August 22, 2005

Go Gentle

I got the call fifteen minutes ago. Mom died peacefully in her sleep. My brother A. visited her yesterday afternoon and saw that she was sleeping peacefully and in apparent comfort even though she had a high fever. He praised the attentiveness of the hospice staff, who kept her lips moist and changed her bedding and injected her with small doses of morphine.

Her tranquility in mortal crisis was the starkest kind of contrast with her life, a life marred by needless psychological pain, no rest, no peace of mind. If only her passage through life had been as kindly attended as her passage out of it. If she had, for one day as a living person, been able to feel the calm she felt as a dying one.

My brother S. is taking care of the funeral arrangements and I will know in a few hours what day the funeral will be, what flight I need to take.

In the meantime, thank you, my dear blogfriends, for your prayers and wishes and words. If human thought is able to travel across distances and affect events unseen, then your thoughts may have touched with mercy the passing of someone you never met.

Jean Cohen (1921-2005)