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Canned Condolences 2010

Janet Kuypers
(poetry converted to prose)

    I held her, and couldn’t control my crying.
    We were waiting for the doctor to deliver the drugs... to inject them into her... to kill her.
    Once we were waiting, we knew there was no going back. Our decision was made, and now only moments were all we had left.
    The doctor kept saying that we were making the right decision, that she had suffered so long already. And I wondered if that doctor had these prepared responses, these canned condolences, to make anybody feel better when a loved one’s about to die.
    When a loved one’s about to die because of our choice our decision to end her suffering to kill her.
    We stroked her head to calm her, and when the doctor squeezed the syringe and forced the fluid, he held her head and I could only watch. Like a passenger in a nearby car, careening toward a crash. I could only watch the spectacle from my car window, try to catch the carnage; see a glimmer of death, see what death looks like while the car kept carrying me away.

Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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