Riding with the Angel of Death
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.
I couldn’t help but cringe. I did not want to get on the elevator with this man.
When the elevator doors closed behind us and I punched the button for the ground floor, I thought I would suffocate. We made small talk, nothing talk. I couldn’t wait for the doors to open again and to be free.
We’ve always been nice to each other though it’s not out of affection or mutual respect. We acknowledge each other in the hallways and that’s about the extent of our interaction. We have nothing in common, neither person- ally nor professionally. He’s just someone I know from work.
Today, I can’t stand the feeling of being close to him.
I can’t stand this feeling. I know this feeling. I know what I see around him. I’ve seen it before and I know what’s coming.
I know by the look in his eyes that the Angel of Death is hovering around him.
A shamanic friend tells me that when the body dies, the body releases its hold on the soul by releasing the elements. A loss of interest in food (Earth), reduction of fluids (Water), loss of heat (Fire), and finally the breath (Air) being the last to go as the body releases its hold.
None of that describes what I saw in my colleague today. It’s not at that point yet. And I can’t put my finger on what it is that lights up all around him like a blinking black neon sign that says this body is failing him and his time is short. I don’t know the physiology of it. I know only the dull, heavy, oppressive energy already crushing him into the Earth, into history and the passage of time. The dull, aching desolation and despair I feel coming off him in waves. Yow.
I want to do something, but there’s nothing I can do.
Except maybe later today I’ll drop by his desk…to say…hello…but it will really be my goodbye.