The world didn't stop when my heart was broken. It didn't stop the first time I lost a job. It kept on turning when I found myself broke and homeless. And the world didn't stop when I got the call at 7:30 yesterday morning telling me that my last living grandparent had died two and a half hours earlier.
But it felt like it should have.
If the world is going to stop for anything it should stop for death.
A small pause for the life that has ceased,
One second for all the moments from first to last breath.
Long enough for me to exhale, drop my bag and sit down.
Yesterday at 5:00 AM my grandmother died. Today I went to the grocery store
The day before I'd spent the afternoon at her side. She unconscious and me chattering, talking, singing...silent.
Her face was bruised from a fall, each breath a labor.
She was not well.
"Come around. She's awake, she knows you're here."
The nurse called me the other side of the bed. One blue eye was open, zeroed in on my face.
"Trudy? It's me. I'm here. I love you...we all love you. I'll be here as long as you need me."
A moan. A cough.
What do you say to the dying?
The eye closed, slowly, like a child fighting sleep. I asked myself after what did I see there?
Fear? Confusion? Surprise? Bewilderment?
It didn't seem like the calm acceptance of one who has made peace with God or life.
But, then we tell ourselves stories about death because we can't know the thoughts of the dying and what might rise up in their morphine dreams.
Yesterday at 5:00 AM my grandmother died. Today I washed the dishes.
I held her hand. I restarted the music CD. I sang along with Patsy Cline.
I held her hand.
I told her I'd be back in the morning. I kissed her cheek.
I said, "I love you."
I went home. I parked the car. I ate dinner.
I answered the phone.
I went to bed.
I woke up in a world that no longer had her in it but it would be two hours before I knew.
Two hours before the phone rang.
Two hours while I sipped coffee, ate left over beans for breakfast and took a shower.
Yesterday at 5:00 AM my grandmother died. Today I went to work.