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by Fyn
Rated: 18+ · Poetry · Biographical · #2252098
Dying alone


His greatest fear
was dying alone.

As had his father.
His father, a funeral director,
died alone, lonely and all
but forgotten. Estranged
from his children, his former wife,
no one thought to check
in their small, close-knit town
when the funeral director
needed his own services.

It bothered him that not even
he had bothered,
but it only bothered him,
by his own admission, because
it was undignified.
He knew, as his father's son,
what transpired in a body
when death left the shell
to decompose or,
as he would say,
to rot. But then, he'd add
'in hell,' for he was sure
that was his father's final destination.

In Japan, they have a term
for dying alone, untended.
For whatever reason, extended
family out of reach. Not only alone,
but lonely, solitary, singular.
An empty death
when the sum
of a life is negated because
there was no someone
to even notice
the passing.

His greatest fear
was dying alone.

Yet he chose alone.
Destiny perhaps? For
he had pushed all who once loved him
to flee across the country.
Karma repaid pain and punishment,
degradation and disillusionment.
Fear came to him. Death took him--
but left the shell alone in his metal coffin.
Hell was that trailer in North Carolina
during a mid-August heatwave.
Another life negated when
no one noticed, or cared
that he hadn't been around
to argue or accuse in over a week.

They said it was quick, no evidence
of stress or strain. Like falling asleep--
perhaps he thought it all a dream.
It wasn't pretty. Not even his father
could have made this death presentable.

His greatest fear
was dying alone.

Standing six-foot-three,
he was a small, little man
of the opinion he was
always right and the rest of us --
well, we were stupid, incompetent
and ungrateful. We lived
because we got away.
He, who no longer
had friends or family,
met fear head-on.
He did, indeed, die alone.

It is a death
I would wish on no one.
Not even him.

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