As somber and morbid as this blog may be, I can’t seem to escape wanting to write about death. I know, I know… At first glance this probably seems strange, but something about the holidays and family always brings me back to loss and grief (sorry!).
***TW: Drug overdose***
In a class about bodies, it is hard not to think about death. It’s hard not to think about what happens when you die, what happens to your laugh, to your humor, your sense of self? It’s even harder when you’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to experience the loss of a loved one (those of you who have experienced this first hand will understand).
I remember the first time I saw someone pass on from this earth, I was twenty-three. I can still remember walking into the ICU, not knowing what I was about to see… The walk into the hospital room felt much like I was floating in, maybe even being dragged in against my better judgment. I walked into the room, his blank face, emotionless, barely any pink left in his complexion. We had gotten the phone call about a half hour before that my friend had been found in a basement with a needle in his arm. He had overdosed on heroin and was found unresponsive. We knew it was bad, but I had never before seen anything like this. His mother sat by his bedside, gripping his cooling hand in hers, probably hoping to breathe life back into his motionless body. We stood in there for what felt like hours, in reality it was probably a mere twenty minutes before the doctors came back in to begin the process. I stood there, feeling like I was ready for him to go, like somehow in that half hour I had prepared myself for what was about to happen.
I was wrong. There is something incredibly life-changing about watching a soul drift out of someone’s body. When we speak about bodies, having a body, being a body, anything bodies that is the visual that plays in my mind. I see it as clearly as I did when I was holding his hand, feeling the chill come into his fingers. I see it and I cannot help but know with certainly that there is something magical about the experience we are having, being able to have the capacity to navigate through this world, experience pain, joy, all the other jumbled nonsense that I so frequently take for granted. With the holidays coming passing through, and the New Year approaching, I find it hard to not want to talk about life and death and the gratitude I have for having the opportunity to experience every bit of it.. I guess that’s all for now.