It Doesn’t Hurt To Die

I hear the singing, coming close at times, then drifting farther away. I love the sound. When the alarms hooked up to my heart — or whatever — go off, like they’re doing now, people come running in and the sound grows distant. The medical people are doing stuff to my body, but I’m strangely numb. Even needles don’t hurt now. I pay no attention to them. I just want to hear the songs.

If the people in that beautiful choir are walking around the hospital, I hope everyone gets to hear them. It sounded like they were right here in my room. They must have gone down the hall now; it’s getting harder to hear them.

The medical people turned off the damn alarm. That’s a relief. The girls are howling. They’re crying this time. It makes me want to sigh heavily, or try to. Did I? It feels like I did. They’ve both been noisy since they were babies.

Shit! Now what? Those nurses did something else while they were in here messing with my tubes and seeing to the alarm. They’ve done something to my ole body. I feel aches now. In fact, I hurt. Oh!

Ah, thank God, it went away. No pain now. I’m blissfully comfortable again.

The angelic voices drift away, but not completely. I hope they come back before…well, soon.

Don’t worry, I know I’m not going to recover this time. I heard the doctor talking to the girls. They think I can’t hear. Duh? Why would I suddenly go deaf?

That’s how I know I won’t pull through this time. He said so. Just blabbed it out, as if I’m not here. “Your mother is expiring.” What am I? A carton of milk out of date? Expiring, of all words. I hate doctors.

My daughters certainly are here and they’ve been here. They are irritating me so much. Noise! All they do is make noise. I can’t hear the choir for their caterwauling.

If they aren’t bawling and slinging snot, they’ve gotten tickled over some stupid thing, and they laugh like hyenas until a nurse looks in disapprovingly. Sometimes that makes them laugh harder, but quieter. The silly bitches grab each other and convulse in silent laughter. Well, silent except for a few ungodly snorts. Then they remember. I’m going to check out soon, and not to go home.

Then they’ll come over here by me, crying, trying to lay in the bed with me, holding my hands, or some other foolishness. They keep saying they love me. I know they do.

I could open my eyes if I wanted. I could tell them to shut up and leave me alone. But I’m not saying another word. I’ve said all I have to say. I’ve seen all I need to see. And, anyway, I can’t think about them too much. It seems like they’ve been with me all my life. I can’t even remember life before them.

Besides, I’ve been giving up stuff. Like talking. And I quit eating, too. I had no appetite and eating just caused them have to change my stupid diaper more often. How humiliating is that? I came out of my mother’s womb needing a diaper and I guess they’ll take me out of here wearing one, too.

I hope I have a full one when they take me to that overpriced funeral home. They should have to earn their outrageous fees. If they have me cremated I bet they poke me in there with shit still in my drawers. Who would know?

My grandchildren. Now they were fun. They gave me some of my happiest times.

My daughters? It’s ok because I know they’ll be fine — other than the fights they’ll have over my stuff. In the end, they’ll make up. They always do. They have each other, and they’re strong like I was. Resilient women. They’ll be sad for a while, but they will continue their lives.

I love them. I sure do. Love them with all my heart and dedicated most of my life to them. But now I’m going on. I’m too tired for this. It’s all too much for me. For some time now I’ve been thinking I’m ready. Has it been weeks, days, or hours? I don’t know. I can’t tell. It doesn’t make any difference anyway.

I do wish they knew it doesn’t hurt. No, it doesn’t hurt at all. Nothing like cancer did. Nothing like ramming my little toe into a piece of furniture. It’s like being really sleepy and completely comfortable. If I give in to the urge — which is getting stronger — I’ll just relax, let go, and I’ll be sleeping like the dead in no time — hahaha — like the dead. I made a funny on my death bed. I feel my mouth curve slightly. I may be smiling, or wearing a shit-eating grin. Isn’t that about right? I crack myself up and go out with some idiotic grin on my face. Quit! I tell my mouth. It just keeps turning up at the corners. Oh, hell.

Well, I will be actually dead. I guess, not sleeping. Who knows what happens next? Who cares? I would flip off the world if I could. It wasn’t kind to me. I’m happy to be done with it. I hope there’s a heaven. I hope all my prayers got to Someone’s desk. I can’t help but be a little excited. No telling what happens next. But if it’s nothing, that’s ok, too. I’ve done the best I could.

All I know is I’m ready to doze off, or whatever it is, any minute now. I feel good. So good.

The choir is here again. Shhhhh. The sound is so beautiful. I’ve never heard anything so beautiful. I could listen forever, but I’m about to fall asl — — — — — — — — — — —

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.

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