Nothing to Fear Essay

Submitted By trittylou
Words: 703
Pages: 3

Nothing to Fear, Nothing to Focus On Shakespeare penned sonnets that have serenaded lovers, plays that have been the subject of study in countless classrooms, and captured one balcony scene that has induced "ooh"s and "awh"s from many enraptured audiences. Yet, when King Lear dies of a broken heart, Shakespeare paints the moment with only two words: "He dies." Shakespeare wrote such a simple sentence for such a dreaded phase of life. Prior to my Papaw's death, this perplexed me. How could the close of one's life be summed up so curtly? However, after watching my seventy-six year old Papaw slip silently away, I understood why death was nothing to be feared, and was nothing to be focused on. The room was dimly lit, cool, and smelled faintly of an interesting mixture of antibacterial hand sanitizer and my memaw's soft perfume. My papaw lay as he had for weeks, silent and still, covered by white sheets in the white room, his complexion nearly as pail as all that surrounded him. The only true contrast to the white room was the massive pile of my family's coats that lay in a heap in the corner, and the large brown door of the hospital room. Our voices stayed low, as if noise would disturb him, when even the nurses poking him with needles and constantly prodding him had yet to stir him. His feeding tube clicked as predictably as a second hand, though not as often, as it fed him. His chest rose and fell, and sometimes stopped. When this happened, a silent tension would fall over the room like a shadow, our eyes would lock on him, lying completely still, and my memaw would reach her hand down to rub his shoulder until he took his next breath. We never acknowledged the moments outwardly, but merely stayed hushed through them. Then, we tried our hardest to continue the conversation smoothly once the anxiety had passed. He was fading; we all knew it. We had all known it for years. Nine years had passed since his first stroke stole the use of his entire left side, and we had all lost track of the number of strokes that had plagued him in the years since the first. Yes, death was near. It had been lingering near, taunting us, for years. No sad or daunting background music played to queue us to the imminent event. The dimmed lighting in that tiny room did not adjust as it does in the movies just before a tragedy occurs. Our steady hum of dialogue neither increased nor decreased to make way for death to creep into that chilly hospital room, but death