Beyond the bed, they gather. Sometimes people come on their own, sometimes they come in groups and often different groups visit together.
They know why I am here and have taken the time to see me go. I see and feel their presence, but cannot move to greet them.
Those who come and sit alone can be quite different. Some look on in their silence. Others chat about all sorts of topical news that does not concern me. I prefer the ones who give me stories of our old deeds and bring a laughter to the process.
Families and friends often come together and worry about their dealings and what I can’t care about. They get me into all sorts and talk of having my daughter’s wedding being here in the ward. I can’t imagine why. Do they not realise that I am progressing on and their own arrangements do not have to match so closely. But they go on and on about these irreverence’s, which mean little to me.
The greatest irreverence is when two disassociated groups arrive. Sometimes they have travelled a distance and want prominence in visiting me. They sit together and chat between themselves about the last time they had met, about their families, about their injuries, about their outings. I look at them and close my ears. I had enough of this in the past. I don’t need it now in this, my future.
I watch them all and in my medicated haze wish them well. I will not be part of their future, but I was part of their past and enjoyed the memory.
Visiting time it seems has been extended and folk come and go quite often. It is meant to give me more contact. To be fair, it gives me less time to be me. I like the muddled time to reminisce, without being continuously prompted to other thoughts. I need the time and don’t have much to go. The extended visits also give me obstacles. I need to be helped to the toilet, get cleaned and be medically prepared. The arrival of a group to watch me suffer this doesn’t help. When this happens, I really want them to go; quickly.
After a while, there are less visits. Only family and close friends appear. I watch them watch me in quiet observance of my bed ridden state. They smile and go. They say, ‘see you tomorrow’. Tomorrow doesn’t come.
I move into an intensity of damped euphoria and blend away into drifting thoughts, where I am truly on my own. I feel nothing. The pain has gone and so have all my people.