Choose Your Own Adventure
June 29, 2021 § Leave a comment
June 27, 2021
Today in Diane Zinna’s Sunday Grief Writing Workshop, this was our assignment: “Last week we were exploring second-person narration as a way to tell difficult stories; these books were all written in that style, making the reader the main character. This week, in addition to working with second-person, we’ll be considering the decisions we make in grief. You might remember how Choose Your Own Adventure books work–at the bottom of nearly every page, you’re given a choice that has you flipping around the book.” Make-believe page numbers, each decision moving the story along.
It is a cold wintry day and you received a text message that he is doing better playing in the group with the rubber ball. You want to see for yourself.
- If you get off at the second floor to sign into the visitor book, go to page 14
- If you park and stay in your car with a box of tissues, go to page 1
- If you stay home, stop reading
You know that the staff wants you to give him a haircut. This clean-cut appearance must be an important goal and staff achievement. You were disappointed that they had shaved off his white beard he grew during the recent weeks in the hospital. You thought that he looked so handsome and had never seen him this way before now.
- If you think that you should give him a haircut, go to page 23
- If you think that his long hair is a delight to see and the staff should get over it, go to page 22
You hear a strange noise from under your car and keep driving. It is late in the day and you’ll deal with that in the morning.
- If you think that you should go to the auto repair shop ASAP, go to page 30.
- If you think that you should ignore those strange care sounds and go to see him without delay, go to page 28
The next day, you enter his room and see his arms flailing in the air as he stands on the bed. Two nurses and an attendant are trying to calm him. Everyone is relieved to see me.
- If you think that I can make this better, go to page 32
- If you think that they should just let him do whatever he wants, as long as he is standing on the floor, not the bed, go to page 31
- If you think that some medicine should be administered to calm him, go to page 34
You look at your husband and cannot recognize his appearance. Overnight he has dramatically changed. He has never looked like this; ghostly and disoriented. He is dying. Every day that has passed since he returned from the hospital, showed signs that he was not getting better but was not suffering, until today. He holds onto your hand tightly, moaning softly, when the staff was able to maneuver him into a prone position. Those moans were sweetly familiar, reminding you of the pleasures of intimate embrace. That was a clue that you could not interpret, it was his ending.
You call the funeral home. You watch staff put clean clothes on a body that you don’t recognize. You must decide on one last outfit, the burial clothing for the coffin. Endlessly, you wait for hours sitting still. You are alone with his lifeless body until the hospice nurse certifies his passing. All thought has stopped as you are overwhelmed by the gravity of the moment.
- If you go to the second floor to sign out of the visitor log and another resident asks how he is doing, you can tell her that he has died, go to page 38
- If you leave without signing out, go to page 37