I meet death darkly, all hunger and talons.
He tried to take me in my sixth week, but then my grandmother intimidated the Grim Reaper with her simple stubborn faith and the fever broke.
And when my beloved nearly died at just 50 years old, no no not now I screamed, and cursed every god or goddess ever invented and threatened to reach into the roiling center of the earth, pull out the lava, and coat the planet with iron and fire, and intimidated by my simple stubborn anger, the Grim Reaper left most of my husband behind, promising to return someday.
And then when I broke five ribs and nearly died, I was too stoned to be afraid. The delusions were fascinating, or perhaps we DO live in a yellow submarine, because I saw the ocean from inside the wavy portholes, and the Beatles were right all along.
Proud of the many wins over death, yet angry for those pain filled weeks when he would not come for my mother. Her breath came out like broken chess pieces, all their strategic importance gone, like the dust on the abandoned game board.
Being the sick one is not as scary as being bereft, and really, the scariest thing is uncertainty – knowing it could get worse, but not how bad.