I could not believe that he lived in this. Not wanting to touch anything, the smell grabbed me in a choke hold. The peace I felt was out of place. You could not feel life or death; it was as if your senses went numb.
We started to sort through his belongings, things to keep, things to give away and things to throw in the trash. Wanting it to go quickly but yet not wanting to leave. This is where he lived, a small room with a small bathroom, little fridge, table, chair and bed with dresser. Covered in things he had gathered, most of it just things you use daily, not much collected from the past, no photo frames or trinkets. The walls were dirty, well everything seemed dirty. This is where his life had ended.
Time had stopped for him, his grown children cleaning up the mess, sorting his stuff. They had not seen him in years, all they knew was he was in the city trying to get by.
Three children, now with children of their own, taking care of their father’s life now that it is gone.
This is poverty, down and out, he had shelter, friends and a job, but no one should live like that.