Carla MacKay


Grandma Dot - Poem by Carla MacKay

I’m losing you; I feel it when I stand by your bedside watching you sleep. Listening to you breath with the long pauses in-between.

Hearing the rattling in your chest, sounds like a demon trying to scrape its way through your sore diseased lungs, it’s unnerving and painful to watch but I do, I do.

You are slipping away from me in small pieces. Everyday a little bit more of you is gone; a little bit more of me is gone.

You are the same, but not. You are here but also somewhere I cannot go. Sometimes your eyes look right through me as if you are looking for something you cannot find, or widen in surprise as if you have found something you have been looking for your whole life.

You are drifting away and I can not reach you.

The morphine, nurses and bed sores, the complete fucking helplessness I feel just sitting there. Hospital smells that linger on my clothes long after I leave, smelling of disgusting food, death, piss and shit.

Hearing the noises down the hall, the beeping I’V’s the TV’s and Doctors being paged. It all seems so unreal. How did we end up here? Why do I feel like there is not enough air to breathe?

Mom is so tired, so tired that I don’t know what keeps her going. She has gotten so old so fast. She is running on auto pilot and I am waiting for her to crash. Losing you is too much for her to bear, to much to take in. She is not ready to accept your truth. She is broken and damaged now and losing you will change her forever.

My mom will lose her mom and that makes me hurt so bad inside that I feel like I am going to split wide open.

I tell myself to remember everything, the sound of your voice your laugh. I need to remember your eyes and your hands. I am terrified that I will miss something. I know I don’t have enough time, I know you don’t have enough time.

We swallow our tears and choke on our grief we know what is to come. If one of us falls apart now, we all will. This is how frail the tie that binds us has become. You are the strong one. You are the glue that always held us together.

God would call you home on the most beautiful of fall days; the leaves carpeted the ground in yellow and gold. The sun was warm on my face and I felt undeserving.

I held your hand, you were so pale, and I have never seen anyone look so pale. Your breathing was so labored. I could see you struggling and it ripped me apart inside. We all held our breath while you fought for yours. And then it stopped and the room fell so quite. I held your hand and I knew you weren’t there anymore. I held your hand till it was cold.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Poem Edited: Wednesday, May 4, 2011


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