A Dream of Death

I was leaving the house at 4 am every morning so i could get to the nursing home at 4:50, take a ten minute nap in the car, and go in to assist patients with dressing and toileting tasks while they got ready for breakfast.

At the time i was worried about somebody and they were apparently on my mind when i reclined my seat and took that ten minute nap before work in the dark one morning because i had this dream.

I was sitting in a restaurant outdoor patio garden that looked just like my friend’s yard and it was very late at night. We were finishing up our food when a mutual friend’s cousin who had been telling us all he wanted to die wrapped a noose around his neck and jumped from an iron stairwell fence railing. He free-fell for a moment and then gravity did its job and his body tugged hard on the rope, jolting the corpse and breaking the man’s neck. I watched the whole thing happen before me and i screamed this prolonged multi-syllable scream like somehow my words were going to stop his actions, as if somehow i could communicate or interact with the scenario unfolding before my eyes. I couldn’t. The moment he jumped those that could see what was unfolding knew his neck snapping was shortly to follow and death was the inevitable conclusion of his initial action that had been put into motion and could not be undone. My friend wrapped her arms around me and tried to shush the noise escaping me for the man’s family member was bound to be more devastated and we were all trying to stuff our shock down in an effort to turn to and comfort the actual family member who would grieve him. I covered my open mouth with a trembling hand as i watched his lifeless body swing through the dark in the chilly night air. The finality, the instantaneous finality of the thing was so comprehended and i just kept thinking, i have to go back in time and stop this series of events. I have to stop him jumping. But it was done. And so he swung until the rope went still and he hung motionless. There was no wind. The night was absolutely still and now quiet. Just blackness in every direction. I awoke abruptly to the noise of an alarm and was in the darkness of my car. It was 5 am: time to go to work.

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