Makt

Confound it! The batteries are dead!

I See a Darkness

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[I don’t want to give out any names here, in case someone searches for it. This is very personal for me and others involved, and I feel that only strangers and people that know about this blog should be able to read it. This is a personal perspective, and if I did anything wrong when I wrote this, or if anyone disagrees with my account, I certainly beg pardon]

I was wondering if I should write a short story about these last weeks of my life — instead, I came to the conclusion that a short story would be filled with too much fiction. This, then, is more like an afterthought, a personalized memo about an event so impossible, improbable and unjust that I have not yet come to realize it myself.

On the 13th of July, a regular Monday, I called a friend of mine after receiving a message from him. It was a normal message, which could have meant anything, but my heart raced and I couldn’t sit down. As he picked up the phone I could hear that his voice was hollow and that he was trying to hide his crying from me. As he said that our common friend was at the hospital it felt like a fast kick in the chest and I could no longer react to what he said. I lost my breath and lost my words and for a slight moment I felt that I lost all meaning in life. I was quiet for a long time, just listening to his breath. A blood clot in our friends brain were slowly killing him at the hospital, as he lay there with a respirator’s tube down his throat, his heartbeat being monitored and his blood veins filled with medicine from intravenous injections.

The 14th of July he died. I have to admit that I can hardly remember that day any more. It was all tears and snot and paper tissues on the floor. I remember fear and anger and hopelessness. I remember that my mouth was dry all the time, even though I drank water and coffee. And I remember that I went in to him, one of my best and closest friends, and saw him lying there in that bed. Everything just stopped, and if I hadn’t been able to think clearly earlier, at that point I couldn’t think at all. I just cried helplessly while I tried to stand still. And for some reason I had to touch him, which I found strangely and horribly discomforting. Only afterwards I realized — and I pause to say this — that what I was touching was the dead body of my friend, a corpse that somehow still had blood flowing around inside it and warmth radiating from it. That same night he died for real, as I was home trying to distract my mind from it all. His organs were immediately donated to patients in need.

The following week I felt I had to make sure to be seen at different places with different people, to show my support and share my sadness with others. I hated it. I hated all those pats on the back, the countless hugs and the mails and messages telling me that “if you need anything, just tell me”. I hated when people asked me how I was and if I was okay. I did the same thing with everybody else of course, but I came to despise every such comment, even though I knew they were meant well. I ended up trying to isolate myself at the end of the week.

Numbing my brain into forgetting the facts I lived on bad movies and silly computer games, and every minute where I didn’t have to think about it was a good minute. However I soon realized that you can only numb your brain for so long, and you’ll always remember what really happened in the end. I cried a lot, alone in my room. I tried to hide it, and I think I managed it pretty well, but I cried when everything went quiet and dark and I had to just be there, in the company of my own thoughts.

Monday 20th was the day of the wake. I had sat at work all day, angry wasps in my stomach, my legs never stopped moving. We gathered in a burial home at around six, and we sat there till nine, just weeping together. Whenever someone new came in the door you could almost feel their immediate despair as they saw the body lying in its coffin at the front of the room. They, as I did and all of my friends to my knowledge, broke down as they entered. More hugs were given and more cigarettes smoked and more tears were shed and more paper tissue used. Nothing seemed to help of course. He lay there with his chest still, not beating or breathing, and it was all horrible. It took me some time, too much time, for me to gather the courage to go up to him and say goodbye. The whiteness of his skin and lips was revolting. It took me by surprise that he would actually look dead, but there he was in his jeans and colorful shirt (which I was very glad he wore, instead of a formal and cold suit) and his skin was dead white with a shimmer of orange. A spot of what I believe to be livor mortis appeared on the right side of his throat, barely noticeable beneath his tee-shirt. He seemed to emit cold from his body, cliché as that may sound. Perhaps from lying in a freezer for a long time. As I touched him I realized what the absence of human heat does to the human body, and felt the leathery feeling of his arm between my fingers. It is the single most nauseating sight in my life, and strangely it might also be the single most beautiful sight in my life. It’s almost shameful to say, but somehow it is true, and I don’t think I will ever be able to express exactly why. I smiled and cried when I saw him.

After half a dozen cigarettes I managed to keep myself pretty calm, except for when some songs were played. “Space Oddity” strangely enough made me weep like a child trying to hide his slow and wavering crying noises. The very climax of it all however was when the theme song from Final Fantasy 10 were played, and his best friend, the one that we all thought would be inseparable, slowly walked towards him after sitting still for almost an hour (I had tried to keep an eye out for him with the corner of my sight, just in case he needed a hug). The utter feeling of dread hit me for the second time, and once more all meaning seemed completely lost in the world.

As we sat there those three hours I promise you I felt that all of our immortality was sucked out from us. Not as a spiritual or religious thing, plainly rational actually, but suddenly we realized that we are not immortal, we do not have the divine right to live on forever, young and healthy. Death was kicking us in our faces repeatedly, and although the Reaper had taken my friends life he still needed to satisfy his hunger by downright killing our future. From now on we know that any second can in fact become our last, there doesn’t have to be a warning or a reason for death, and that we have to go through this again and again until its our turn to lie there in a coffin. We had been robbed of that wonderful childish thought about life, in which you are a God and not a mortal.

