In the note I wrote myself after getting home after the hospital – I shared it with a close friend recently – one detail I think is missing is how I asked the nurse for a washcloth after you were dead, to wipe the ointment from your eyes one last time. I wrote about taking off your stickers from the train of four but not that. Your eyes were red and slightly open. Not really any different from when you had technically been alive half an hour before and I looked at them before signing the forms.
I can’t hallucinate your smell right anymore when I bury my face in your pillow. it’s breaking my heart again. There’s no way left for me to smell you and imagine you next to me.
I thought about looking for one of your hairs in a bundle of sheets I also haven’t washed even though they don’t smell like you anymore and then I thought about how I’d had the fleeting thought to request to cut a lock of your hair and then decided against it. I don’t think I regret that. I just think about it sometimes. I didn’t want the last thing I did to your body to be one more mutilation, one more indignity you had to suffer, even though you can’t suffer them anymore. So I asked for the washcloth.
I need to diligently use my insomnia evening time to get together financial shit for a meeting later this week and I’m failing.
It’s bullshit, I just looked up something about the train of four and then I end up reading about the paralytics and I’m reading a paper that I’m surprised I hadn’t yet read because I should have found it and then I see. It was published in a July issue so of course. It’s from far enough after your death that I didn’t see it in all my frantic googling. And does it help me to know that the conclusions line up with the ARDS protocol the hospital was already following? That they did everything right in the beginning?
Maybe not at all.