Thursday, 18 October 2018

Glad I was there

After mum died
and we were certain
no more in-breaths would arrive
we sat awhile
held in a new space
of unknowing

we called the nurse
who called the doctor
who called the undertaker
who took her away
hidden in a black enclosed bag.

After mum died
we walked out into
the cold winter night
I don’t remember much.

We went for chips
and the man who served us
asked if we had had
a good evening.
What could we say?
We didn’t want to load
our sadness onto him.
We muttered vaguely
it was ‘different’.
We couldn’t explain. 

Before mum died
I was scared
afraid to approach her
not wanting to be there
at that imagined moment
when everything changes.

Before mum died
I believed
she would live forever
because your parents
are always there

aren’t they?

Despite the illness
despite the frailty
despite the wheelchair
I still wanted to believe
she would live forever

despite all the signs
to the contrary. 

As she died
time stood still
the world stopped turning
everything held its breath
waiting for the next inhale
that never arrived.

As she died
I felt a peace
that was not there
or after
(for a long time).
I knew a certainty
everything was ok.

As she died
I was glad
her suffering was ended
she carried no more pain.

As she died
I was glad
we were there
to witness
a new space
of unknowing
to witness
a peace indescribable. 

After mum died
the world fell back into place
with a piece missing.
We had become orphans
and didn’t know how to behave.

After mum died
the world looked the same
and everything was different.

As she died
I knew aright
there is no birth and death
there is only flow of breath
ebb and flow
like the ocean’s waves.

She is alive in me
she is half of me.
I knew aright
in that moment

 and then the world returned
with all its pain and sorrow
grief and loss

but I had witnessed
as I was there.

© 18 Oct 18

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