The Smell of Death

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I was twenty-one by the time anyone in my immediate family died.  Death snuck up on us rather unexpectedly when it took my grandfather.  Grandpa, as we called him, slipped away in his sleep after a long bout with Huntington’s disease. My grandmother discovered his body after rising from her bed to get ready for work. She had a massive heart attack within the hour.   Mama looked up from her sickbed as the ventilator breathed for her and scribbled a note that said: God told me it is not my time.  Stop crying.  I hovered over Mama for the rest of the summer and mourned Grandpa for the rest of the year. I took to wearing his clothes and Old Spice. 

 

A few years later, I spent Easter with my college roommate’s family in South Carolina.  I loved the fresh air and open skies of his small town.   It was so damn peaceful.  I never wanted to leave.   Later that year, at the end of summer, I drove back to school from Nebraska to pick up my roommate in South Carolina.  

 

The closer I came, the more uneasy I felt. I thought of Freddie’s family and all of the people I met and was overcome with a sense of dread.  I couldn’t shake it.  Something didn’t feel right.  I kept thinking of Freddie’s grandmamma.  The smell of death was in the air and it felt like it was in the car with me. 

 

Freddie told me later that evening that his grandmamma had passed over the summer vacation. Big Mama had gathered her children and grandchildren together and told them that the Lord had told her to prepare to come home because her end was near.  She died a few weeks later. I told him that I already knew death had come because it was in the car with me on the way down and his grandmamma was so heavy on my mind.

 

Perhaps tomorrow, or maybe in May or June, Hillary Clinton will gather her loved ones and political handlers together and inform them that her campaign is dead.  It will inevitably come because the unmistakable smell of death is in the air.   When Robert Reich, David Boren, and Sam Nunn endorse a brotha over a triangulating Clinton, the jig is up.   She simply cannot win.  Tomorrow will likely be a triumph for Hillary, like terminal cancer in remission, but in the end, death is inescapable.   Don’t you smell it?

 

30 thoughts on “The Smell of Death

  1. Reading this made me think of my mother. She is still here with us. But her life as we knew it ended August 2002. While driving, she had a massive stroke. She spent the next eight months fighting for her life, her sanity, and her independence. We fought right along with her, helping her hang on to the life that God had apparently intended for her to still have.

    It’s been six years, almost 250 hospital days later, and Mama is still with us. Yes, she’s still ill, taking 36 pills a day to keep her hypertension, seizure disorder, diabetes, and depression under wraps. But like your grandmother proclaimed as she was lying in a hospital bed on a vent, God is not ready to take her home with Him yet. He still has work for her to do. He still has people to bless with her presence.

    Skep, I used to think that I could smell death in the air. I used to be able to sense tragedy before it got to me. But Mama’s illness, along with other life’s tragedies, has made it difficult for me to pick up on the inevitable. Perhaps the sadness of all of the tragedy that my family has endured makes it difficult for me to see through the cloud of tribulation that has draped over us in the last few years to see the hints that God provides to me that we need to brace for more or another crisis. Sometimes that’s what those that are still recovering from the last trial do. They are so wrapped up in licking their wounds, recovering from the last emotional blast, that they ignore/don’t notice/are numb to the hints that God provides us that we need to brace for yet another blow, and sometimes the blow that will change the very landscape of the surrounding.

    That’s what Hil is doing. She has faced so many blows, has been knocked down so much, she is oblivious to the fact that another bomb is about to drop on her. Her only indication that a blast has occurred in the next few weeks will be the undeniable, definite pieces of debris that will destroy and dismantle her campaign.

    The smell of death is indeed in the air. But Hil can’t smell it for all the ashes from the last few blasts that have blocked her sense of smell. But whether she knows it or not, I believe that Gabriel is blowing that shiny trumpet and calling Senator Clinton’s campaign to rest.

  2. Your post was good on the overall theme of death, which I never wanted to know how to smell, because my heart breaks so completely.

    Once upon a time I might have felt something for Hillpatine.

    That time has so long since past, it’s ridiculous.

