It Was Our Summer of Dying

They say death is final — but I know dying is never finished

Paul Thomas Zenki
Aug 2 · 7 min read
Oil painting of a man with short white hair and beard, seen from the chest up, lying in a bed, propped up on pillows and covered with a blanket
“The Artist’s Father on His Sick Bed I”, Franz Marc, 1907 (public domain)

When my stepfather died, my mother was in the kitchen, cleaning up after supper. I was in the back room where we had set up the hospital bed for him.

I had just put some balm on his lips. He’d made no effort to take the ice cream I’d held to his mouth on a spoon. Nor any water.