Tears wet the wizened hand as she bent over it. Her grandfather lay beneath the covers, eyes closed, cords hooked up to his frail body. Slowly, mournfully, the heart monitor still beeped . . . too slow.
In her mind, she saw nothing . . . emptiness. Saw the beloved old man fading into it, like a sandcastle dissolved by the tide. She floundered, suspended in time, trying to reach him . . . even as he slipped through her grasp like water.
His eyes opened, barely. “Don’t cry . . . my dear . . . I’m happy . . . I’ll meet my father . . . soon . . .”
She blinked away the tears, for his sake. Tried to think herself in his position. What emotions would torment her own last moments?
Fear as she had never known?
Or great thrill?
She imagined lying weak and lifeless one moment, like a withered leaf; and the next, looking back on life as a spectator. And every question would be answered, and all things seen as if through crystal glass.
And maybe, from Death’s perspective, she would learn at last of life.
“Love you . . .” he whispered, and sighed long, and his eyes closed. And in her mind she saw him . . . no longer gazing up, but down . . . watching over her, and waiting.