Dying is about the person.
Death is about everyone else.
It is 15 years since I lost my Dad.
Whenever I look back, it is with fondness. Great memories of holding onto his stubbly chin for a shoulder ride. How he always smelled of creosote or just plain old outside. How he used to do a 14 hour shift then fall asleep reading me and my sister a bedtime story. How he could build a shed in an afternoon and still have a bit of wood (and time) left over to help me make a crossbow to fire Mum’s clothes pegs at the neighbours windows. He’d even fetch me the pegs.
I can remember near the end, when he was fighting to stay around to see the cherry blossom. Prolific this time of year.
Whenever I see it I think of him.
How he fought, his breathing machine rattling on for one more breath. His family rattling alongside him through the dark, painful, destroying hours where we clung onto him as he dwindled away. Where we fought to stay awake, to hear his next breath; to make sure he did not die alone in the dark.
Like I said, Cherry blossom is prolific. It brightens up our world for a few days then fades away. We remember the vivid colours it shouts into spring, not the brown, desiccated remnants that lie on the floor then disappear on the breeze.
Though cherry blossom saddens me, just a little, the colours and joys prevail. Like death and life I suppose.
Like father like son.