"Death is simply a shedding of the physical body, like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon...It's like putting away your winter coat when Spring comes." Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
I received the telephone call from the care home an hour ago. My mother heeded Death's call...she died at 11:40 PM on July 26, her birthday.
She was in great pain at the end of her life...she taught me, as her body contorted from Osteoarthritis and bed sores, what courage and strength in the face of such agony is really like.
She was aware of all of us until the very end...she would groan in agreement to whatever was said. When her family was there, Mom ignored the morphine dreams...and still attempted to communicate her feelings.
I noticed a change this evening, as I meditated with her. I told her what a good mother she had been, and that there was no need to be afraid...that Heaven was preparing the greatest birthday celebration she had ever had. I told her no one blamed her...I knew she had been greatly worried about her capacity as a Mother.
I told her that when she died, she could run. Without medications, her walker or her wheelchair. I told her she could run through fields of Flowers, more kinds than she could ever imagine. I told her she would never be cold, hungry, tired or in pain again, once she traveled all the way to the end of that Golden Highway she was on.
I took her to the Boat that crosses that deep and very wide River, at the end of the Highway. I told her, when she felt the time was right, to step onto that wondrous, shimmering Vessel and sail off, into the distant Sunset.
I reminded her of those who had gone before. She would see her mother and father, her sister, her granddaughter...and all of her husbands. She made an mmmph sound, by blowing air through her mouth. I'm not sure she will necessarily want to see all of her husbands.
She had refused water...she had refused all sustenance for days; but her body shell continued to cling to life.
I left her, with the image of climbing aboard the shimmering Sailboat, after she received another dose of medication. She seemed to rally after that dose, slipping into a quiet, rested, peaceful sleep. Sleep that had eluded her, even with the morphine. Selfishly, I felt hopeful, when I left, that there might be another day or two in her company...
And now, my mother waves her final goodbye from the sparkling, silver Boat, as she sails off into the distant, golden horizon.
I stay on the beach, my work here not yet done, and watch her until she is no longer visible...
"Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves and Immortality." Emily Dickinson
In memory of Gisela, my mother ( July 26, 1921 - July 26, 2007)
Rest in Peace, Mama...I miss you.