We conceptualize things differently…you and I. Perspectives are vastly spirited like that. Situations that might flee without any given effort for you—might just have the capacity of taking root within me and never leaving. I wonder why that is. Even my selfsame thoughts take shape and change with the span of time and the tenure of experiences. The clock has an unrelenting possession of my persona’s change of clothes. The hands move in a fashion that takes after the wafture of the conductor to the symphony. I understand its language. And as I interweave the days of my new role and profession, I can’t help but to think that events are either carefully encapsulated or eventually thrown out. However, meeting with death for the first time is a happening not so easily made matte. It’s one of those things you grow up curious about—or in my case, dread—and never truly know what it’s like until you’re there. Until you’re alone, standing in a room, with a million thoughts surging through your mind; none of which were an actual part of the anticipation you were building up all those years.
There’s a foreboding sentiment that comes attached to the act. It is unprophetic, yes. But it’s clear-cut in presentation. And being a part of someone’s exit is much more substantial than how they all make it out to be. It doesn’t leave you. And the residual of such, marks a milestone that you can purposefully use for the “next time” because that’s the time you’ll know what he looks like. At least that’s what I told myself. I’m not talking about the one frame that stood out to you in a horror film you weren’t allowed to see when you were ten. I’m also not talking about the holding of a loved one’s hand as you say goodbye for the last time. These circumstances have a certain familiarity to them because they’re events we expect and regard as conventional (to a certain extent.) We play these visuals in our heads long after a scene has left our eyes, or days and days before parting with a keeper of our hearts. I’m talking about being present for the passing of someone you’ve never seen before, until this very intricate moment. But the truth is, no matter who you are or where you are in your life, you’re never ready.
You’ll never be ready to watch someone’s eyes glaze over as they look right through you, to the beyond they’re greeting—whatever that may be. You can see it. And in my case, it could be felt. It’s the slightest dance of an aerophilic in the last attempts to take in what’s left of the world, and the feeling of subtle desperation to utter anything about the happening…like you wanted to share the secret buried under all our question marks. And I was there to see it all. I couldn’t think of your name when I turned to see your face feigning winter. I couldn’t think of all the prayers I’d recited over and over for a day like today. I couldn’t bring myself to tears, or motion, or fear. I stood immobilized by your transition and the slight motions you made as your senses evaded you. Your last, most intimate second was shared and absolved with a person who was told this wouldn’t be happening for the “next couple of days;” a person who entered your room in full confidence that you would continue doing as you always had, and in faith that the time was not now and not with me. My fingers take consecutive turns in touching my thumbs every time I’m asked the question. And the answer is always the same, even if it’s only a little less each time.