A week ago my uncle was taken by ambulance to a hospital in CB. Same day he was transferred to a hospital in Omaha and prepped for surgery for a subdural hematoma—bleeding around his brain.
Now it’s a week later and he’s awake but has been unresponsive. Still intubated, as I understand it and my dad goes to the hospital daily to see if there’s been any change. He tells me he’s going to have to make a tough decision soon, but is unable to articulate what that decision is.
My uncle doesn’t have a DNR. Hell, I don’t even know if he’s documented medical power of attorney or prepared a will. That side of my family is woefully unprepared for these kinds of situations. I inherited some of that behavior but I do have better relationships with my loved ones and trust in that.
I’m not close to my uncle or my dad. Never have been really. My uncle lived in Colorado most of his life and my dad has my step family for support. I’ve never been inclined to push for a deeper relationship where I feel I’m not wanted. And I’ve been made to not feel wanted plenty over the years.
So this new development isn’t exactly tough for me. It’s sort of “matter-of-fact.” People are born, the live, and then eventually their bodies give out and cease to function. it’s a straight line and no one really knows if that line forms a circle within the grand scheme.
Regardless, I recently wrote a poem about death. Inspired more by a poem I had read than by these recent events. Yes, death of the physical body is inevitable and the mystery about what happens then has long been a staple in the discourse of poetry. Just ask Emily. She wrote about death more than any other subject.
Since my step mom’s death late in 2020 I’ve written several. Most are about my strained relationship with my father and not about death itself. Lest I not forget the poem I wrote and read at her funeral.
I was tasked with opening, reading, and closing the ceremony. The poem I read wasn’t for the deceased either. It was more of a poem written for all people, celebrating life. I also read a poem written by my step sister that I helped revise slightly.
I have video of the ceremony on CD. I guess that’s part of what the thousands of dollars paid to the funeral home buys.
A CD people, as if it were still 1995. Whatever. I’ve never bothered to rip and watch it. Aint nobody got time for that.
I wonder if they’ll ask me to headline my uncles funeral too, if they do I wonder if anyone will notice if I recycle that same celebration of life poem. I wonder also if my dad is capable of making any decision. He’s historically never made any, save for maybe casually suggesting to my mom that they get married.
They were married for 17 years and that ended with my mom making the decision to file for divorce. I wonder silently to myself if my dad proposed to my step mom or if it was the other way around. I would guess the latter.
She seemed like just the sort of woman who might say, I’ve given away enough milk; it’s time to buy the cow.
Anyway…I guess I’m just waiting for a call. Meanwhile I’ve been placed on lockdown and the timing couldn’t be better. I’m in a “hiding from the world” kind of mood and only coming out to play virtually.
I’ve got a virtual workshop this evening, another one Saturday, and I’m participating in a reading next Tuesday (message me if you want the link). And that’s it for January.
Sunday I’m supposed to have brunch at my sisters house for her and my mom’s respective birthdays. I’m so glad my birthday is nowhere near my moms. We’ll see how all that plays out cuz of the lockdown.
Lots of waiting going on right now.