In the last minutes of my father’s life, I was massaging his chest in an effort to calm him down and help him release from this world. I could feel his heart pounding through his ribcage. It was working very hard – almost as though it might be able to reverse the inevitable if only it could work hard enough. (The human body’s will to live is truly impressive.) Eventually it did slow down to something more normal for a while. I found his radial pulse when it became hard to feel his heart beating through his chest, and followed that as it gradually slowed, and then stopped.
I wondered how a heart that had been beating for over 98 years could be so strong near the end. A human heart of that age has beat well over 4 billion times. Four billion is a lot of anything. Counting steps, one could walk around the equator 62 times. A stack of 4 billion sheets of paper would reach the International Space Station.
A heart that has beat that many times should be a metaphor for something, shouldn’t it?
I wonder what metaphor would be a good choice.
Please consider sharing this post with someone if you found it helpful.
You can sign up to receive these posts here.