She’d been in and out of hospital for a bit, stepping into dementia late, at 96.
I personally think it was from being on so many painkillers —
they could not operate on her cracked hip at her age.
I think it all whacked her out… constant pain killers for a couple years.
The night of her death I told Mitchell I could feel death in the air.
I don’t usually talk or think like that — but there it was.
I drew a sketch of the two horses (from pics), wrote about it on the end (which I do),
and assumed it was because of worry about a friend.
But I really could not settle in to sleep.
I sketched the image of the Vista House, and began to think about Mom.
I thought about her being afraid to die, and we’d had conversations about that fear.
I began talking to her in my head while I sketched,
about her pain, about the new place she was in (hospice, and a great staff),
having conversations about her letting go if she was so uncomfortable and unhappy.
I reminded her of the conversation she had with her priest when she informed him,
years ago, of her plans to be cremated — a no-no in the Catholic Church.
He told her that she could not buried in consecrated ground,
wh ch of course is supposed to mean (my shorthand her) that God can’t find her.
She informed him that her faith in the power of God was much greater than his,
And she was sure that the God who made the Earth would find her if her ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean, and furthermore, that this Earth she loved so much,
and that pacific Ocean she loved so much, were blessed, consecrated grounds.
I reminded her there was nothing to be frightened of,
she had a strong faith in where she was heading and that she’d see Grandma and Patrick and Michael and Folly and Sweetie (and yes I named them all)
and had been around many people who died, peacefully.
I finished the sketch at 1:45am, suddenly so sleepy I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
She died in her sleep at 1:30am.
I thought I’d be ready for her death.
In fact, I barely cried when I first found out.
The relief of knowing she was going to avoid even more pain…
What I didn’t expect was the days that followed and are still following,
because it is a bit like a carpet being rolled in front of me.
As it rolls, I have another experience…
The first time it really hit me I walked into the market with Mitchell
and saw the stands for goodies for stockings.
I always made boxes for her — not just at the holidays —
and seeing the things I would have bought for her —
thought to buy for her as if she were alive — broke my heart open.
I wept in the market — all through the market.
Thinking of others who lost a parent recently…
Or are struggling in hospitals and hospice this year.
Carol and Willow and Donna and Pascale and Oceanens and Lois and Sherry.
“Memory is more indelible than ink.”
Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
“I think not….”
Me… why I journal!
Pilot Metropolitan with De Atramentis Tobacco ink,
Edison Nouveau 1.1 stub nib with Robert Oster Purple Jazz.
Moonman Wancai with special grind architect’s nib,
special grind cursive nib, Goulet 1.1 nib, with Robert Oster Emerald ink,
Robert Oster Fire and Ice ink, Akkerman Chinatown Red ink,
Lamy Vista with Robert Oster Thunderstorm ink,
Pilot Metropolitan with Super5 Frankfurt ink,
Jinhao with Goulet 1.1 stub nib and Super5 Frankfurt ink,
Platinum Carbon Pen with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges,
Da Vinci, MatteoGrilliArt, JazperStardust, PfeifferArt, Sennelier, Holbein, MGraham and DS Primatek and Daniel Smith watercolors.
©D. Katie Powell.
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