I missed the significance of the death rattle. I knew Mary was dying — of course — but i missed the signs. “The end is nigh.” I should have known. Birth was the same: a series of steps which i was able to piece together as a whole only after the fact. At least i had a child at the end of it. I never worried that i had missed a sign that midwives or obstetricians pick up. Who cares? But with death, i felt that i had missed all of them — and that it mattered.
Why? What was to be done? Hold on tighter? I told myself i wanted her to float away, to skip over it all. The problem is that death is something to be lived through.