Today, the STMND crew is honored to share the following story from Sreejit Poole. It is a raw, powerful and compelling tale covering a tragic hour of his life. Please read and show him the RawrLove and support in the comments that our community is famous for:
She was screaming my name from the far window but we were in the last room of the kitchen joking and laughing.
Though the name was loud, I wasn’t registering it. I was too busy being the life of the party. The breakfast shift had just ended and we were unwinding.
Finally, her voice cut through and I turned to see her wide eyes, and her hands frantically waving at me through the window.
What could be so wrong? Irritated, I walked over to the window. The woman was always getting worked up over little things.
My sister, the kitchen boss, had gone to America for a couple months and this was my first time in charge, so the woman was now always registering her complaints with me.
As I got closer, I realized that her energy was not that of annoyance, but urgency.
She pointed behind her and I saw the body. Pache. He was lying on the ground.
I ran out with a friend to the back of the kitchen and it was clear what had happened as he lied breathless, his arm welded to the side of a fan. There was a bucket of water overflowing from the sink but it hadn’t yet reached his body.
I knew that he had turned that water on.
This just happened.
I had talked to him sixty seconds earlier.
My friend ran to the community hospital just across the parking. But, I had to run too. I had to get things moving.
There was a swami to my left in the parking lot staring at me. His eyes were asking me what I needed.
There were a group of construction workers to my right that saw my face and were pulled into the force of my desperation, as they stuck to my heels.
I was five seconds behind my friend. I saw her enter the nurse’s office to get a wheel chair. As soon as I was in eye distance of the doors, I screamed.
“Help! Someone’s been electrocuted in the kitchen!”
I don’t think I ever screamed so loud.
At the sound of my voice, every person in the hospital poured out of every door. All eyes were on me as I ran back to the kitchen with a pack of people behind me. We picked up the body to carry it over.
It was so heavy.
As we got out of the kitchen gates my friend was there with the wheel chair. We slumped his body in it and she dragged the wheel chair backwards through the sand with me holding up his feet.
I had seen him only seconds earlier, full of life as he headed to the backside of the kitchen to start cooking the lunch. I had said hi to him. Now his face was turning purple, his skin was slumping, his eyes were lifeless.
We got him to the hospital and they threw him on the operating table.
A doctor straddled his body and started CPR.
This wasn’t the kind of CPR that you see on TV. This was desperate. Violent.
We were ushered out of the room.
For forty-five minutes we stood outside the door as people came up to us to ask what happened. But we couldn’t talk. We just waited. Death was not real for us, so we knew that somehow they would bring him back to life… but he was already gone.
He had gone to a place from where he now only visits when I see a fan, use an electrical appliance, walk to the backside of the kitchen, say hi flippantly to a friend, see his sisters wide eyes, hear someone talking in Spanish, see someone who smiles at everyone regardless.
At those moments, I remember this particular hour of my life. This is the hour that is clearer than any other minute that I have lived.
This is when death became real for me.
This was when I truly understood that death could take us at any moment.
Losing my thirty-two year old friend, probably the nicest and most giving person that I knew, is my story that can never die. And when the memory hits me – like his hand used to slap my back – it always brings tears to my eyes.
Pache, I miss you.