Someone else is dying from a stroke. Someone whom I know; someone whom I knew. She was a dignified woman, tall and thin, with a beautiful raspy voice. She was a kind of a woman I wanted to mother me, to be friends with me, someone dignified, good looking, opinionated, intelligent.
Today, I went to her hospital bed. She had a stroke last week; she went into a coma last night. When I saw her, her eyes were closed, her head was shaven, and her hands and body were swollen. Before entering the room, her daughter warned me that she does not look good, that there are tubes and monitors and this and that. I nodded my head, I knew it all. I had seen my father in exactly the same condition. I told her that I am all too familiar with the scene, been there, done that.
I went into the room and took her hand. She was calm, her lively eyes were now closed, shut; she had no reaction to my voice, or my touch. I caressed her, I kissed her, I held her hands, and I cried as I whispered her name. I was hoping that she can hear me at some level, I wanted to tell her that everything will be all right, but I couldn't. For I knew better; I knew that everything will not be all right.
We walked back to the waiting room. Her daughters thanked me for taking the time, visiting her. I said, I have learned my lesson not to wait until it's too late; I wanted to see her. I could not bring myself to tell her daughters that I wanted to say goodbye before it was too late.
I told her family of my own experience, of all I went through, of all the heartbreaks and the pain. I wanted to stay there. I wanted to be there, I wanted to stay there, be there and I wanted to cry. Then I realized, I am not helping by being there and going through my own grief, they had enough to deal with. So, I left. Once again, I left a dying person behind, waiting for the phone call.
I still think about my father. When I think about my father, my thoughts are always sad, they are always filled with regrets and sorrows. I dream about my father too. In my dreams, he is never sick. He is walking and talking, with a head full of dark hair, which he hasn't had for a long time; he turned gray some twenty years ago. When he died, he had a head full of white, silky hair.
In my dreams, he is tall and handsome. I find that strange too, since when I am awake all I can remember of him is when he was sick, in his bed, in his room, with windows facing his garden.
I am not over him yet, I miss him a lot. I sometimes cry when I think of him, of his illness and his struggle. Yet, I miss his physical presence near me. I know I will always miss him. You never forget your loss; you just learn to live with it. And, I am learning everyday.