Yesterday and Today
by Richard Compean
He will be gone in two weeks—gone not just away on retreat, or business, not to visit family, not to the almost comatose sleep he has been going to increasingly for the past two months, but forever, to Hamlet’s “undiscovered country” as he himself would say, to the death that will us finally part.
All this I know because I just met yesterday with his hospice nurse who has told me this, as she explained, for my own sake, not his, to get me beyond denial and anger.
And, yes, I have been angry at him ever since he told me a few months back that suicide might make things easier, especially on me. We both laughed when I threatened to kill him if he so much as even tried.
The hospice nurse also told me that his periods of consciousness and lucidity will continue to diminish, both in frequency and length, until they stop completely. Yesterday there were three and all were less than an hour. Last night we talked for only about 45 minutes and he once again reminded me to be sure that his daughter Lucy gets that original Beatles Yesterday and Today album (the one with the broken dolls and meat) when she comes to visit today.