hands

- Laura Makabresku

Artist: Laura Makabresku

I watch her hands

her last communication

with the living

she tries to find language

but her mouth says nothing

her breaths are shallow

beads of sweat drip down

on to the sheet that will

be her burial cloth

I reach to hold her hands

to feel their roughness

and tenderness

one more time

she tries again

to say the words that

I whisper in her ear

I loved you from the first

and I will love you beyond

the last heartbeat

Good night mother

sleep peaceful; sleep free

I watch her hands

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Photo Challenge #51: Dark Rituals

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11 thoughts on “hands

    • phylor March 14, 2015 / 2:26 pm

      thanks! the picture reminded me of my mother’s death.

      Like

  1. wendy March 11, 2015 / 9:19 am

    my mother didn’t want me there. I was the closest to her. She was there when her mother passed and she couldn’t get that last moment out of her mind. She didn’t want that for me. I was there just before, I left the room and went to the chapel and actually prayed for her to die….it was so sad at that point….when I went back, she was gone.
    She was in a coma so no hands.

    I got in the last I love you, and whispered I would be ok. I lied. (I knew she was worried about me.)

    nearly 22 years later…..I’m still not ok

    Like

    • phylorphylor March 11, 2015 / 1:11 pm

      I don’t think it’s ever easy. My dad’s been gone almost 25 years. That we had a great 8 years before he suddenly died was important. I can think of him and smile, I can think of him and cry.
      It must be harder when there is a strong bond between mother and daughter. You are loosing so much.
      My mom was mosty comatose — we’re not sure she knew we were in the room.It was important to both of us to see her out. We told her it was okay, she could go. That we had followed her requests (no intervention as the end approached) and reassure her, we could continue to.
      It must have been so hard for you. I understand 22 years later still not being okay. It’s that living bond that is broken, can break you. But she is forever in your heart, and her spirit walks with you.

      Like

  2. julespaige March 11, 2015 / 9:06 am

    I agree with SummersTommy – Though I think that two of the people I loved did not want anyone around when that last breath happened. Our last loss of over a year ago is still too fresh. As fresh as the one that happen over fifty years ago that they kept from us (as children…).

    Like

    • phylorphylor March 11, 2015 / 1:20 pm

      Sorry for your loss — every one grieves different. I try to remember what about them made me smile.
      With my mother in and out of a coma, we wanted to reassure her there was no intervention and we would follow her wishes after she passed.
      I think she wouldn’t have minded. That’s the way she was.

      Like

      • julespaige March 11, 2015 / 1:25 pm

        Disease or age… Loss comes when it will.
        Respecting those memories… that is what is important.

        Like

  3. phylorphylor March 11, 2015 / 8:21 am

    Thank you.
    My dad died 24 years ago last week, and my mother died 5 years ago in April. I was thinking of loss, and those hands seemed so expressive.
    We sat vigil with my mother. She wanted no intervention. We watched her final breath, then she had passed.
    My father died unexpectedly, so he was suddenly gone; the ritual was visitation, funeral, burial. The ritual vigil gives you a chance to say I love you and good bye in a different way.

    Like

  4. summerstommy2 March 10, 2015 / 11:07 pm

    Having been through a similar ritual to what you describe here I feel you have captured it so well. There are those last moments of hanging on, of unspoken words, of the slow fade out of this world.
    That final I love you as they slip away. Brought back very real memories for me. Well done Phylor

    Like

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