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Death Visits

April 16th, 2007

He didn't leave a note. The only pain he complained of was the
incessant pain in his head. He hid the warning signs behind quick wit
and fake smiles. And the pain that lingered just behind his eyes was
difficult to see if you didn't know him.


I figured it would be hard, but I didn't realize just how hard. Losing
a resident. And not so much hard on me, though it was, but hard on
everyone else.

I've only been there since the end of February and in that month and
change I can count the number of times I've seen and spoken to the man
on one hand.

Our first encounter consisted of only mumbled hellos. In the two weeks
I'd been there I had never seen him so I assumed he was a visitor. I
didn't realize just how rare visitors are in the place I work. I didn't
meet his eyes and I wandered passed him as if he was what he was, so I
thought. Someone I'd bump into in passing a handful of times over a
handful of years and maybe be introduced to if whoever he was visiting
grew attached to me.

I never got the courage to ask if he lived there. For some reason the
thought of accidentally asking someone who wasn't a resident if they
were appalled me. Like it would be some grievous insult or something.
After seeing him for the third time I asked one of the PCAs. They
explained to me who he was and I nodded like I understood.

Three weeks after I started working he started coming down on occasion
for meal time. Usually for pizza night. Rumor had it that I make some
kick ass pizza and he wanted to try it. He loved pizza.

He was very close to a handful of the residents and everyone loved him.
When he did come out of his shell, he was pleasant and friendly. Always
cracking jokes. Trying to make everyone smile.

He didn't leave a note. The only pain he complained of was the
incessant pain in his head. He hid the warning signs behind quick wit
and fake smiles. And the pain that lingered just behind his eyes was
difficult to see if you didn't know him.

The people who loved him aren't confused. They're pretty confident he
did it because of the constant pain and the terminal illness. But they
are hurt. Hurt that he gave no real indication that this was even a
thought.

We all walked away from this scathed and heavy hearted. Rest in peace, E. You are loved.

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