She looked closer at her uncle’s hospital room and wondered if all people had to endure dying in this way. There were cheerful bright butterfly and flower stickers stuck up haphazardly on the pinkish-white walls and inspirational posters commanding patients to “Cheer up!” She wondered if the man on the hospital bed could have ever guessed that this would be last thing he saw: a hospital room that seemed to have been decorated by preschool teachers.
She longed to be able to join the others in telling her uncle all the things they hoped would make him feel better: you’re going to recover, you look great, maybe the doctors are wrong. But his liver had stopped working and there was bile backing up in all of his body’s filtration systems. It had turned his skin into a sickly yellow mask. Seeing that and the burgundy liquid that slowly dripped into his catheter bag made it impossible for her tell him such lies.
Her uncle looked at her with eyes that seemed heavy with apology. Not an apology to her, she sensed, but a general sorriness for the however many things he had not done and now wouldn’t. Continue reading