Death is all around us. Sometimes it hits us in the face.
In March, my dog Pugsy died. Less than a week ago, my dog Elvis died. Elvis was originally my mom's dog that I inherited when she died from pancreatic cancer five years ago next month. Tomorrow is the six-year anniversary of my dad passing. Next week is the anniversary of the death of my boyfriend's mom.
To top it off, Monday, the man beside me at dialysis died during treatment. I have known him for a while, even though I don't know his name. Some called him "Slim". We exchanged pleasantries for the most part.
Monday, he arrived in a wheelchair, instead of his usual walker. His beautiful smile and hello were replaced with a blank stare. I noticed his super-skinny leg sticking out of his pant leg. The normally spry fellow seemed frail.
About an hour into treatment, there was a great commotion next to me. Chest compressions. Defibrillator attempts. Emergency personnel. It all happened so quickly. He was out the door on a stretcher in a manner of minutes.
Death tends to be an uncomfortable subject. It conjures up feelings of grief. It makes us face our own mortality. We all know death is coming for everything and everyone. Dogs die. Parents die. The commonality of it doesn't make it any less difficult.
Those of us on dialysis are cheating death. For whatever reason, our kidneys turned against us. In another time or place, that would have meant death. Through every treatment, we steal another day. Eventually, cheaters get caught. But until then, I'll keep cheating three days a week.