“Death is weird. Most people think it’s an on/off kind of thing, but more often it’s a process, really, kind of like closing up a shop at the end of the day.
For the most part things fail in a predictable manner, until finally the last light in the place goes out and the door is shut and locked.
As a doctor I can jump in and stop the progression by sealing up wounds or giving more blood or forcing the body to regulate its functions with drugs.
But sometimes…sometimes the shopkeeper just leaves, and you can’t stop him no matter what you do.”Dr. Jane Whitcomb, Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
I first read this book shortly after the deaths of three of my close family members. My grandfather, uncle, and grandmother all died of separate causes within three weeks of each other. None of them died suddenly, so we had time to visit with them and make peace. During that time I observed exactly what this quote describes.
My family members were alive, but closing up shop. We watched the natural progression of death – shuttering the windows, turning off the lights, shutting the door, checking the lock. And then, they were gone.
Death is weird. So, so, weird. It’s the most normal and natural thing in the world, but it’s also the weirdest. And none of us can control when the shopkeeper is done for the day.