Wednesday Stories: Goodbye Michael


My friends think that just because I live in Hawai’i, I live in paradise. That somehow living here gives you a free “get-out-of-jail-ticket” from life’s little hiccups. But apart from the weather, we all go through pretty much the same shit- traffic jam, pollution, bills to pay, kids to send to school and now to add to that never ending list (for me at least) is a dying spouse.

You often hear about how people say that life’s short, that if God wanted it, you could die from just falling off a bike. Well that’s exactly what happened. I’m unsure of the details because honestly, the moment the doctor’s mentioned his name and the word “coma” in the same sentence, everything else was a blur. They say that there is a small chance that he may wake up. But I know as well as they do, that he is as good as dead. I mean, I look at Michael and I know that even he wants to die. He has never been that sort of person you see, never one to let anyone else fret over him much less see him slowly wasting away. I knew what I had to do. I just don’t know how to explain it to the kids. Hana, my eldest pretty much knows how dire the situation is. But Ahmad, my 11-year old thinks papa’s asleep. These are but some of the dilemmas about raising children. I knew that from the very moment I held them in my arms. How do you explain sex? How do you support them through whatever they want to do in life even if every single bone in your body tells you that they’re just fucking it up? How do you tell them that papa’s dying?

“Daddy, do you know when papa’s gonna wake up?” he asked me bluntly from the edge of Michael’s bed.

“I’m not sure buddy. Hey, why don’t you come here for a second. I have something important to tell you”