mickey’s linen postscript
The evening before Mickey passed I’d brought some homeopathics for pain with me in a small velour sack, to address a 101.5º fever and attendant pain that had emerged sometime during his night. I set the tablets I’d brought for fever on a nearby table and I was juggling dosage and drinks as the little sachet of pain remedies slipped unnoticed into the snow drifts of ruffled linens and blankets, tousled even more by Mickey’s restless attempts to ease his pain.
I lowered his temperature homeopathically over a few hours as I searched for the specific remedies I’d brought for pain. Alas though I looked through his bedding, thoroughly I thought, the little green pouch was nowhere to be found, causing me to doubt where I’d seen it last; in my bag by the sofa, on the table, perhaps in the car? The remedies for fever had mitigated much of his suffering but I had still hoped to address his remaining pain.
Too late. Social services arrived and decided Mickey needed morphine, a drug that in a similar situation 14 years before, had killed my dad. I watched in helpless disappointment as conscious awareness left my uncle’s eyes and yes he calmed, but into more of a vacancy than a restfulness.
I stayed until he fell asleep, feeling responsible for this tragic turn of events yet helpless to stop it. In the days following his passing it has crossed my mind that had Mickey’s pains returned in the middle of that night, I would not have been there to re-dose his remedies and staff would have morphined him at that point, with the same ultimate outcome.
Nevertheless until I amended this essay, connecting the word ‘linen’ on the truck parked across from my stalled car after his funeral, I’d felt a stinging remorse for losing those remedies (later found by staff, buried in his linens) at a critical moment of his final hours, despite understanding that perhaps things had already worked out in his best interests.
I can only imagine that this truck, with the words ‘mickey’s linen’, was as close to a direct response to my final regrets as anyone could reasonably hope for, telling me in what appears to be a tsunami of coincidences that I wasn’t responsible for his suffering or death, that I did help and did bring him comfort, that he appreciated my visits and that he is whole and healed and strong enough to arrange a sequence of events that literally saved my life on the day of his funeral, as well as proved to me at least, that he is conscious as himself and thriving in an after-life, not a death, that realistically speaking, awaits us all.