I hate the way hospitals smell. The energy that comes from everyone inside them permeates through every pore of my body. From the moment you enter your own personal space shrinks as the everyone else’s struggles to make room for theirs. I think it’s the intensity of all that emotion under one consolidated space. I think it’s what my own personal torture chamber would be like.
The elevator was way to small, and it smelt like stale air. It seem to be creeping towards the third floor almost as though it felt my dread. When the doors finally opened the strange nurse breathed a sigh of relief. We had managed to ride up three floors without even making eye contact. She almost trampled another nurse as she made her escape. Never realizing that her energy had been swallowed by mine.
I had prepared myself on the car ride over. There would be no sadness, no negativity, I would not make this beautiful 33 year old woman hold the weight of my sorrow with her cancer ridden body. She has carried far too much for far too long. My mother had warned me of how frail she has become. Her already slender Asian frame had been beaten down by both her disease, and her treatment. She has not been able to withstand food, or liquids for almost two weeks now. Blood flows from her abdomen like water from a slow streaming faucet.
Our mother’s are like sister’s. Alove built from the kind of friendship few others ever experience. We regard each other as chosen family, and even when there is nothing we can do for one another we stay together. We are like the support beam that keeps your home from collapsing. She smiles as I enter her room forging through her pain to make a fuss over the flowers I have for her. Her grace only makes me love her more. I hide my emotions for her as well I regard this visit as if it’s a temporary problem that simply requires some time.
This is strength beyond all boundaries, and respect without limits. We talked about our families. She is in agony, but never says that she is. Instead she says that she’s tired, and relays to me that she is getting the best care. Then in a brief moment of fear she tells me that she is dying. I know in this moment she is grasping for my strength. It was a moment I knew would come. It was my dread that filled the elevator, and permeated through the nurse causing her to run away when the doors opened.
So I took her tiny hand, looked deeply into her fearful eyes, and said” I work with the dying everyday. You know this, and you are not dying now.” I could feel her energy change immediately. Her body had swallowed mine. She smiled, and said “okay I will fight.” I smiled back staring deeply into her eyes. Then her mother entered the room, and saw her daughter smiling. I told her I was leaving, and that I would be back soon. Her mother reached for me, holding me as only a mother can hold you. The energy in that moment kept us all from collapsing.
There is two of us actually, G-uno and g2. We have been friends for a while, met through our own similarities in duality, openness and love of listening. Our differences as well as our similarities always border on the extreme.