NPM – 23 of 30

It’s been 5 months today since the day I describe below.

“did he give you a good story for the day he died?”
– “The Funeral” by Lindsay White

when we could no longer lift him
when it took four paramedics to get him back to the bedroom
when he was barely able to verbalize
his case nurse told us to start giving him morphine every four hours
my sister and I made a deal that she would prepare the syringe
I would administer it
we began that night, 8 pm, 12 am, set our alarms, 4 am, 8 am

2nd day of the year
5th dialysis appointment missed
12th day within the hospice bubble
Dad confined to his bed
he mostly slept, but when he would stir and grumble
make discomforting noises or occasionally mutter
heartbreaking phrases like, “help me”
it almost always coincided with the next time for morphine

I would tell him I was giving him his medicine
he could hear and understand
he’d turn his head toward me, open his mouth slightly
so I could squeeze the morphine into it, just inside his cheek
he would sometimes open his eyes, be comforted
I’d tell him I loved him, his mouth would move as if to answer

in the functioning world beyond us, it was a day to return to work
because we couldn’t think of anything else to do while he slept
my sister and I logged in to our respective offices from the dining room table

8 am, 12 pm, 4 pm, 8 pm, 12 am, set our alarms, 4 am

after the 4 am administration of the morphine
I couldn’t go back to sleep
I kept checking on him, not disturbing him, but watching
his chest rise and fall with effort
shortly before 8 am, my sister said she heard him grumbling
with every 4 hours, I wanted another 4 and I didn’t want it

I took the syringe and went to his room, she followed
his chest no longer rose and fell
the bubble had burst
the rest was easy and ridiculously difficult
the rest was peaceful and full of incomprehensible sadness
the rest was life goes on and everything’s changed
the rest was feeling it all and feeling numb

my mom, sister & I sat on the front steps
while the mortuary boys, who were just boys,
removed the body from the house

grey sky glared like sunshine off a mirror

2 Comments Add yours

  1. josefa says:

    It seems like a long time ago, it seems like yesterday.

  2. Sandy says:

    I can’t even…

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