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Literature by jedl93

Nebulae by seaboundstars

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Submitted on
November 13, 2012
Submitted with Writer


1,795 (11 today)
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Salt-and-pepper hair contrasts sharply with the crisp, starched pillow;
bone-thin arms resemble bed rails--
tears in my arms, the morphine drip in your vein.
My inner rage refutes your calm acceptance.

You ask if we are waiting for you to die:  no.
We are waiting for a miracle,
we are waiting for you to heal--

We are waiting for something that will not happen.
We are stretching for something that is out of reach.
We are holding onto our obsolete hopes, the small fragments of our lives
so closely, we cannot see the bigger picture
of eternity.

In a paradox, God is calling you clearly,
but we can't seem to hear His voice--
only the silence ringing in our ears
as the monitor stops
your breathing ceases
your face un-creases--
and, for the first time in years,
you run Home.
I have always been close to my paternal grandmother, ever since I was a child. When I was in elementary school, the dementia began to set in. It robbed her of her clarity and, eventually, her dignity. My strong, independent grandmother was moved to an assisted-living facility, because she became unable to take care of herself without help. Despite crippling arthritis and the encroaching memory loss, Grandma held her own from that point on, even if she needed a little bit of help.

The spring of the year in which I was fourteen, my grandmother took a turn for the worse. She contracted an internal infection and landed in the hospital. Her heart was very weak, she struggled to breathe, she was immobile, and she was in unimaginable pain. Her morphine drip was near-constant, and even then, she was unconscious most of the time.

After several weeks, she was moved to hospice care. I played hooky from school to care for her while my parents met with the hospice workers; I shifted her on the hour to prevent bedsores, I rubbed her frail hands to warm them, I kept an eye on the heart monitor, I adjusted the cannula that fed her oxygen when it slipped over her papery skin. At that point, we knew she was dying. It was only a question of when and how we could make her most comfortable in the interim.

She was skeletally thin by this time, and it made her look unbelievably frail. Her skin sheared and tore when she moved too much. At the site of the IV, florid bruises bloomed like wilted flowers. She had stopped eating and drinking the day before and the dehydration was already taking its toll. Ever few minutes, I would wet her lips to keep them from cracking, she was so dry. As hazy as things must have been for her, she knew she what was coming.

The night before I resumed classes, I spent hours in her room, just sitting at her bedside, holding her hand. At some point I started crying. She was unconscious, or so I thought; her state was transient, and you could never be sure of how much she perceived of what happened around her. And as I stroked her forehead, her eyes opened, and she spoke for the first time since I had arrived. Every breath costing her, she begged me not to cry, and that's all she managed before she again lost consciousness. Disregarding entirely the strict policy, I removed my surgical mask, bent to kiss her cheek, and crawled into her bed to hold her. She weighed no more than a child in my arms. And that's when I finally accepted the inevitable.

I left that night with a promise to return after school the next day. I never spoke to her again. The following evening, the phone rang, and I picked it up without thinking first. She was gone. My father had stepped out into the hallway to have a word with the attending and she had slipped away in those few seconds. She was alone when she died. I still wonder if she was aware of this, if she was scared. And I still can't forgive myself for leaving her.

I had a ridiculous homework load that night, but not much was accomplished, needless to say. A few minutes after I had hung up, I sat down at the computer to continue composing my final essay for a class and just lost it. Any shaky grip I'd had on my grief just dissolved. I was a wreck. I cried so long and hard that I felt sick to my stomach. With everything else that was going on in eighth grade, I hadn't eaten in four days. I was fairly certain that the cavern yawning deep in my abdomen was no longer mere hunger. Food couldn't fill that emptiness. Nothing could. I had entirely lost my appetite. I wouldn't eat for another 48 hours. It didn't even register at that point.

The formerly paramount importance of schoolwork seemed laughable now. I had bigger things to worry about. I never did finish that crucial essay. Instead, I stayed up until 3 a.m. composing this before crawling into bed and crying myself to sleep.

This was written several years ago, so I apologize in advance for the fact that it's not my best work. I've matured a lot in my writing since then.

I hadn't thought of this in ages. A dear friend of mine lost her grandmother, with whom she was extremely close, this past weekend. And it felt like losing Grandma all over again. I wanted to post this not only for her but also for anyone else who has been in this situation before.

I want to say this: I know this isn't what you want to hear, but it never really does hurt less, that hole in your life. It never fills in. You just learn to dance around it. And sometimes, you will stumble, and you will slip, and it will snag you and you will fall. But you will climb your way to the surface every time, and the pain will dull, and you will make it through. I promise.

Please do not use without my permission.
Comments are welcome and greatly appreciated. Any feedback is great to hear. What can I do better?

EDIT: I've been featured here: [link] and [link] and [link] Thank you so much!! :heart:
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-12-16
Cathie by violetense creates some great images and the repetition resonates beautifully. ( Suggested by SilverInkblot and Featured by IrrevocableFate )
Mrs-Durden Featured By Owner 5 hours ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Your amazing work has been featured here: Daily Deviations Weekly Highlights VI

JigabytesS Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New member Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great poem dude! :D
MidnightTiger8140 Featured By Owner Edited 3 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful poem, absolutely breathtaking. Thank you for sharing this and your story, and congratulations on a well-deserved DD. This is one of the most mature pieces (in terms of the seriousness of the topic and how you handled it in your work) I've seen on DeviantArt. Again, thank you, and I wish you the best.
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
I’m very happy for you!!! :iconloveloveplz: :tighthug:
brokengod--veins Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
This made my heart heavy. Having to lose a paternal father myself (to asthma) took a big blow on me as a kid. The same went for all my other grandparents: a needle and a lifeline on monitor. The feeling is all too familiar, but the pain still lingers. The holes never gets bigger either, but it never shrinks or fills itself because they're an irreplaceable part of us. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this. You deserve every single hug I can manage to give and I would squeeze you with love if you were standing right next to me reading this beautiful piece. :huggle:
Dramaticrabbit Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Student
OMG! This is so great! Is it ok if I read this for speak-up, a group every Wednesday telling stories and poems? I can credit you :)
lintu47 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on the DD! :dalove:
Have a nice day! :love: by CookiemagiK
blalock27 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Fantastic Clap Clap 
silentangelawaits Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Student Artist
I actually can relate to this my grandmother passed away a few years back she had this illness I'm not sure what it was exactly that she had i was 12 when she died im 21 now so its been a few years but still hurts sometimes and my grandfather he has Alzheimer's and his now living in a home he cant look after him self and we felt it was best thing for him when it got bad enough. Though he does not remember me i still try to see him when I'm home its been awhile now actually i should try to see him when i go back home for Christmas because i know id regret it if anything happened and i pray it does not but i know that one day it will. I think though in all honesty what hurts is the not knowing the uncertainty you know? I mean when i know things i can prepare my self the best i can when i don't know how can i prepare for the unexpected when i have no idea what it is or when its coming? anyway even though you wrote this a long time a go i can understand its not easy i do wish i had been allowed to see my grandmother when she was in hospital even if i was young and even though it would have been hard would have felt better if id at least said goodbye to her I regret not begging my mom to let me but it was her mother and i knew it was so hard for her i guess i figured it would be selfish considering how much it must hurt her let alone me. She was probably just trying to protect me from the pain and i can see that now clearly anyway erm keep up the good work and i liked reading ur work because it was so sincere and honest an could feel those thoughts feelings so much that i had to see the story behind this. 
0hgravity Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
this balances an edge -- heartbreaking tension. when it finally fell, I felt it deep inside
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