Friday, September 06, 2013

Death Rattle

Blogtember 6th- "A story about a time you were afraid."

I remember it well, the night I learned of the death rattle. I was just a little girl...somewhere between 6 and 8 I suppose. Laying in my grandmother's cool bed, expecting her to offer her usual comforting ritual of lightly brushing her fingers on my back and getting a terrifying story instead. Another one of her friends had just died and she had dying on her mind. I guess she actually saw this person die because instead of talking about what made the person perish or when the funeral was, she described what happened when he died instead.
 photo lord-byron-on-his-death-bed-1_zps6ef6ae76.jpg

The physical aspect, I mean.

The death rattle is a sound humans make on their death bed when they are very near dying. They lose their swallow and cough reflex so the saliva that builds up in their mouth just pours into their trachea and into their lungs.

My grandmother tried her best to imitate the sound as we lay there in the dark. The moonlight illuminated part of her face but it made her look evil instead of ethereal. "Oooaahhhgurglegurgleahhhhhhhkkkkkkkk" She moaned. "That is what it sounds like when you's called, the death rattle."

I clenched the sheets with my tiny hands and tried to force my body out of the bed. I wanted to leave her room and find my mom. Instead, I was frozen and terrified.

"You also lose control of your bowels when you die" my grandmother told me in almost a whisper.
"What does that mean?" I asked scared to hear the answer.
"It means you poop yourself"

And with that, she went to sleep and I stayed awake hoping she would make it until morning so I would not have to hear the death rattle.

Or smell her poop.


Blogger Miss Bee said...

When we visited Ol Roy in the hospital, he had the rattle. It was as terrifying as you explained, even for a grownup.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I laugh when I'm nervous or uncomfortable. I just laughed uproariously this entire post. I'm sorry.

6:28 PM  

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