It’s just after 5.00am on Saturday morning. I’ve been reflecting on the amazing events of the last one hundred hours of my mother’s life that I had the fortune of sharing in a most intimate way. These were the most intensely difficult yet wonderfully exquisite hours of my life.
Roles turned full circle. As my mother tended to me when I was a baby, I tended to her at the end of her life in the same way.
My mother ended her life unable to see, unable to move, unable to speak, and unable to eat or drink. She could still hear, and this was a great blessing.
In conversing with all her carers and nursing staff, and with her closest loved-ones, a constant theme was this: my mother never once complained about her condition in the 21 years of her wasting illness. She exhibited a perfect example of tolerance, a divine quality. The last months were too horrible to describe in writing, and more intimate than my mother would have wanted me to share with anyone except close well-wishers.
My mother endured terribly, but tolerated it with dignity and even humour. Her ability to laugh and make other’s laugh was amazing, even in the face of death.
Yesterday my family and I planned final rites, and for the first time since those tumultuous 100 hours began, I am alone to make sense of it all. There’s a few hours of quiet time left before the sun rises on the tumult this day will bring.
While I sit in the quiet chill of my room in my father’s house the body of my mother lies in the quiet chill of the funeral mortuary awaiting cremation.
The differences far outway the similarities. I, a tiny particle of soul, am still embedded and embodied, dwelling in the complexities of this life.
The soul who played the part of my mother in the most recent act in this drama of life has left the stage, slipped out of her costume and is awaiting a curtain call somewhere else, in some completely different role.
We strut our stuff for a few brief moments in eternal time that we call this life.
The Supreme Director has ordered a cast change.