So not pleasant
I had a dream last night that I was drowning and was startled out of sleep by a noise that seemed so much like the death rattle that jolted me up in my father’s hospital room the night he died that for a second I was confused and convinced that I was experiencing his death watch all over again. I was terrified and sleepless for the rest of the night.
The whole experience of his death came washing back over me like a wave and I found myself laying on my couch breathing like I did while lying in that cot next to his bed those last few hours– his breaths were so shallow and far between that I my lungs couldn’t keep up, I got dizzy with the effort.
Last night I walked through every moment of the night he died in my mind. I remember walking over to his bed and leaning close to his sunken face to confirm he was no longer breathing. I remember walking back over to the cot and carefully folding each blanket and sheet like it was of up most importance, as if I didn’t know that they would bundle them up along with the linens from his bed and toss them in the industrial washer along with the harsh chemicals that would wash away the very last bit of sweat that his body ever produced. There was the walk down that long hall to get the nurse who followed me back, nodding her agreement that he was gone, she called the time of death as 2:36 I believe. The call to my sister and mom to tell the to come back up to the hospital…... I was so exhausted and drained, part of me wonders how I could even dial the phone.
Last night as I curled up deeper in to the cushions of the couch and covered my head with the fluffy down comforter, I couldn’t drown out the sound of the ticking of a clock- a ticking that pounded away the seconds like the one that was in his room. I don’t have a clock with a second hand in my house because they remind me of how I would watch that one and count the seconds between his breaths there at the end, but last night I heard it so clearly.
When I think about that time in my life- that week I spent in the hospice specifically– I feel wretchedly hollow, there is a hole inside of me that will never be filled.
I spoke with my sister this morning and the odd thing was just yesterday afternoon she cleaned out his car because she sold it – she said it was hard to do and seemed surreal. We are so mentally linked that I am sure that is the reason I was thinking about him so much last night.