Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Christmas comet story

Another comet hangs in the sky. Here's a story from years ago.
Philipp Salzgeber, CC
She was a kid.

She was dying.
Everyone knew, and yet no one would say it.

Her mother asked that no one tell her child what was going on.
I saw her after her surgery, her head wrapped like a genie, sitting on her bed.

Her mother wanted me to promise I would not tell her.
I told the mother I would not lie if asked.

The comet hung in the sky like a jewel that summer 20 years ago.

It was evening.
I was tired.
The mother was tired
The child was dying.

I asked the other if I could take her child to a room where the comet was visible.
The mother said OK.
She did not come along.

I knew what I would say if the child asked.
The mother knew as well.

And the child never asked.

But she saw the comet.
The last one she saw.
Not the last one I saw.

And Hale-Bopp makes me sad every time I see a photo.

She never asked so she could protect the adults around her.


Unknown said...

Kids are amazing. Better than us adults.

GratefulMystic said...

My take? She didn't have to ask. She could feel it in her soul, even if only subconsciously. And she could see the confirmation of it in the fear for her in her mother's eyes and the professionally veiled sadness in yours. And then, you wordlessly showed her life and death in a strikingly stunning display, and if her knowing was not conscious before, it became so as the two of you gazed, and she chose not to burden her good doctor and her already grieving mother with having to deal with a question she already knew the answer to.

Rusul Alrubail said...

This is so hauntingly beautiful. Thank you you for sharing, in her loving memory.