When Death Comes

Patrick sat beside his grandfather’s bed, reading to him. The old man was unusually quiet today. That was never a good sign. His brows furrowed slightly and he peered over the top of the book to sneak a peek.

Grandfather’s eyes were open. A faint smile touched his lips when Patrick stopped reading. “What’s wrong?” he said, his voice soft.

For a moment, Patrick didn’t know what to say. Then, he leaned forward and said, “Does it hurt?” His voice sounded small and scared in the quiet little room. “I mean… they said your aura’s disintegrating. That sounds… like it would hurt a great deal.”

Grandfather chuckled softly and shook his head. His eyes closed and he sighed. “Not so much, really,” he said, after a moment. His eyes opened again and he smiled. “Of all the things I feared in life, death wasn’t one of them.”

Patrick nodded. “Should I read the rest?” he asked, holding up the book.

Grandfather shook his head. “Just sit with me until…” he trailed off, then, as a strange expression came over his face. He seemed to be looking at something Patrick couldn’t see. “It’s so beautiful,” he breathed.

He said something more, but Patrick couldn’t make out just what. Then, his eyes closed and he seemed to sigh softly as the breath went out of him. Patrick gasped and then touched the old man’s neck with a trembling hand.

Patrick bit his lip and blinked back tears that blurred his vision. Then, he forced a smile onto his face. Grandfather was with Grandmother and Great-uncle Connor now. He was happy – at peace. He’d survived long than anyone previously had with his condition.

Sighing, Patrick stood and stepped into the corridor. He needed to find a healer and tell them. He had to wonder though, just what Grandfather had seen that was so beautiful. He was certain Sean would tell him that it was his aura, as the last of it fell away. Patrick liked to think it was heaven.