I Don’t Want To Fade Away

I do. I want to fade away slowly.

As y’all know, I’m nonverbal — I don’t use words in my head so everything is translated from words to thinkings and thinkings to words through a bit of head work.

Listening to Bell Bottom Blues the phrase “I don’t want to fade away” kept me feeling as if I was gradually fading into a mist while I tried to fight to be seen. To be noticed as I went away.

Yes, it was out of the context of the song, but I don’t do words, and certainly not in context.

Then I thought about Dani passing away ten years ago. Ancient Guardian and I knew it was coming, but no one else did. We had kept it from the boys thinking it would protect them in some way that doesn’t make sense now. They lost their mother “suddenly” from their point of view.

Yes, it hurt Ancient Guardian and I when she went even though we knew it was coming. It hurt the boys a lot more. It hurt her mother a lot more.

Her mother had been fighting “six months to live” cancer for six years. A year after Dani passed away her mother did as well. She’d lost her oldest child “suddenly” and lost her own will to keep fighting.

The sudden loss hurt people a lot more than it hurt those of us that knew it was coming. Not that we weren’t hurt — Ancient Guardian went into six months of drinking himself to sleep at night, I cried myself to sleep every night for over a year. We had been prepared and it still hurt. The boys and her mother had not been prepared and the pain was much greater for it.

Ancient Guardian’s stepfather passed away not long after. He’d suffered a stroke a few years earlier that left him unable to do much more than whine and fuss wordlessly at Ancient Guardian’s mother. When he passed away she hurt, and felt relief at the same time. It wasn’t sudden pain of loss, it was a gradual pain of loss with a little stab of pain at the end. She had been more hurt by the loss of her daughter-in-law than she was by the loss of her husband. Because of the suddenness.

I saw Ancient Guardian’s grandparents fade away, and saw him hurt when they passed away almost on a schedule.

Last week Ancient Guardian’s niece was murdered. A niece he’d never met, yet the pain he suffered for his brother’s loss exceeded the pain he’d felt for his grandparents. Because it was sudden, unexpected, loss. She didn’t fade away, she just went.

I’ve been dying my whole life. The doctors have been predicting my imminent demise since before I was even born. 34 years later I’m still here. I intend to be here a lot longer.

When I go, I want to fade away. I don’t want to leave the pain of sudden loss on those I love. They need to know it’s happening, so they can come to grips with it on their terms.

Let me fade away. Drift out of sight slowly, giving those that love me a chance to say goodbye in whatever way they wish. I know it will still hurt, but I hope it will hurt less.

I want my life to leave a greater impact than my death.
I want to fade away so those left behind hurt less.

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