The Indignity of Death

That moment is fearsome;

When the body trembles under the weight of death.

The eyes fix, the pupils dilate.

These Doctors have seen it before,

More frequently than they can recall.

This is the departure of the soul.

A flight with an unpredictable take-off.

It can start with red herrings;

Something so simple, like no air.

And when you notice the drowning:

The swimming in and out of consciousness,

The training kicks in.

The reflexive actions occur with little thought.

They try to preserve it,

To stop the soul from leaking away.

Sometimes it works, but this time it does not.

She dies on that narrow metal trolley.

Her cut-up dress baring the bruises on her chest –

The remnants of chest compressions.

Her face is slack, turning blue and dulled.

The team step back with a sigh.

Whether it is relief or resignation, it is hard to tell.

Then they watch and wait;

Waiting for the flat line to mark the finality of death.

She is alone,

In a cold, clinical place of healing.

Yet it failed to heal in this instance.

It is pitiful – her loneliness, her nakedness.

The paperwork is filled, the red tape adhered to.

Her husband is then told of her departure.

His wizened face is emotionless –

Perhaps he, too, has become accustomed to death like these Doctors.

But for me, it is beyond tragic.

This lonely, undignified death scares me.

I never want to lose this fear.

I never want death to become an insignificant part of life.

I stand in my corner and pray for her soul,

And pray for mine too,

As they take the shell of my fellow human away.