Monday, March 17, 2014

To Lay In Darkness... Dying

To Lay In Darkness ... Dying
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee

The darkness... the thoughts... hearing one's self cough
So cold... I can't see; I seem to have my eyes closed all the time
My skin itches... I try to scratch it gently... I don't know if I do

So cold... can't seem to get warm... tons of blankets lay over me
100 degree weather... I am so... cold as I lay in darkness
Coughing, whispering... I'm not sure I'm talking... who cares

Have you eaten today... yes, I have.. I answer each time
How do I know... I can't even think... I answer 'yes'
I don't want to cause worry... I'm not suffering, I'm alright

Dying... I'm not aware that I lay dying, I don't remember
Why I lay here in darkness, my body cold, itching
I think I scratch my skin... I'm not sure

I don't feel any pain, hunger... I don't feel anything
All I have left is... my hearing
Even my thoughts aren't thoughts anymore; they just ... are

My mama comes to tuck me in... just as she did when I was a child
Pulled the blankets up around my ears to keep them warm
I close my eyes, I think they're already closed... feel her love

Mama, don't leave me here alone in the darkness
No, I am not afraid now, to die... you bring me comfort
Just as you did when I was a child... when you tucked me in

I can only hear... I'm not aware that it's called 'hearing', now
I'm not aware of anything... but, I hear
I know it's Skip's voice asking me if I ate while he was at work

I automatically answer 'yes'... I hear... relief in his voice
I can't see his face, but... I know... he is standing close by
I hear his footsteps walk away

For a brief moment... or is it more than a moment... I don't know
I am aware of being on my feet... I am walking while holding
Onto things while I go my way

I found out months later that I did a lot of things while in
The darkness... though I couldn't see ... didn't remember
Did that come from living with a blind man as a tiny child

Was I blind... I may as well have been... all I saw was... darkness
God, how cold it is when in the darkness... I couldn't get warm
Doctors... riding... Skip holding me so, I could walk... darkness

I couldn't see the colors of my world... I forgot they were there
Darkness hid them... the only color I could see... was black
I don't remember looking for my colors... I didn't look for anything

Dying... I was always afraid to die... somehow, Death came for me
I didn't recognize it... so, I didn't know to be afraid
Maybe... because I didn't feel pain... I didn't know to be afraid

Awareness for a moment... I was holding the phone, I tried to talk
I was very weak... floating in my dark, dark world
I couldn't speak above a whisper... the voice on the phone was concerned

I was asleep in darkness... when I woke, I was in darkness
I still held the phone... I whispered, heard a voice
Darkness took me again... I don't know what happened to the phone

Sitting in a wheelchair... I became aware it was time for surgery
I looked up at Skip... I could see his face... his beautiful face
I'm so glad to be here... I can't make it another day


Note by this Author:

I lay dying... all I knew was darkness... briefly becoming aware of all around me... then, darkness.  I would imagine my mother being there to comfort me by tucking the blankets around my ears to keep them warm.

From the month of May to July... each day I became very ill until I almost died.  Skip worked in management at a company in Raleigh, every day... and would take off to take me to specialists to find out what was wrong with me.

I was diagnosed finally with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  A large mass (cancerous cells) was on my right lung, resting against my heart.  It also, was cutting off my air... until when I tried to blow in the device to measure breathing... I barely lifted the little ball up with my breath.

I remember only once being afraid to die during this time.  The rest of the time, as afraid of dying as I was... I wouldn't have known to be afraid of ... death.
I was in the shower... the steam began smothering me.  I was too weak to get out of the shower by myself.  I began crying out to Skip to help me... I couldn't breathe.

When I laid in darkness, I must have only needed a little breath to keep me alive... I don't remember not being able to breathe.

I have sat here thinking of how to describe how it feels to lay dying.  I'm not sad, depressed... dying is a fact of life... we all are going to do it someday.  Truthfully, I don't want to... I'm afraid to die... unless like what I described above... I wasn't aware I was... dying.

I tried to describe fleeting moments of thought, awareness. Have you ever wondered about dying?   This is only a small description of knowing how it is to lay ... dying.

1 comment:

  1. Yes I have thought about dying. We are all going to die. Some die I think before they should. It is a part of life--a part of the circle. I thank God I accepted Jesus Christ in life. Now when I die I will go to heaven. I will be with family members that have gone on before me. Love, Ms. Nancy