You sat in the clinical bed, pale as a sheet but still with a smile sprawled across your face. We used to laugh all the time when you weren’t imprisoned here, we still did I suppose. But it was different. We laughed in an attempt to reassure each other that everything was okay. Convince ourselves that this was only temporary. We both knew it wasn’t. You grew weaker every day, your face grew thinner, your eyes sunk into your head. We both knew you weren’t going to last long. But we still laughed. You’d laugh at how you looked even more like a boiled egg now, and how the nurses treated you like you were incapable of wiping your own arse. But then you were incapable and it suddenly wasn’t so funny anymore. They’d ask how you kept up such a happy attitude, and you’d say “Laughter is the best medicine after all”. I knew that you cried at night, when you thought I’d fallen asleep in the hard chairs. I knew you prayed to God to try and fix this, to try cure you- you said you’d sell yourself to him as long as you would have another day with me. When they’d ask me if it was a facade I’d smile and shrug, say you were a miracle in disguise. It was not my place to expose your secrets.
It was just a cliché.
You passed away on the 12th of October 2009. We had watched a comedy the night before, you had laughed a little bit lighter than usual. You went to bed with a smile on your face, like every night, and said that you loved me. I woke up to see that smile still there. If you were alive I would have made a joke about how you shit your pants, but instead I just sobbed.
Maybe laughter wasn’t the best medicine and maybe you weren’t cured, but fuck, it sure as hell beat seeing a shell of who you were. No, you were you, right till the end.