Archive for July 2nd, 2011

Thanatopsis

“All that live / Will share thy destiny.”[i]

*

I guess…I guess it’s because it doesn’t look that much like her. Because, and beyond the surgery, I mean, everyone is saying she looks great. And maybe it’s because I haven’t seen her in a few weeks, but she looks kind of like hell. I can’t imagine what she looked like 72 hours ago, back when she was still alive.

I guess that’s why it hasn’t really hit me yet. I guess that’s why, as I’m kneeling here before her sessile body, garbed in the same navy blue dress she wore to her daughter’s wedding 22 months ago and which is now about a size and half too big, that I’m having trouble fully conceptualizing that this is Aunt Pat, and that she is dead.

I usually close my eyes here, or look down at my hands, or look straight ahead at the underside of the open casket. I don’t like looking at the body, usually. But this time, I can, and it doesn’t seem to be a problem. Except that its not being a problem is kind of a problem, because I’m wondering why exactly I’m not having the same kind of response I usually do in this situation, which is to cry at least a little, regardless of who that person is. I’ve teared up when it was a great aunt I had never met before, and that was six months ago.

So why not now?

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