Author: joe

Monday, 25 December, 2006 - 14:27

So it was 5 years ago, 2.30pm on Christmas day. Andrew's breaths had slowed down - there were 45 seconds between the last, I don't know why I was counting. I waited a little, and there were no more. I didn't say anything to anyone else in the room, I just went outside for a cigarette. When I came back, everyone was standing outside the door. A nurse had been in to check him, and had suddenly asked everyone to step outside. Now there was a doctor in there. He came out a few minutes later, and told us he was very sorry. I was glad I hadn't been there to be told to leave.

I can't describe what happened when we went back in the room. Maybe in another 5 years? I remember afterwards that Kathryn called the smell the death-spray - something they spray in the room, that just smells of death, masking malodour with malodour. Different worlds, either side of the door.

What is strange is how you know when you leave finally that that is the end. You can't go back to the body. Once you leave, you have left forever. The body lies for days, and I suppose if you demanded it, you could go to the mortuary, wherever it is - the basement? - and be with it again. But really after you leave the room, 'it' is now an 'it', not 'him'. I held his hand, and of course it was still warm. They had closed his mouth, as well as sprayed him with death, but it had fallen slightly ajar. Ajar, like a door. I don't actually remember leaving the room - just being outside again - the sun had gone in, and the day was grey from then on.

Categories: xmas, dad, death, door,
Comments: 0

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