Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Live-tweeting the passing of a loved one

Scot Simon has been tweeting about his last few days with his Mother as she lay in the ICU in a Chicago hospital.

The Independent had a piece about it, and I looked up his Twitter and read through the tweets (@nprscottsimon)

One tweet in particular took me right back, instantly, to the dawn of my Father's passing. 10 hours ago, Scott tweeted, Heart rate dropping. Heart dropping.  

I can recall those moments too.  I can recall the shape of the zigzag line of the ECG. I can recall the size of every peak and trough. I can recall how they changed.  I can recall the shape of the vein on his right temple. I can recall feeling my own pulse in the palm of my right hand, which was gripping the cold metal bar on the side of his bed. I can recall how mercilessly steady my own pulse was.  If I had counted it, I can bet money it would have been a perfect 72. It hasn't been 72 since.

I could not possibly write about how these tweets make me feel, because I don't have the words to do so. I don't think these kinds of emotions have names or words. They can be described in metaphor at best, and that too seems crude and cliche. Nonsense like a sword through the heart comes to mind, but those are the only words I have.

He is a better writer than me.
Go check it out if you want, and if you feel like it's all too recent and raw, and you're trying not to break apart, then don't.
I'm going to work.

No comments: