Discworld, Death, & Tangible Grief

This image was done by a Terry Pratchett fan on DeviantArt. The famed author died in recent years, taking final stroll with my personal all-time favorite character: Death. In Pratchett's Discworld series, Death is honest and kind, he is a he, evolved into a complete personality from raw human emotions, struggles with the existential questions --we all do, and has a soft spot for new experiences. As such, the following scene was written through tears with the permission of my partner. It features her mother, Clair, on the day she never woke up. On the day our lives swiveled off course. On the day I learned how strong her daughter is, and what the sound of a heart breaking sounds like from the outside. The past year has been interesting for the world, an unfortunate byproduct of globalization. But in this tiny corner of the internet, I give you the reduced version of a part of myself, Rock Rat, a part of my partner who trusted me to write something that her mother would enjoy. I wrote this for you, Clair, because it heals me. Because you loved me so immediately and so deeply. Because you trusted me with the heart of your only daughter. Because you thought my writing was a true talent to be nursed and fostered. When you moved from this plane to the next, I like to imagine it went something like this.

Death at Coffee

“Honey, hey, Honey, you can go to bed, now,” Denny spoke the words softly, just enough to wake her at 4am. It was the second Friday in November. Clair was already in a bed, but it wasn’t their bed, the bed she and Denny had saved for months to afford. The one specially designed for arthritis, entirely made in natural fibers of sheep’s wool, organic cotton, and plant-based materials. It was the most comfortable bed of her life. Clair or Denny would alternate leaving it in the wee morning hours, or just after falling sleep, so that their snoring wouldn’t keep the other awake.