Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Quiet Days

I remember the difficult mornings my boss used to have at work, the quiet days when a friend or volunteer with whom she'd worked was dying or had passed away. Quiet anger sometimes, sometimes just grief. A decade later, I still remember these women's names, women I hadn't met but whose deaths we observed that reminded us that this work mattered, though that didn't stop death. Even now I remember their names.

After my childbirths, local injections of anesthetics didn't work or wore off too fast and I was sutured without pain relief; in the first, my membranes also ruptured into fine filaments that had to be removed painstakingly by hand. My response aloud was an understated protest that I didn't like this very much. Written in the same vein, I don't like this business of dying young. I don't like it that Elizabeth will die young. That another friend will likely die young. And I begin to understand even more my boss's quiet days.

We who remain will all get through somehow, we always do. We will remember, we will not forget.

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