How many times have you seen death?

Poem about death

I remembered my first encounter with death. 
It was when my great grandmother died.
I was 15 or so.

I remembered her laying down in a white burial shroud. 
All white.
Her pearly teeth were still intact.
All white.
She was 90 or so. Her skin looked translucent.
All white.

My mom asked me to kiss her. I was reluctant.
But she insisted. So I did.
She looked cold. She was cold. Cold and stone-like.

After that was my grandfather’s, a couple of years later.
He had a mistress that he married and lived with for the rest of his life.
My dad used to resent him. I didn’t know him well, so I did not feel any grief.
He was a nobody. I guess I was a nobody for him too.

Recently it was my father’s.
I sat next to him when he was lying on his deathbed. There were only me and him.
He was languishing. He fixed his gaze upon the ceiling.
He didn’t blink. Not even once.
I froze. I couldn’t feel anything. I had not felt anything towards him in a long time.
Perhaps I had died then. Probably I had died long before. 

He drew his breaths every fifteen seconds.
Then every twenty.
Then every thirty.
Then he stopped breathing at all.

After each encounter, I came back less and less. I wondered if I had seen enough death, would I become a phantom? Then I no longer exist. I was merely an illusion.

My last encounter with death?
I saw it in your eyes when I told you I did not love you.
You looked like I stabbed you right then and there.
Perhaps I did. I guess I did.

You were dead. And I no longer exist.