Writing Prompt: Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt
This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but like all things life got in the way, so it will be posted today…..
The idea for the post came because a few nights ago I was listening to The Stuff of Life Podcast … that week the topic was Life at the Death. Café. I found listening to the personal stories touching and poignant…. which led me to revel this secret:
I am no longer afraid of dying. Who ever reads this will no and it will no longer be a secret. Maybe I should go back a little…..
I think as a child, we all have a fear of death a fear of being away from everything that we know. It’s not a concept that’s easy to understand…sometimes they get over it sometimes they don’t….I didn’t. (I once had a friend who’s family had a funeral home, so death was a daily part of his life, it was something he accepted early, and as an adult is super nonchalant about the entire idea) My fear of death got worst when I was 18 and officially diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis and was told that the damaged to my liver was irreversible and I needed to have a transplant. The idea that in order for me to live, someone had to die…honestly that messed me up big time. And for a long time…up until a year after my second transplant that named at me. Was I going to be able to live my life in a manner that honored my donor and her family..
I waited 9 months for my first liver. By accounts that was a pretty short time according to transplant standards. For a while I just felt sick and death was not something I thought about. I was working and going to school….then my cousin died all of the sudden, he died at home and I was devastated. He was on the transplant list, he was waiting for a heart…but like many people on the list he died before he got the call.
Dealing with his death compounded with waiting for my call made me wonder if I was going l to live to see my transplant.
When I got the call, it was just me and my mom ; me on the OR table and her I’m the waiting room. (We didn’t know this until years later) But we both said prayers, asking for someone to be with the other si they wouldn’t feel alone). The last thing I remember before the drugs took me off to sleepy land was seeing my grandmother and my cousin standing over my bed…smiling at me. I would like to think they were both there watching over us that night.
I survived my transplant, and at 19 I had a lot of life to live, I felt like I beat death, and I no longer feared it.
Fast forward to 30 and I am seriously ill, in and out of comas my body had gone haywire, and I’m sitting in a Las Vegas hospital for about a month now and it occurred to me, no one was talking to me about what was happening to me, they were always talking to my mother (who hadn’t left me side since Id been admitted, she slept on the couch next to me every single day) When ever I was awake and sort of lucid, the people around me would whisper, I knew…. I just knew that I was dying. It’s weird to describe the moment when you realize that you body is shutting down and it trying to let go, and honestly if I wasn’t so afraid and had accepted my fate I probably would have died in that hospital. Without sounding dramatic I felt Death coming, almost like he was sitting outside of my hospital door peeking in on me…. after being in the hospital for about a month, one night I asked my mom if she would take me outside.
When went to the healing garden that the hospital had and just sat there quietly. Everything hit me at once…everything seemed stronger, the smell of the flowers seemed stronger. The breeze felt stronger… the city lights were brighter… mom walked away a few feet to take a phone call.. sitting outside that I night I decided that I was ready… just like that. No pretense no nothing. I was getting worst… if it was my time to go it was my time. the only things I wanted was to die alone. I knew that it would be difficult to know that I was dying, I just didn’t want my mom to see it happen, I wanted to spare her as much pain as possible… it was the very least I could do….. as soon as that thought left my head I heard it.
Whispers, someone was whispering….then a whole group of people . All of the sudden, and for the first time I fell ill ,I felt calm, and comforted… the whispering got more intense, almost like it was surrounding me in stereo, I glanced at my mom, to see if she was hearing it…. she was still on the phone chatting…. as if nothing was wrong…. this went on for like 20 minutes…. Then it just stopped like nothing ever happened.
A few days later things started to turn around…. my numbers improved and I was stable enough to be transported across the country to my transplant center. I was strong enough to eventually have my second transplant and survive to tell this tale.
Now lets be honest, I was suffering from Hepatic Encephalopathy all of that could have been cause from that. My sudden turn around could have been cause my modern medicine…. who knows… but the end result was the same. I came to accept my mortality. And although I don’t welcome death, I know it’s somewhere around still peeking around the corner. I know that my life isn’t guaranteed, and any day I can go; and I’m at peace with that. I have tried to live my life in a manner where I feel like I’ve left an imprint (although small) on the world. My entire goal was to touch just once person’s life in a positive way…and I think I’ve done that…..
Until Next Time,