“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace.” — Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost
The nurse woke me up at seven this morning,
though to my phone alarm I’d already arisen:
so I may shower, dress, and be ready by 9 am –
to be trolleyed to a theatre for the operation.
Mildly sedated the night before so I sleep well,
I am fresh and mindful of my every move now:
though not a droplet can I drink since waking,
nor a bite of food did I intake past ten at night.
It’s a bright sunny morning outside my window,
yet there isn’t a spring in my heart, step or voice:
A solemn calm pervades my soul prepared to die –
like in films – convicts in readying to be hanged.
I brushed, looking outside a wall-to-wall window –
as if a painting of a tree by a multicoloured house:
Two nurses walked in-and-out readying my room,
laying out a starched white backless surgery gown.
I showered breathing slowly, conscious of my form –
in bathing a dead woman before her funeral sojourn:
Drying my hair, I shrouded in a white hospital gown,
to lie in view of a sky that’d be – even when I’m gone.
Wheeled on a bed – down the corridor and into a lift,
conscious of each turn I shut my eyes looking within:
Would my soul grief in not returning on these aisles?
I realise there’s no regtret – I’ve made peace with life!
Ouside an OT they dial my mother, sister, two friends –
with each on video chat – I realise how detached I am:
Like it didn’t matter if I were never to see anyone again –
I’ve given everything I had to give, to every relationship.
Shielded in a sky-blue blanket they peeled off my gown;
the writer in me shut eyes after a mindful look around:
Then the only sensation I was aware of was biting cold,
like I had sat up on my death bed on a thick slab of ice.
I knew for sure I wasn’t going to die, my mind’s strong –
shutting off life was just my soul’s defence mechanism:
A test of spirituality, after living every moment of life;
the fighter in me would survive – I’ve unfinished tasks.
Anaesthesia overriding – took over the baton of my life –
passing it on to the expert surgeon and team to resolve:
First thing I profess floating up to life – is searing pain;
soft sunlight on my face – in baby pink suit I feel reborn.
“Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a” torrent of light into our dark world.” — Mary Shelley
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” ―Ernest Hemingway
PS: I had this experience, on the 15th of October 2019.
Yet it took me almost two weeks to be able to put it into this flow of words…Only when experinces and ensuing thoughts are left to cool off, can they be written dispassionately. As I tend to with life’s experinces, as a responsible writer, I had to first step back, heal the physical pain, then let the thoughts process in my mind…