Time really flew those weeks. Suddenly the 24th came, and we all dressed up for his funeral to bury our friend. I sat at the second foremost bench at the right wing of the church. A seat of honor. I felt pride at being his friend, at having been his friend. After some nonsensical gibberish about God and a couple of songs (it was a nice ceremony, I just felt there were a bit to much God in the spotlight) we stood up and took our places next to his coffin. Me and three other friends, his sister and his father. God, it was so heavy when we lifted it. It felt like I couldn’t breath, and we were standing so close to each other I could barely move my legs. Trying to adjust my height a little to not throw off the other carriers, who were all shorter than me, I felt I was walking like a limbering hunchback. As we passed the whole church I knew that people probably looked at us, but I couldn’t see a single face. It was all dark clothes and nothingness. I gave a silent sigh of relief as I saw the cart we would transport the coffin to its grave with, as I was unsure how many more meters I would be able to carry it. I am sure I could feel his mother’s breath in my neck.

As we sat his coffin on top of the grave, after we had proceeded slowly from the church, I think I actually realized this it was my friend I was carrying. But I had to keep my cools, I couldn’t destroy this for the family, for the friends… But I wanted to stop, to go away. The rope we used to lift him down into the grave hurt my hands and I just wanted to lose it, to give it all up. It burnt between my fingers. And then he was down there. And I knew he was down there. I have seen him lying in that coffin. I had touched him and felt him while he was lying there. I had felt his weight as we carried him. And now I… was burying him? Nothing made sense. It still doesn’t. We stepped away from that horrible hole in the ground and stood there, looking at the whiteness of the coffin and the depth of his final resting place. I almost screamed of joy when the first people came towards us to hug the father and sister, and later the mother, because that meant I could finally move away. We stood there for so long, and I just wanted a hug, to turn my face away, to wipe my nose, not hiding the cry within me anymore. I felt like a ghost as I walked through the crowd, and still I could not see who were standing around me. As I managed to muster up the courage to hug the mother and father the only thing I could say was “thank you”.

This is the most horrible thing that has ever happened to me. It has been worse for others. Let us hope nothing like this ever happens again. Sadly I now know that it will.

He was a great man, and too young to die. I love him now as I hope I will love him for ever, until the day I too end up being buried. You will never be forgotten and forever missed, and I know that for a fact.

Here is a short song in his memory, as the final thing I can to for him.

I love you, dear friend.

[I don’t want to give out any names here, in case someone searches for it. This is very personal for me and others involved, and I feel that only strangers and people that know about this blog should be able to read it. I couldn’t find any fitting title for it, so I simply called it no title. This is a personal perspective, and if I did anything wrong when I wrote this, or if anyone disagrees with my account, I certainly beg pardon]

I was wondering if I should write a short story about these last weeks of my life — instead, I came to the conclusion that a short story would be filled with too much fiction. This, then, is more like an afterthought, a personalized memo about an event so impossible, improbable and unjust that I have not yet come to realize it myself.

On the 13th of July, a regular Monday, I called a friend of mine after receiving a message from him. It was a normal message, which could have meant anything, but my heart raced and I couldn’t sit down. As he picked up the phone I could hear that his voice was hollow and that he was trying to hide his crying from me. As he said that our common friend was at the hospital it felt like a fast kick in the chest and I could no longer react to what he said. I lost my breath and lost my words and for a slight moment I felt that I lost all meaning in life. I was quiet for a long time, just listening to his breath. A blood clot in our friends brain were slowly killing him at the hospital, as he lay there with a respirator’s tube down his throat, his heartbeat being monitored and his blood veins filled with medicine from intravenous injections.

The 14th of July he died. I have to admit that I can hardly remember that day any more. It was all tears and snot and paper tissues on the floor. I remember fear and anger and hopelessness. I remember that my mouth was dry all the time, even though I drank water and coffee. And I remember that I went in to him, one of my best and closest friends, and saw him lying there in that bed. Everything just stopped, and if I hadn’t been able to think clearly earlier, at that point I couldn’t think at all. I just cried helplessly while I tried to stand still. And for some reason I had to touch him, which I found strangely and horribly discomforting. Only afterwards I realized — and I pause to say this — that what I was touching was the dead body of my friend, a corpse that somehow still had blood flowing around inside it and warmth radiating from it. That same night he died for real, as I was home trying to distract my mind from it all. His organs were immediately donated to patients in need.

The following week I felt I had to make sure to be seen at different places with different people, to show my support and share my sadness with others. I hated it. I hated all those pats on the back, the countless hugs and the mails and messages telling me that “if you need anything, just tell me”. I hated when people asked me how I was and if I was okay. I did the same thing with everybody else of course, but I came to despise every such comment, even though I knew they were meant well. I ended up trying to isolate myself at the end of the week.

