Death in The Family Room

Monday afternoon in the month of July, they had a job to do;
nurses, doctors, and an unwanted pastor.
Every light in the family room is on, but it still has a sense of gloom.
The hospital bed is where the love seat should be. They moved it into the garage with
the couch and the end tables.
Metal on the frame of the hospital bed is nicked and cold to the touch,
His favorite recliner taunts Him from across the room.
The deep brown leather in the chair is worn at the head and foot, and His dog lay on the floor looking at Him lying there;
unable to get up and sit in His chair or reach down to pet His dog.
His morphine glazed, blue eyes stare at the chair. Past the chair is a view of the pool.
The palm leaves sway with the summer breeze and the sunshine glistens in the pool water.
The respirator whirls in the background, along with the television that is playing a rerun of “Law and Order”.
They could not move the curio cabinet in the corner filled with figurines of vacations and holidays gone by;
they seem to turn away, shielded from the pain and gloom in the room.
When the unwelcomed guests arrive the room was instantly filled with dread.
The pastor is told to leave because he is not needed; he is not sympathetic to the family, only concerned about his reimbursement for the trip.
The family surround Him to shield Him from the invaders.
The respiratory nurse was the first to make his move, he turned off the respirator and that whirling noise they all became accustom to fades away.
The nurse removes the tube from His throat;
they could hear Him trying to breathe on His own. Another episode of “Law and Order”
starts and the opening music fills the room as the doctor took His vitals, and wrote them on the chart.
The IV is removed and the doctor prepares the first deadly injection of morphine. They asked the doctor to make sure He feels no pain.
The brothers who traveled from far to be by His side do not come into the family room.
The television filled the room with white noise and no one thinks to turns it off.
She sat by His side and held His hand, their daughters stood on His other side;
holding on to each other.
His blue eyes that always light up when He smiled stays on her. She whispers “I love you”
and He mouths the words back. Then slowly the light in His eyes fade;
His breathing slows;
the doctor gives Him another dose of morphine;
and He closes His eyes forever.
She cries, harder than she ever cried in her whole life.
Their daughters cry as they stand together in a closed circle,
trying to hold each other up.
And then there is silence.
No one hears the television;
no one hears her heart break.
She strokes His hand and says a prayer.
The funeral home came and took Him away, and the brothers move the furniture back into the family room.
The television is no longer on.

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