In the midst of life…

In the midst of life, we are in death, and nowhere is that more true than in hospice. My mother was moved to hospice care yesterday and while it is wonderful that she is now in a place that can look after her as she needs in her final days, the reality of the situation has really hit home.

I guess a part of us believed while she was in hospital that she might still get better somehow, but now that tiny hope is gone. My mother is disappearing before our eyes; her body is shrunken beneath the bed sheets, her eyes are closed almost all the time now, her voice is silenced, and she is slowly fading away from us.  I woke at 3 am this morning in a panic, thinking that I couldn’t remember what her voice sounds like anymore, or what the last thing she said to me was, and then the thought overwhelmed me that I will never hear her voice again.

Last week when she was awake one afternoon, her wedding ring slipped off her finger onto the sheet. I picked it up and went to put it back on her finger but she shook her head and closed her hand. I wondered what she was thinking as she watched me slip the ring that my father put on her 44 years ago onto my own finger. But I don’t know what she is thinking or feeling anymore. She is gone far away from us and it is only a matter of time before she disappears from us completely.