Numbing my brain into forgetting the facts I lived on bad movies and silly computer games, and every minute where I didn’t have to think about it was a good minute. However I soon realized that you can only numb your brain for so long, and you’ll always remember what really happened in the end. I cried a lot, alone in my room. I tried to hide it, and I think I managed it pretty well, but I cried when everything went quiet and dark and I had to just be there, in the company of my own thoughts.

Monday 20th was the day of the wake. I had sat at work all day, angry wasps in my stomach, my legs never stopped moving. We gathered in a burial home at around six, and we sat there till nine, just weeping together. Whenever someone new came in the door you could almost feel their immediate despair as they saw the body lying in its coffin at the front of the room. They, as I did and all of my friends to my knowledge, broke down as they entered. More hugs were given and more cigarettes smoked and more tears were shed and more paper tissue used. Nothing seemed to help of course. He lay there with his chest still, not beating or breathing, and it was all horrible. It took me some time, too much time, for me to gather the courage to go up to him and say goodbye. The whiteness of his skin and lips was revolting. It took me by surprise that he would actually look dead, but there he was in his jeans and colorful shirt (which I was very glad he wore, instead of a formal and cold suit) and his skin was dead white with a shimmer of orange. A spot of what I believe to be livor mortis appeared on the right side of his throat, barely noticeable beneath his tee-shirt. He seemed to emit cold from his body, cliché as that may sound. Perhaps from lying in a freezer for a long time. As I touched him I realized what the absence of human heat does to the human body, and felt the leathery feeling of his arm between my fingers. It is the single most nauseating sight in my life, and strangely it might also be the single most beautiful sight in my life. It’s almost shameful to say, but somehow it is true, and I don’t think I will ever be able to express exactly why. I smiled and cried when I saw him.

After half a dozen cigarettes I managed to keep myself pretty calm, except for when some songs were played. “Space Oddity” strangely enough made me weep like a child trying to hide his slow and wavering crying noises. The very climax of it all however was when the theme song from Final Fantasy 10 were played, and his best friend, the one that we all thought would be inseparable, slowly walked towards him after sitting still for almost an hour (I had tried to keep an eye out for him with the corner of my sight, just in case he needed a hug). The utter feeling of dread hit me for the second time, and once more all meaning seemed completely lost in the world.

As we sat there those three hours I promise you I felt that all of our immortality was sucked out from us. Not as a spiritual or religious thing, plainly rational actually, but suddenly we realized that we are not immortal, we do not have the divine right to live on forever, young and healthy. Death was kicking us in our faces repeatedly, and although the Reaper had taken my friends life he still needed to satisfy his hunger by downright killing our future. From now on we know that any second can in fact become our last, there doesn’t have to be a warning or a reason for death, and that we have to go through this again and again until its our turn to lie there in a coffin. We had been robbed of that wonderful childish thought about life, in which you are a God and not a mortal.

Time really flew those weeks. Suddenly the 24th came, and we all dressed up for his funeral to bury our friend. I sat at the second foremost bench at the right wing of the church. A seat of honor. I felt pride at being his friend, at having been his friend. After some nonsensical gibberish about God and a couple of songs (it was a nice ceremony, I just felt there were a bit to much God in the spotlight) we stood up and took our places next to his coffin. Me and three other friends, his sister and his father. God, it was so heavy when we lifted it. It felt like I couldn’t breath, and we were standing so close to each other I could barely move my legs. Trying to adjust my height a little to not throw off the other carriers, who were all shorter than me, I felt I was walking like a limbering hunchback. As we passed the whole church I knew that people probably looked at us, but I couldn’t see a single face. It was all dark clothes and nothingness. I gave a silent sigh of relief as I saw the cart we would transport the coffin to its grave with, as I was unsure how many more meters I would be able to carry it. I am sure I could feel his mother’s breath in my neck.

As we sat his coffin on top of the grave, after we had proceeded slowly from the church, I think I actually realized this it was my friend I was carrying. But I had to keep my cools, I couldn’t destroy this for the family, for the friends… But I wanted to stop, to go away. The rope we used to lift him down into the grave hurt my hands and I just wanted to lose it, to give it all up. It burnt between my fingers. And then he was down there. And I knew he was down there. I have seen him lying in that coffin. I had touched him and felt him while he was lying there. I had felt his weight as we carried him. And now I… was burying him? Nothing made sense. It still doesn’t. We stepped away from that horrible hole in the ground and stood there, looking at the whiteness of the coffin and the depth of his final resting place. I almost screamed of joy when the first people came towards us to hug the father and sister, and later the mother, because that meant I could finally move away. We stood there for so long, and I just wanted a hug, to turn my face away, to wipe my nose, not hiding the cry within me anymore. I felt like a ghost as I walked through the crowd, and still I could not see who were standing around me. As I managed to muster up the courage to hug the mother and father the only thing I could say was “thank you”.

This is the most horrible thing that has ever happened to me. It has been worse for others. Let us hope nothing like this ever happens again. Sadly I now know that it will.

He was a great man, and too young to die. I love him now as I hope I will love him for ever, until the day I too end up being buried. You will never be forgotten and forever missed, and I know that for a fact.

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Written by Aslak

August 5, 2009 at 00:17

Posted in Uncategorized

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