I've been thinking alot lately of my late mother. She died around this time of year and that always raises poignant and sometimes painful memories of family and childhood. We are the sum of our experiences so it is better to acknowledge this rather than bury it.
I'm going to tell you something that I have not shared with another living soul. I was with my mother at her death. I had never witnessed death before and so you really do not know what to expect. You see it at the movies but you know it's not real. When someone dies it is sometimes a slipping away and hopefully peaceful.
That day I tried to feed my mother yogurt and some banana. What a foolish thing to try and accomplish when there are only short hours left. Maybe I was in denial and thought the food would give her strength and she would live. It's just part of my memory now.
I bent over and whispered to her that I was there. My emotions were all over the place, being alone, not wanting her to die alone. I guess it is a daughter's duty to hold her mother's hand as she lay there dying. Believe me, I knew this was something that I would play back over and over as time goes by but I trust that what I saw has not been altered by time.
I philosophized about how death is a reminder to us of the preciousness of life.
She marshaled strength near one of her last breaths, sat upright and raised her fist. I do not know if it was to signal anger or perhaps victory. I guess I'll never know. I know it is something I'll never forget nor the memories of the life she had which at times was a struggle. A child remembers things thru their own child like perception so the accuracy of my recollections has had years to ferment into what I think happened. Even if some of it was true.