Riding with the Angel of Death
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.
I couldnâ€™t help but cringe. I did not want to get on the elevator with this man.
When Â the Â elevator Â doors Â closed Â behind Â us Â and Â I punched the Â button Â for Â the Â ground Â floor, Â I thought Â I would Â suffocate. Â We Â made Â small Â talk, Â nothing Â talk. Â I couldnâ€™t wait for the doors to open again and to be free.
Weâ€™ve always been nice to each other though itâ€™s not out of affection or mutual respect. We acknowledge each other in the Â hallways and thatâ€™s about the extent of our interaction. We have nothing in common, neither person- ally nor professionally. Â Heâ€™s just someone I Â know from work.
Today, I canâ€™t stand the feeling of being close to him.
I canâ€™t stand this feeling. I know this feeling. I know what I see around him. Iâ€™ve seen it before and I know whatâ€™s coming.
I know by the look in his eyes that the Angel of Death is hovering around him.
A shamanic Â friend tells me that when the body dies, the body Â Â Â Â Â releases its hold on the soul by releasing the elements. A loss of interest in food (Earth), reduction of fluids Â (Water), Â loss of heat (Fire), and finally the breath (Air) being the last to go as the body releases its hold.
None of that describes Â what I saw in my colleague today. Itâ€™s not at that point yet. And I canâ€™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 donâ€™t know the physiology Â of it. I know only Â the dull, heavy, oppressive Â 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 thereâ€™s nothing I can do.
Except maybe Â later Â today Â Iâ€™ll Â drop Â by Â his Â desk…to say…hello…but it will really be my goodbye.