What if you knew you were immortal … as long as you never fell asleep? What if you knew that the second you hit REM, you would leave your fleshy confines, never to return?
To what lengths would you stay awake? Would you “not go gently into that good night”? Or would you do what you could to tie up loose ends before welcoming the sleep to end all sleep?
At one point in my life, there was no question that I would welcome, not fight Dylan Thomas’ “good night.” But since then, I have celebrated a few more birthdays, married my (somewhat unlikely) soulmate, and been blessed with two amazing children. I’ve managed a handful of creative accomplishments that — noteworthy or not — I am proud of. All of these things are attachments of sorts, “loose ends” I can’t tie up, no matter how much time I might be given.
But still there are days I live for sleep.
I don’t know where I’m going with this.
A week ago, my maternal grandfather, Grandpap R. passed away. Prior to his death, he had been in the ICU about 10 days, including a few days of heavy sedation — meaning he was unconscious.
As I write this, “Details in the Fabric” is playing.
know your name,
and go your own way
everything will be fine…”
God, I hope it’s not our last.
It was wonderful, really. I think 14 of the 16 grandchildren made it in (in addition to all 7 of his children), many of whom I haven’t seen in years. It’s strange and amazing that we’re all part of the same family. Really, in many cases we’re more different than we are the same. But then you notice his jawline, her laugh, the way the three of them stand just like their mother who got it from Grandma. … And somehow we’re all family again.
I think this is the first time I’ve really cried yet about this. Not that I’ve been holding back or in or anything. But I’ve been holding up and keeping busy. Not as a defense, but as a side effect of life. Even up there at the funeral, I took our youngest (and only him) since he could fly free on my lap, so I was preoccupied with him, I guess. At the viewing, it was all foreign and strange to me. The body in the casket was a wax man with too much make-up. I had absolutely no emotional attachment to him. But to the right was their wedding picture. And I got choked up over that, but that was it.
Mom pointed out that difference (between his as opposed to my grandmother’s death 18 years ago) is the difference between a full, long life well lived and one cut too short.
I prefer lilacs be sent in lieu of roses.
I prefer donations to the pro-life charity of your choice be sent in lieu of flowers in general.
No, I’m not quite dead yet. But we never know when this information could actually be relevant.
…which would be …?