Beauty in Death

I used to think there was no beauty in death, but I was younger then. I’ve learned a lot since then. There is beauty in all things; even the ugliest of moments have their level of perfection.

They entered the darkened room with muted, tentative steps, laughter and smiles fading into solemn masks that camouflaged tears and dismay. Machinery nearby grunted and squeaked in rhythm, maintaining life by pressing air into lungs that could no longer function. Where once was a long, golden mane, there was now nothing but a smooth, round skull; where once were shining blue eyes that danced and sang, there was now a vacant stare into space. The skin on her hand was a translucent and soft parchment paper, so pale as it separated from the flesh. I touched her long fingers, and the heat of her body seared a permanent reminder into my own hand as I gave it a tender squeeze. Gently I called her name and looked into her face and loosened my fingers for a response, but there was none. I was too late to make small talk; now we could communicate only through touch and sound. I hope she heard me.

8 Responses

  1. Yes, there is beauty in death. This is quite a moment you have described — well done.

  2. True. Very true.

  3. There is beauty in every still truthful moment, even when that truth is painful.

  4. I find it interesting that you wrote this. I am dealing with writing about my grandmother’s death. I’m using a little notebook that I know will fill up with the things that came from the funeral. I will be posting, little by little, the things from those five days last month. Part of it was the viewing of the body, so frail, skin so translucent, just as you described it above. It’s almost as if you were inside my mind.

  5. Thanks Corina.

    I was just thinking of my sister-in-law, it was a year ago that she had her brain surgery. Even though when I saw her she was nothing like her “normal” self, she looked very serene. That probably sounds really weird, but that’s how I felt.

  6. I think that the recognition of fragility, how tenuous our vitality is, how brief, can allow us to honor the life that still hums there if we let it.

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