An excerpt from my latest book, "Beautiful Dying"
Bars at closing time are a dreary place to be, if you happen to still be there. Either a good time is coming to an end too soon or it never showed up at all. If I believed there was a cry-in-your-beer song on the old Wurlitzer I might have fed my own quarters into the slot. Not because of my good time theory, but because I knew this would be my last Saturday night in Finnegan’s Rock.
And then a small wisp of hope landed in my life.
“I’m sorry about your wife.” She said.
“I still don’t understand, you know, the dying beautiful thing.”
I lit another cigarette and offered her one. She declined.
“It’s beautiful dying.” I said. “Not dying beautiful.”
How much more did I want to say?
“Dying is something we can’t control. It will happen to every one of us, when we least expect it. Even when we are battling a terrible illness, flat on our backs in a hospital bed, we don’t always believe we will die. We hold onto to an unraveling thread of hope, while the caring nurse delivers our nourishment through a feeding tube. That kind of dying is not beautiful, it’s ugly.”
“Are you dying?” She whispered.
“No.” I smiled at her. “I’ve already done that.”