“What do you wish us to do?” the doctor asked, his benevolent demeanor, but with a double-parked, motor-running, it’s 4:58 on Friday vibe.
You never think about making the ultimate decision for someone you love. You divert yourself with other thoughts. What’ll the family say? How can I face myself after this?
“There’s no coming back for her,” the doctor said. But there’d be no coming back for me, either.
You stand still for that second, three heartbeats replacing the one normally filling that space.
“Okay.” My throat locking in that word and out the air.
The doctor does what he does. Then we wait. Not long. But a whole life together in an instant. She closes her eyes, takes a few deep breaths and… Gone.
But in that instant everything changed. All from one second of indecision to decision.
I had to make the same decision for my Dad, a year later. Everything comes full circle, they say. But you don’t want on this ride more than once.
I’m sure the weepers thought me an unfeeling bastard. The doctor gave the same rap about no coming back, for the best, no-resuscitate order. Then…
In that second, the guy for whom agreeing to have his dog put down changed everything, nodded and said, “Okay, Let’s do it.”
Then I began to breathe again, as others began sobbing. They could never make this decision. But, like I said…in less than a second…changed everything.
I’d cry later.