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Today’s Mothers’ Day, back in the UK. Once a time for pot plants, chocolates and cards, it is no more.
I’ll always remember the day I flew in from Spain to see my mother for the very last time. Lying on on her death bed in an Essex hospital, she was unconscious after what my sister and I knew had been the final stroke. Her breathing laboured, we could hear the rattle in her chest. I suppose it must’ve been the one they call the death rattle. Knowing it was time for her to pass on, I so wanted her to slip away gently, and without fear. I took her hand to tell her it was time to let go and her breathing began to calm a little, as she drifted slowly out of this world.
An amazing thing had happened. For me it was amazing, because it meant I had managed to see her while she was still alive. Although I’d been informed she wouldn’t last the weekend, I hadn’t been able to arrange a flight immediately, and didn’t arrive until the following Tuesday afternoon. Despite the odds against it, she was still alive; still breathing.
Though she never came out of the coma, I love to think she wanted to hang on until I arrived. She passed away quietly, not much more than an hour after I reached her bedside. May she rest in peace.
You can read a little about my mother here: Reflections in a fjord
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Oh Bryan, I believe she did hang on.
I truly believe we can hold on by the faintest sliver of life, for such a moment as your child standing by you, holding your hand. This is very meaningful, Bryan, and shows your gorgeous sensitivity to what matters in life.
I have read that piece you’ve linked to. It is warm.
My grandmother hung on till one of my aunts arrived in the country. The very next morning, she left. No one thought she would; she had always been strong, a fighter.
May they rest in peace.