Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Death of a Grandfather

 
 
 
He looks at me and the energy behind his watery eyes can still be visible, a light is still flickering in his brain. The body may be on the verge of giving up, losing a battle against nature and time, a battle that we all one day will lose. But inside his head I see recognition of my face and a knowing stare, a stare that can penetrate even though his eyes are misty and bloodshot.

His skin has taken on a look of wet rubber, grey in places and yellow in other areas, it hangs off his once powerful body like an ill-fitting leather coat. His bones visible underneath his worn and sagging skin, hanging off him. In places it could be melting plastic.

His chest rises jerkily as the breaths gurgle from his mouth and nose. You can still hear them from under the oxygen mask that isn’t a perfect fit on his face and the escaping cold air makes his eyes water even more.


I clutch his hand, even as a full grown adult his bear-like paw looks powerful and engulf my young fingers. His fingers large like sausages and rough as dirt from years of toil, sports and manual labor, a life that is now being represented by someone who was once my hero my grandfather, but not this man here. This man is too small, too weak, this man cant be the man who held me shoulder high as a child, made me laugh in the garden and tended his roses with loving care.

That man is gone; I stare at a different person in his place, weak and slowly disappearing into the darkness where he can never return.

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