Death changes you

I had to interview a man this week. He is a widow. His wife passed over two years ago. He had built a life of passion and arts with the woman he loved.  Now, he was alone in the ever changing world.  It was difficult to keep the conversation focused, because this broken man would burst out crying multiple times. My ears listened while my heart ached.

I too have lost many loved ones. Death has become my shadow. Sometimes I feel like it’s trying to get me. Last year, I felt like my mind was rotting as my hearing left me.  The scars of my surgeries burn like a thousand ants eating at my flesh. The pain is real. Pain, yes, pain is what reminds us that we are not immortal. No, we are just a mass of organic tissue rotting away, some of us at greater pace than others.

“Do you want to know when she died?” the widow asked me.

“Yes, but please stop using that word.”

“Deceased, buried, death, which one?”

“All of them. I just don’t care for those words. They are so harsh. Graduated, let’s just say your loving wife has graduated to the better place. Is that ok?”

“I guess. I don’t know why.”

“Well, you see. Just five weeks ago I watched a stranger named Edna pass before me. She was so close I could have reached out and held her arm, but instead I laid there as I watched her soul fly away like a dove.”

He nodded with a grim face.

I continued, “I too have lost all many family members that I dearly loved.  I tell myself they had graduated. I feel those who I have loved and gone are just waiting for me on the other side of the finish line.”

He nodded.

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