Friday, 19 November 2010

Bleak House

Yesterday I walked in the valley in the shadow of death. I was afraid.

I came home to escape from the hell-hole my life had become in the last week, and was confronted with a more terrifying reality. What happens, when a part of your framework can no longer stand? The rest tumbles in is what.

I have spent the last two days in and out of a hospital, watching somebody I love more than myself fight his way back from the edge. To see someone so big, and immortal, looking so very small and vulnerable makes everything else meaningless. This is the farce of the hospital. The wards in visiting time are full of people, hiding their pain from their loved ones, to save them pain. The loved ones hide their terror, to help the patient. In the corridors, behind closed curtains, both parties can silently break. The empty sobs of an old man, holding on for his young. The silent tears of a son, wiped away for a brave face to hide the truth which is death. Because there, the only constant companion is death, whether you can escape it, or welcome it as an escape, it is there. And all we can do is push it away for those few minutes, and live that lie.

Even the tiny light of the maternity ward, cannot illuminate the darkness of the crying football team outside intensive care. Through those hospital doors, the immortal, the youthful and the brave, become so many dearly loved pieces in a cruel game of give and take.

Dear God, whatever you are. Please give him back to us.


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