Death is not scary.
It’s the moments when we are unsure of life that are scary.
When death occurs, we know what to expect. There will be sadness, denial, all the stages of grief. There will be longing and missing and everything we do not want to experience in this life, but it is not scary, simply because it is definite.
It’s the not knowing that is scary. Not knowing if you will survive something is terrifying. Not knowing whether your child will survive something? Scary doesn’t begin to describe it.
Waking up to my daughter’s screams sent a chill straight through my body. My husband and I jumped out of bed to see what had happened. She had been lying between us before we must have drifted off to sleep, unaware. When we found her, what felt like an eternity later but was only a few seconds, she was struggling on the floor, in a pool of her own blood, not knowing how to get up. Scary doesn’t begin to cover this situation.
My husband picked her up and rushed her to the kitchen where we realized just how bad it was. Her forehead was split open from top to bottom, right in the middle. Blood was gushing. She was screaming. He held her, practically immobilized despite her thrashing, with a wet towel pressed to her head. When he moved it briefly to check the amount of blood still pouring forth, I almost passed out from the sight of it.
My mind went blank.
I had to be told to call 911.
I had to remember that I had to keep moving, keep calling, keep getting dressed so we could go to the hospital.
I had to remind myself to breathe.
The doctors and nurses assured us that she would be OK. Leaving her strapped to the bed, with a mask over her face and an IV in her arm, so that they could do the stitches without us watching over their shoulders was ridiculously frightening. The scary is in the not knowing.
We took her home a little while later, sewn up and bandaged, and collapsed. When we woke up I realized something: I wasn’t scared any more. She was fine. She would have a terrible scare. We would never forget that night. But she was fine. I was sure of that. The scary part was over just because we were sure of things again.
In response to prompt number 5 in this weeks edition of Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop.