2021 04 05
Do not stand at my grave and weep

My mother spent her final days propped up in bed watching blue jays flock to the bird feeder we placed outside her bedroom window years ago.

The Scrabble game and crossword puzzles she dominated were stored away by then. All that was left was a procession of lasts. The last time we would watch TV together. The last time we would share family stories we all knew by heart. The last time our mother would ask about those who had left before her. The last time we got to ask her about the War and her first big loss. 

How can you think about all the things you feel? She was the center and heart of our big sprawling family, and she was disappearing. At night in the upstairs bedroom I would practice my grief in the dark - straining for comfort, knowing my mother lived and loved so completely for so long. Wouldn’t any actuary table confirm that it was her time?

Her gaze lingered out her window at the empty expanse of cut grass which centered the condominium complex where she lived. I waited in the chair beside her bed until she turned slowly towards me. She reached up and gently touched my face and then turned back towards the window at whatever she had been looking at.