The Lasting Goodbye Part One

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Completely different from 2012 on this day.
On this day in 2012 I had to make a decision,
a decision I had no idea whether I would regret or not.
A painful choice.
We walked to the white building hand in hand,
John had already made his choice and was set.
Yet it felt impossible.
Our names were called and in that moment my mind had been changed,
for the millionth time, where once again I took John’s hand has we closely but slowly followed the smartly dressed man…
The room was small, delicately lit with candles to add to the effect.
A small table in the centre of the room, painfully obvious, but looked no
bigger than a memory box,
but definitely bigger than a shoe box.
The next question “Are you ready?” I know took us by surprise.
Were we ever ready?
But this was not something we could put off,
because we knew that the next day would be too late.
We nodded, holding each other tight, tighter than we felt strong enough for.
Terrified we had made a wrong choice.
The crochet blanket was gently pulled back,
the smartly dressed man left.
“Have as long as you need”
But we wanted forever, you can’t give us that.
We stepped forward slowly, peeking in not knowing what to expect.
A warning, a guide but nobody is ever the same.
There she lay peaceful, make up made her look perfect.
Almost like there was no reason for her to be there,
of course this wasn’t the case.
Surgical tape had slightly embedded into her baby face,
and the obvious stillness that was blindingly obvious,
no breath sounds was just the deafening silence.
We exchanged glances, and questioned
“How was this fair?”
“Why us?”
We didn’t know if we were allowed to touch her or get to close.
I wanted to cuddle her, but was afraid I would hurt her,
although I knew that was now an impossibility.
Placing our photos and drawings the children had asked us to take,
I stoked her face suddenly remembering her warmth had long gone,
replaced with an icy cold glow.
Still hoping that somehow she would still open her eyes.
We felt lost, we held on to each other’s gaze,
when we knew the time had come to tuck her in to her blanket for the final time,
to kiss her good night for the final time.
Knowing we would need to remember how she smelt,
how she felt, all in one movement.
One chance.
Our final chance.
Lifting the blanket a corner in each hand,
tears rolling down our faces we covered her,
tucking her in replacing the blanket with each others hands
walking back wards giving her a lasting Good Bye;
for the next day would be the last……
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I didn’t want to have to kiss her Goodbye.

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