The fear of death is just another anchor that life uses to tether a soul that is already on rent in the world of living. Despite that death tears us apart but gift of life is cherished even if it is bleak and hopeless.
I sat on a grungy hospital chair looking at the face of someone close to me. His face which was always jovial and wise in life was twisted due to numerous pipes stuck down his throat. The constant whirring of the ventilator made me realise the very fragile equilibrium established between the human and machine. I stared at his face urging him to wake up, to leave the twilight zone that he was stuck in, to again start making everyone around him laugh and engage them in a lively conversation.
It’s easy to be in that state, call it coma if you like. You have no idea about your surroundings, medicines keep you steady, machines ensure your heart doesn’t stop beating and your body gets the oxygen. What about me? What about the rest of the family?
The tears don’t stop, the hope doesn’t die, everyone is praying to their deities, expecting you to wake up anytime but this repressive atmosphere just makes me want to bolt. I am terrible in these situations, I don’t have the knack to calm down a crying person, give them the support and strength they need because all I want to do is to scream at them. To tell them to shut up! To make them see that they are acting more dead than the person inside.
When I escape them, I find solace in the whirring of the same ventilator. I stare at the squiggles and numbers that the machine makes, none of these makes sense to me but I pretend they do. I pretend that these numbers hold all the secrets of life and death.
Watching him as I do, I know he is going to come back. I still recognise the stubborn lines running down the sides of his mouth which surely disagrees with the condition that he is in. He was born a fighter and always will be. My mind flashbacks to the days when he smuggled me out of another hospital when I was sick with pneumonia. The doctors wanted me to be in that hell hole but he wanted me to go to home. My lips turn up, a small hope flaring in my chest.
I smile at his unresponsive face, my fingers itching to find his and to give him comfort but for reasons unknown I don’t. So, I resume my blank stare, my brain hurting my soul with all the memories.