered as warm breeze finally broke through, dispelling grim atmosphere, bathing the scene with peace. All were gone. The visitors took their friend with them. No more fear.

Above copyright 2013 Michael S. Hiland and BurlyRose Productions

1 comment:

teacher said...

Wordless. So heartfelt.