Friday, February 26, 2010

Open or closed?

We only had 2 students in class today, Betty, the fiery 89 year old poet, and Rose. Betty's homework assignment was to write a letter to her father. She didn't have a very strong relationship with him while he was living so she wanted to share her feelings about him in a letter and have something to pass onto her grandchildren and great grandchildren who don't know much about him. Betty read her letter aloud and got a little choked up at the end.

The last few sentences were about how she was there with him, holding his hand when he died. She described how he looked, his mouth and eyes wide open when it happened.

Rose then said, "My Dad died with his eyes closed."

Not wanting to be left out of the fun I chimed in, "My Dad died with his eyes open."

And one by one we detailed the moments when our Dads died and how they looked (in probably a bit too much detail) but none of us seemed upset, it was actually an upbeat, light hearted conversation considering the topic. Then Rose said, "I wasn't in the room when my Dad died. The nurse was and she came out and told me he died. I wonder if he died with his eyes open and they closed them?" Betty told her that usually they do that, it makes them appear more at peace.

So the three of us bonded over the similarities in our fathers' passing. Perhaps a bit morbid to some, but still a connection was made none the less.


Karyn said...

The only person I ever watched die was my first dog Holly. I know she's not a person, but still. We had her put to sleep when she was 15 years old and delirious, and my mom insisted we be in the room holding her when it happened. She died with her eyes open. It was terrible. God, I loved that dog. Beverly is so much like her, little miss independent. Sometimes I think she's Holly reincarnated.

Tracey Axnick said...

I think it's good that you shared this with them. I know you have become very special to these people, Laura.... :)

Smileygirl said...

Thanks Tracey. They're becoming special to me too. xoxo