Thursday, August 21, 2008

'The Man' Tales - The Space Between

The space between those two heartbeats – where my heart tried to follow Cid’s – were broken – no shattered – by a sudden wailing that filled the room. I lifted my head off Cid’s hand to discover his mother’s mouth wide open and a keening noise blasting out of it.

My astonishment at this noise was interrupted by Cid’s uncle who pushed me aside with one hand as he grasped the intravenous lines with another and yanked them out of Cid’s arm and then his wrist. He then grabbed Cid under the armpits and began shaking him up and down – as if he could shake him back to life.

My hands flew to my mouth and I watched in horror as his uncle flung Cid about and his mother began to beat on herself. Recovering from the shove his uncle had given me, I backed against the wall to keep myself out of the uncle’s way in case his insanity swept him completely away and I got sucked in to the vortex. I also wanted to put as much distance between myself and the noise coming from his mother. It was loud enough to hurt my ears. I was torn between covering my mouth in shock or plugging my eardrums.

Fluid pumped from the intravenous lines and started forming puddles and I watched helplessly as his uncle slipped on the floor as he tried to bring Cid back to life. The IV machines rocked dangerously on their wheeled bases as he jostled them in his macabre dance with Cid. It truly was a comedy of horrors.

The noise from his mother eventually brought the nurse and she burst into the room and came to an abrupt halt while she tried to understand what was occurring. Rushing forward, she wrestled with the uncle in an attempt to free Cid from his grasp and she had to yell into his face to get him to stop. With one hand restraining the uncle, she turned to the mother and tried to calm her as well.

I still stood against the wall, my mind unwilling to take in what these two were doing in their grief. Every time the nurse let go of the uncle, he would grab at Cid again and begin to shake him once more. Once she got through to him, he turned his grief against himself and turning his back, he began pulling at his hair. His mother still wailed and the nurse spent the next couple of minutes trying to get her to take a breath and to quiet down so as not to disturb other patients.

It was some time before they were both composed enough to gather themselves so we could leave the hospital. His mother wept on her brother’s shoulder as we walked through the doors of the hospital and I was surprised to see that another day had dawned. Behind me I knew that Cid lay under a sheet somewhere in the bowels of the hospital. In front of me lay the upcoming funeral and I didn’t know what to expect.

Arriving back at Cid’s condo, I placed a call to my mother to tell her the news. Then I called D. His soft voice broke and I listened to his quiet sobs when I told him that our dearest friend was gone. Both Mom and D told me the same thing. Come home.

24 comments:

Daryl said...

Oh Aims ...



:-Daryl

Leatherdykeuk said...

Gods! What horrors you witnessed.

*hug*

softinthehead said...

OMG Aims - I'm speechless

Anonymous said...

My heart is in my stomach. Oh.my.word. Margie

rosiero said...

Grotesque.

Potty Mummy said...

Please tell me you did - go home, that is.

Irene said...

Dear Aims, such madness. And you, so heartbroken. And Cyd so violated in his death. What a scene, such horror. Yes, you do need to go home, tough as that is. Big Hug!

Lehners in France said...

Aims, Grief is unique and everyone deals with it differently. You can't say anything is right or wrong, it's personal. I think the uncle and the mum had not come to terms with the fact that Cid would not survive. It must have been very difficult for you to watch, but you have to try to understand. Debs x

BT said...

Such a strange way to react though. But I suppose we none of us really know what we'd do in the circumstances.

Such heartbreak for you.

Amy said...

Comedy of horrors, indeed. What a shock to endure at such a vulnerable moment. I'm stunned.

bichonpawz said...

I'm speechless Aims. And I am so very glad that had D to go home to.

travelling, but not in love said...

Oh lord, not good Aims, those moments are the hardest with everyone handling it in their own way. awful.

Frances said...

I have to agree with what Debs says. Even though our ways may be different we have to respect others in their grief. However undignified - and it may be that that Mama and uncle behaved so badly because they loved him so much underneath all the stuff you saw. Not everyone behaves well in stressful times.
I hope you were all reconciled in the end and no bitterness remains now. We can eat ourselves from within with bitter feelings.
I've seen close families implode and break up on the death of one member.
Anyhow, we all know you survived, you are here and writing it all down. So something came good in the end for you.

Maggie May said...

That's awful, truly awful.

Melanie said...

Oh Aims, I can only think that somehow they didn't understand the full extent of his illness and this was unexpected? It can be strange what you don't hear when you don't want to and in a different language too.
However I hope you went home to get a much needed rest and support for yourself otherwise you'd be in no fit state to cope with Cid's funeral.

Lola said...

Your description beggars belief. I had no idea that grief can do this sort of thing to human beings. My heart goes out to you.

lisaschaos said...

Oh my!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Home is the only place to be at a time like this.

david mcmahon said...

Home is our haven. They gave you good advice.

TSannie said...

This must be heart-wrenching to retell. And oh so beautiful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. You are a wonderful writer of words.

Lane said...

Grief does unimaginable things to people but poor Cid. Horrendous.

Akelamalu said...

How heartbreaking that must have been for all concerned. :(

I'm here by way of David's (Authorblog) btw.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

how you have managed such a poignant post within the heartbreak is astonishing and a credit to your strength! l'm gobsmacked.

thinking of you all.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Dreadful behaviour, even though it must have been emotionally fraught.
Terrible. M xx