She Was Dying by Myra Sherman

July 22, 2013 Comments Off on She Was Dying by Myra Sherman

The day after the world didn’t end a public radio host opined about death. “What would it be like, to know you’re going to die? Most people wouldn’t want to know. But if you did, if you just had a year to live, what would you do?” He talked about bucket lists—sky-diving, a trip to Antarctica, deciphering all the jokes in Ulysses—the freedom to be adventurous and reckless.

A woman was listening, but didn’t hear. She was dying. She was traveling in a light beam, visiting a sunlit garden-world with enlightened talking dogs.

At the end of his segment, the host discounted his previous comments. “All joking aside,” he said. “What’s most important is family. If I knew I had a year to live I’d stay at home with my wife and children, and pray for another year.”

The woman had no family, and didn’t have a year. She swirled in the stratosphere, saw jeweled cities. Was green-blue-violet, was earthy-ethereal, a woman-goddess-dog. She was everyone and no one, everything and nothing.

The host went on to talk about the latest mass shooting, “Tragic, all the deaths, all the children.”

She soared in space and time, for a nanosecond and for eternity.

When he went off the air, the host held his head in his hands and cried. He had newly diagnosed cancer, and was terrified.

The woman was beyond terror. She was dying.

© 2013 Myra Sherman

Myra Sherman is a Northern California writer and social worker. Her short story collection, Jailed, was published by Desperanto Press in Dec. 2011. She was a winner/finalist in Glimmer Train’s Best Start 50 contest, the SLS fiction prize, and the Moment-Karma short story award. In addition to Jailed, her fiction and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals such as Ars Medica, 580 Split, Storyglossia and Fifth Wednesday Journal. She has recently completed Mother Mary, a literary novel that explores homelessness and mental health issues. More about her writing can be found at

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