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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Observing Death

As I've mentioned here before (probably too often; sorry!), my book ZUCCHINI PIE: GRANNY'S RECIPE FOR LIFE is coming out in June, published by Covenant Communications. It's unusual for me because it's written from four different viewpoints. This excerpt comes from the viewpoint probably closest to my own, that of family mom Karen Burnett. Here she narrates her recollection of the hours after the passing of her husband's grandmother, Granny Adelaide.

I poured glasses full of chilled lemonade, moving strictly on autopilot. We had put away all the food that Emily and I had prepared for dinner because no one felt like eating, yet we all knew we needed something. I warmed some of the sourdough rolls leftover from last night’s dinner and asked Steph to whip up some lemonade. Tom said a quick blessing and we all began to eat, silently, everyone moving as if caught in slow motion.

The scene at the hospital was surreal. Since I became the president of our church Relief Society a couple of years ago, I’d seen death, yet it never failed to amaze me. When we visited with Granny that afternoon, she had looked about as ill as anyone I’ve ever seen. Then when we went back to the hospital that evening, she was no longer there. No, they hadn’t yet removed Granny’s body, but Granny was no longer there. I don’t know how anyone, especially any health professional, could see that change over and over and over again and still have any doubt that there is an eternal spirit, a life source that departs when death comes. The body didn’t even look much like Granny anymore. Still I felt her warmth, her humor, and I knew she wasn’t far away. I hoped she wasn’t getting too big a kick out of her final joke on us.

Susan Aylworth is the author of eight published novels, all currently available in digital form for various e-readers. Her ninth book, ZUCCHINI PIE: GRANNY'S RECIPE FOR LIFE, is coming from Covenant Communications in June. Her tenth novel, RETURN TO RAINBOW ROCK, will soon be available as an original e-book, the seventh in the Rainbow Rock series. Find Susan at or follow her @SusanAylworth.

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