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Friday, November 04, 2005

Mortal trappings

I sometimes get the feeling that my real self is trapped within my skin, weighted down by my bones and occasionally, I get an incredible burning in my chest, as if part of myself is screaming to be freed. I have an urge to scream, as if screaming would release my soul from this vessel and let it fly away.

I've noticed that this occurs soon after I witness a death or when I come into contact with somebody who is probably nearing the last moments of their life. I look into their tortured eyes and I see fear, and I know that their soul is both screaming to be released from their wretched body and begging me to help them to stay.

Then, when their heart stops, and we rush to resuscitate them, I look into their eyes again, and those eyes that were once filled with anguish now look like glass marbles. And I know their essence has gone and I am standing beside something that is no longer the bearer of a soul, but an empty shell. It's like looking at a glass carafe after the wine has been poured out. It's like looking at a candle after the flame has been blown out.

And I feel cold. And I am suddenly aware that whatever it is that is me and myself, is something more than this flesh and this blood. And this body is just a vehicle.

3 Comments:

Blogger trisha said...

Hi,
I've been reading your blog and this particular post just blows my mind!

I was at my dad's bedside all the way till his heart stopped. And it was exactly as you described.

Working as you do, standing at the threshold of people living and dying, must be quite an experience.

9:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I now wonder if I have this fear when I am on my deathbed... perhaps no. - D W

9:36 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

trisha: Wow...thanks.

D W: I don't think I'll have that fear either.

5:11 am  

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