Death is like releasing your grip on a balloon just to watch it float up into the sky.  I watched Carlos, the balloon that once was mine, lying in a hospital bed for the last time.  Keeping a promise that I had made to him long ago, while his brain & heart still were functioning & aware. I saw him fighting to stay in this world; a fight that I knew he’d lose.  He was breathing through a respirator and looked nothing like the man I once knew. 
It’s funny the observations one makes when someone is dying: he still had a full head of hair he’d grown since the last time I saw him (after cancer treatments).  He’d stayed thin, but his lower torso was now bloated  with liquid his body was retaining.  His kidneys were failing, so he had a sickly orange tinge to his skin.
I kissed his forehead, the only part of him that I could reach given the breathing tubes.  He reacted when I told him that it was okay to go when he was ready. 
Still, after all of his family visits and prayers, he still managed to linger onto life; a stubborn knot tied around a wrist, a balloon that refused to be tugged free.  Always his terms, after all.
But when I received the news of his passing, it was as if the balloon that I held onto, the one that felt guilt for leaving him in the manner I did, could finally be set free. No one could understand how a person who had endured what I had can hold onto these things.  It has no answer. It can only be lived to be justified. 
All I can say is that I will miss the remarkable moments (good and bad) which shaped my understanding of what life, strength, love, and perseverance really means. 
Joy comes with knowing that there was a balloon to begin with and when it was time to let it go, boy! Did it fly far…


About Lisa Perez

Lisa M. Perez is a published poet, editor, copywriter, public speaker and artist. The co-creator of the first ever ArtSpace in Jersey City, member of IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), and administrator for an online Mail Art group, Lisa supports the arts and advocates for creativity. Her successful, Art Journal and "Notes from my Brain" series are ongoing projects that evolve with the artist. In addition to being an active blogger since 2005, Lisa scripts and edits copy for various online articles and videos. In September 2017, she was a guest-speaker and virtually chaired a YOGA Recovery meeting. In her spare time, Lisa studies, reads, and creates while maintaining a day job in a STEM field and being a full-time fur-mommy to her shih-tzu, Cher.
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2 Responses to Joy

  1. Curious One says:

    Im so sorry for your loss. when did he pass? where is he being viewed? I will pray for both of you.

    • Lisa "MeMa" says:

      Thanks, Curious One. He died on Saturday, April 13th. It’s funny how death wipes the slate clean. He’s still with me now, telling me to pickup the pieces and to be strong because he helped make me strong. I didn’t think I’d be as shook up as I ended up being but that’s the funny part about watching someone die…it’s a slow burn but both he and I knew I did right by leaving. Stay tuned for the entry coming up…and thanks for reading.

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