    When I first began on the internet, it was on entertainment boards, with tv shows. I would love the back and forth about characters, and trying to tie them into bigger themes of literature. Of course, everyone has characters that they hate.

    On those boards, someone came up with the term ‘Lobsterhate’, for a poster named Lobster, who absolutely loathed a character so much, it was almost Pavlovian – she saw that character and had to come and write about it in the most extreme negative sense.

    When you can’t stand to hear someone’s voice…
    When you can’t stand to SEE them on your tv screen..
    When their very image can make your blood pressure begin to rise…..

    THAT is Lobsterhate.

    I LOBSTERHATE HILLARY CLINTON.

    There, I said it.

    I can’t stand to watch her anymore.

    Her overreaching sense of White Entitlement pushed me over the edge.

    Her disrespect of a community that basically saved her husband’s ASS, stokes fires so deep in me, I think I’m channelling my inner Panther. I never had much feeling for this heifer. I hurt for the Black folk that they’ve hurt, because I’m bitter about Black folk wasting their good will and true good feelings on these lying jokers.

    She made the choice to stay with him after he publicly humiliated her to the world….but, that don’t ENTITLE her to become PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

  3. As for Pennsylvania, win or lose, Senator Casey is owed serious props. He stood in the trenches with Obama all the way. He walked the walk with Obama, and I gotta respect him for that.

  4. “I LOBSTERHATE HILLARY CLINTON.”

    Rikyrah, my cheeks rose and applauded when I got to that line. That is hilarious!

    Girl, I think I’m right there with you.

    You know, it’s probably a good thing I can’t see Hil. I probably would be more pissed off than I am. The night of the Texas primary, I was so mad that I was standing up in front of my television at 1:00 in the A.M., pointing at the screen and cussing her out. I’m sure if I could see her image, the hatred would be on full blast. LOL!

    I guess in this case, “all things work together for my good.” Finally, blindness has come in handy.

    Good night, y’all. God bless.

    A

  5. John Shreffler

    Hillary’s campaign isn’t dead. It just smells kinda funny. (To paraphrase Frank Zappa on jazz). SB, you’re a great writer. That post is poetry, which is what I do for my calling. Great to see you back so strong.

  6. Befree

    Jeremiah Wright to be interviewed by Bill Moyers

    FIND OUT AIRING TIMES HERE >>> http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/about/airdates.html

    Written by J. Bennett Guess
    April 19, 2008

    In what will be his first interview since snippets of his preaching became a central issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. will speak publicly to veteran journalist and fellow UCC member Bill Moyers.

    The interview will be broadcast on Friday evening, April 25, on Bill Moyers Journal, a PBS news series that airs nationally. Check local listings at http://www.pbs.org/moyers.

    Wright retired in March after 36 years as senior pastor of the 8,000-member Trinity UCC in Chicago, where U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has been a member for more than 20 years. Trinity UCC is the largest congregation among the UCC’s 5,700 churches.

    Moyers, a member of Riverside Church (UCC/American Baptist) in New York City, is a critically-acclaimed public affairs journalist who is known for his thoughtful attention to the intersection of politics, religion and the media. Last June, Moyers and Obama were among the presenters at the UCC’s 50th anniversary General Synod in Hartford, Conn.

    Following his appearance on Bill Moyers Journal, Wright is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the NAACP Detroit Branch on Sunday, April 27. He is also slated to speak on Monday, April 28, to a breakfast gathering at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., followed by a teach-in at Howard University School of Divinity and Shiloh Baptist Church, which also will host an ecumenical prayer service.

  7. Hillary’s campaign has been in its death throes for weeks. It is hard to predict when it will breath its last breath. It is sad however, to see her refusing to die with dignity.

