An Impossible Choice

The steady beeping coming from the machine was the only sign that he was still alive. He lay there motionless, had done for months. She held onto the hope that any moment he would open his eyes and smile at her again. But the doctors had done test after test and they were convinced. He wasn’t coming back to her; he was dead even though the machine kept beeping.

The doctors had called it “brain stem death” and they wanted her to say goodbye. She had been visiting him every day for 7 months. If they had let her she would have stayed here because leaving him even for a few hours killed her.

What if he woke up and she wasn’t there?

But he didn’t wake up; he didn’t move, he never would.

Tears streamed down her face as she crawled onto the bed and pulled him close to her. The thought of letting him go was excruciating, how could she lose him too?

“Mrs Lawton, I’m sorry but we need to proceed.”

She wanted to scream, didn’t he understand how hard this was, how impossible this was? She didn’t move.

“Just do it.”

“Mrs Lawton, we need you to get off the bed.”


The doctor stood still, staring at her, considering whether or not to push the issue.

He decided against it.

As he turned off the machines he heard her whisper,

“I love you baby. I love you…”

As the machine let out it’s last single, long beep she shook the bed with her sobs.

After what felt like a lifetime she stood and picked up her coat. Looking over at her son she cursed the driver who had stolen him from her now after torturing her for 7 months since taking her husband.


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