The Passing

This is a slightly sombre Friday Fictioneers submission. I expect there’ll be a lot of similar interpretations so I wanted to be the first. I’ve very deliberately kept to 100 words this time but it’s one if those where I feel I’d like more to play with and get a bit of imagery going here and there. In a way though, I like the economy; it almost mirrors the way the protagonist has to repress her emotions, even if it’s unintentional

“No,” she said, “let me stay here”

She wouldn’t let me call the ambulance. I begged her, drove the nails hard into the palm of my hand to stop myself screaming. It couldn’t end like this. Nothing worked. She wouldn’t go, wouldn’t see out those final moments in the hospital.

At least I’d be with her when she went, keeping a candlelit bedside vigil. I kissed her on the forehead and, wrong as it might have been, hoped it would be a long night.

But it was dark, and I was tired. When I woke up, she was already gone.

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42 Comments

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42 responses to “The Passing

  1. Well-written – yes, you went sombre.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  2. Dear Etienne,

    You put me at her bedside. Beautifully written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  3. So immensely sad.. but there are moments when hope has left. I hope that even the sleeping presence of the narrator gave the comfort needed..

    I’m reminded by “candle in the wind” reading your story.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  4. I was there with her – a sad story but with comfort in the respect for the dying person’s wish not to go to hospital

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  5. As I said before, every week there is one story that feels very personal to me. And it seams this is the one for this week. It is hard to know which way would be easier – home or hospital… from both perspectives, for those that left and for those that were left behind.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  6. Raw and emotionally charged ,this piece ( non fiction I presume ) puts your reader in the moment. So much was conveyed in these few words. Well done.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  7. Very sad, but very appropriate for the prompt. I like the subdued way it ends, not with the intensity of previously, but almost a sad sigh.
    -David

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  8. Dee

    Beautifully written. Such sad tale, but I’m glad she was allowed her last wish, to die at home.
    Dee

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  9. Etienne, Very sad but also realistic and done with understanding of sorrow. We brought my dad home from the hospital instead of to a nursing home which he was dreading. He was so glad to get home and died there, peacefully during a nap that same day.

    Susan

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  10. “wrong as it might have been, hoped it would be a long night.” This line is painful and lovely and says SO much. Passing in the night, no tears, no begging, no “please stay” is the best way to go – I think.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  11. This is a beautiful story, filled with enough love to honor the wishes of the loved one even when they don’t coincide with that of the other and the despair present at the end of a life. It also could remind us to wisely use the time we have with those we love while they’re still with us. That’s even more important than being awake when they die.

    janet

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  12. A well written and heart aching story. Interestingly enough, you don’t characterise the dying woman, leaving it to the readers imagination. Is it a lover, an older relative, a daughter? It therefore draws upon the readers own experiences to fill in the gap. Nicely done

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  13. This is truly a very emotive submission, and I think your restraint paid off as I genuinely felt for your protagonist.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  14. You’ve touched my heart with your story.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  15. Very sad, but lovely. You are right that the photo inspired other stories of this nature–I wrote about death as well.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  16. Very tender, gentle. Nice piece.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  17. Lovely writing. Especially the last line.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  18. Life is very fragile. Poignant work, Etienne.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  19. That was very sad but beautifully written.

    • Thanks for reading. I’m really sorry I haven’t been able to do return reads this week-something came up and I haven’t had much time for things like this. It’s all resolved but it has been an emotionally draining time so I’m going to leave it till next time. Thanks again.

  20. this reminds me of so many things from the last couple of years of my life. Yes, economy of words is just how it feels, in the dark, dark times.

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