    Angie, I’m sorry about your mother.

    peace and love

  8. Gerard

    SB,
    I have been a silent reader of your blog for some time. Today I have to tell you that when I read your “I’m Back” post, I was worried. Worried not only about you, but about the loss of this marvelous blog. You have given us everything you have — your intelligence, your soul, your passion. I have to thank you. Your blog has been an education. I’m a writer and one thing I appreciate about your writing is your ability to paint the horrors and gross injustices of the poltical and social landscape with humor and beauty.

    peace my brotha

  9. The smell of death is indeed in the air. But Hil can’t smell it for all the ashes from the last few blasts that have blocked her sense of smell. But whether she knows it or not, I believe that Gabriel is blowing that shiny trumpet and calling Senator Clinton’s campaign to rest.

    Angie, you said it perfectly, and I couldn’t agree with you more.

    SB, as always, I bow to your superior turn with the written word. The problem is how many people will Hillary infect with the stench of death before she gets a good whiff and acknowledges that it’s over?

    As long as she doesn’t acknowledge the truth, she thinks she has a dog in this hunt. Doesn’t matter if she wins by 1 point tomorrow, it will not be enough to convince her to let go and let God – until that happens, she can’t smell death all around her; it smells too much like victory as far as she’s concerned.

  10. Regarding the beast… I don’t smell death in the air, but I do smell a strong odor of bullshit.

    And the smell is so bad that I have been sick for weeks now. It really is hard to breathe.

    I just saw Terry McAuliffe on MSNBC a few minutes ago and he vowed that they were going to take the campaign all the way to the Convention in Denver, regardless of what happens with the remaining contests.

    I saw May 6th as being truly the first opportunity for the beast to gracefully bow out, but then again, we have seen these opportunities come and go in recent months, and we have had one top figure after another call for her to end the hostage standoff. But she has not been influenced by these pleas for sanity. Now with McAuliffe saying that they are going all the way, I am not as hopeful that the beast will end the madness on May 6th, even if she loses Indiana and NC on the same night. She wants to stick around to win West Virginia, Kentucky and PR so that she can claim momentum at the end, even though she will come up short on delegates and likely the popular vote as well. From what I can tell, they plan to try to get a last minute deal on Florida and/or Michigan, and although only delegates would matter in such a deal, they plan to somehow use popular votes of the last Florida primary, even though there was no legitimate contest there. Nor was there a legitimate contest in Michigan. But they are trying to desperately come up with a scheme to claim a popular vote victory.

    She may end up with the popular vote, but according to the rules, it is delegates that count. But the beast has sought to change the rules on the fly to her advantage. Now all of a sudden it’s not delegates…it’s the popular vote. And they want to frame it this way to persuade Superdelegates.

    Something else that has annoyed me today in particular is the fact that on every idiot pundit station that I click on… MSNBC, CNN, FAUX NEWS, Etc, I see the same damn thing… all seemed to have an over abundance of Hillary surrogates on. In fact, all the stations had Hillary surrogates on at the same time during several parts of the day. It took a while before I saw an Obama supporter…. and when they finally had one on (The Governor of Arizona) she conveniently seemed to have audio trouble…and they couldnt’ have the interview. And of course they went back to their regularly scheduled programming….interviewing Clinton surrogates.

    I also wonder how Pat Buchanan, Mayor Michael Nut —-, Joe Scarborough, Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, and all the rest of these talking heads can move all of those damn goal posts so often and for such distances, without hurting their backs. No one mentions that Clinton is on her home turf, led by 20+ points for most of the election cycle, and was always expected to win big…it’s never put into proper context. They are framing an Obama loss as a huge disappointing failure for Obama and a huge win for Hillary, even if she wins by a few percentage points.

    First she had to win big in Penn….. Now A WIN OF ANY KIND should be seen as huge for Clinton.

    Then they mention that Obama is outspending the beast 3-1. Of course he has to spend more…. this is absolutely essential to help unravel all of the racist fearmongering in the media during the past several weeks from the beasts campaign, not to mention from the racist Republicans. He is in a State with a majority of Whites who will not vote for a Black candidate NO MATTER WHAT and they are probably trying to encourage their white friends to do the same. No one in the media wants to touch the obvious issue of race and how it will impact the Pennsylvania voting. But Obama has to squeeze as many white votes out of the Pennsylvania that he possibly can in a State that is really hostile territory in terms of the racial dynamic.

