Yesterday I touched a dead body. I thought, “I can’t wait to tell Josh about this, he’ll be really curious”. Then I remembered it was his body.
There was a face Josh used to make to joke about dying. He would tuck in his chin and stick the tip of his tongue out of the right side of his lips. Yesterday, the pipe where the casualty doctor intubated him pushed Joshua’s tongue out and to the right. His chin was tucked in. Josh would have thought it was really funny that, in death, he looked like his own parody.
I woke up, this morning, and for a few moments I didn’t feel sad. It felt sort of like a normal summer morning. A wave of guilt came crashing over me. What kind of mother isn’t sad the day after her child dies? That would have really annoyed Josh. He’d want to know the purpose of feeling bad about not feeling bad.
For fifteen years I have been collecting stories for him. Little titbits about life that I know will interest or entertain him. Even as he died, I was thinking about how I’d craft this into something to tell Josh about. He’d make me write it down and, when I read it to him later, he’d say (like he did with everything I wrote) that this one was his favourite.