    If Obama gets 45% of the total vote, and 30% of the White vote, it will be a miracle.

  11. First she had to win big in Penn….. Now A WIN OF ANY KIND should be seen as huge for Clinton.

    They never seem to mind changing the bar for Hillpatine, do they?

    Then they mention that Obama is outspending the beast 3-1. Of course he has to spend more…. this is absolutely essential to help unravel all of the racist fearmongering in the media during the past several weeks from the beasts campaign, not to mention from the racist Republicans. He is in a State with a majority of Whites who will not vote for a Black candidate NO MATTER WHAT and they are probably trying to encourage their white friends to do the same. No one in the media wants to touch the obvious issue of race and how it will impact the Pennsylvania voting. But Obama has to squeeze as many white votes out of the Pennsylvania that he possibly can in a State that is really hostile territory in terms of the racial dynamic.

    I agree with you. It took that money to introduce himself on his own terms. I’ll say it again: I give serious props to Senator Casey, who has totally walked the walk with Obama in Pennsylvania. Remember, she had every other part of the Pennsylvania Political Machine on her side…of course, they NEVER mention this, do they?

  12. AI,

    I’ve sorta stopped expecting for them to be fair in getting on Obama supporters to balance out the Hillary shillers. I don’t even mind the honest Hillary shillers, the ones that make my blood boil, are the ones who come on with the ‘ Democratic Strategist’ underneath their names, and don’t disclose that they are for Hillpatine. McCauliffe, I can handle…those lying, sneaking, ‘ we’re neutral, but not actually’ mofos are what drive me up a wall.

  13. My grandmother always told me (God rest her soul) that “when you dig one hole dig two.” While I think Hill is still going to pull this out, I don’t think a primary win is going to save Mr. Obama. So the stinch of death you smell may be two dead bodies — Clinton first, but Obama close behind in November. Get ready to say “President McCain” . . . . .

  14. I started out feeling sad reading this, then I ended up chuckling by the end. Well executed.

    Everyone in my family (but me) is able to smell death coming. They get dreams, their intuition tells them something. They know when loved ones are going long before I do.

    Guess that means I have bad vibe allergies.

  15. Pater Fam

    SB:

    Don’t come trying to backslide into the Obama camp. Remember, you said you would take a pass, so just keep steppin…..

    It is “brothas” like you that Obama had to waste time trying to woo instead of spending time trying to widen the base of his support.

  16. It seems to me like he’s spent all of his time trying to assuage the fears of undereducated White folks. To little or no avail, apparently.

  17. It seems to me like he’s spent all of his time trying to assuage the fears of undereducated White folks. To little or no avail, apparently.

    Sadly, Ernesto, I think you are so right.

  18. I supported Hillary Clinton until January, but now I’m so sick and tired of her, Billary & Co., that I just can’t wait for for them to shut their f**&ing mouths.

    You see, I’m one of those people who figures that everything that comes out of the mouth of all of her surrogates, including Bill, represents a strategic thrust by Hillary Clinton herself. I attribute it all to her. (It’s only fair these days, since she attributes and connects everything Rev. Wright says to Obama, even though Obama is not and never has been an Obama surrogate.)

    And what I’ve heard from Billary & Co. over the last few months is so repulsive that I wouldn’t support Billary even if the alternative was John McCain.

    Representative Clyburn has it right:

    In an interview with The New York Times late Thursday, Mr. Clyburn said Mr. Clinton’s conduct in this campaign had caused what might be an irreparable breach between Mr. Clinton and an African-American constituency that once revered him. “When he was going through his impeachment problems, it was the black community that bellied up to the bar,” Mr. Clyburn said. “I think black folks feel strongly that that this is a strange way for President Clinton to show his appreciation.”

    Mr. Clyburn added that there appeared to be an almost “unanimous” view among African-Americans that Mr. and Mrs. Clinton were “committed to doing everything they possibly can to damage Obama to a point that he could never win.” New York Times

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