Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Long Goodbye

I told my mother goodbye tonight. I kissed her on the cheek many times, and I am sure she heard me and understood me. The hospice workers believe she will pass away in the night. They admit that her heart is strong, but her body is breaking down incredibly fast.

Who was my mother? These words come to my mind: stoic, stubborn, honorable, humorous, a fighter, humble, generous, kind, dignified, simple tastes, cultured, able to deal with adversity, a civilian survivor of war, strong, strong willed, angry with injustices against people, and very proud. I have so many memories of her dancing in my mind right now. The good and the bad. All good memories now.

I still cannot believe how much I was able to communicate to her for the first two days of this week. She was able to talk to me, smile, and discuss frankly her fear of death but also the fact that she was ready to go. When she said to me “I think I am going to die,” I was honest with her and said “yes, I think you will—very soon.” I told her it was ok to die, and that we would be here for her. My last words to her while she was still able to talk to me were “oyasumi nasai”—good night. It is a saying that was heard every night in our house when she put us to bed.

These last two days have been difficult because of her constant state of distance in her eyes and her inability to talk in these last two days. It has been taxing on me and my sister. I have seen my hair turn noticeably grey. I have found myself wanting to be alone to reflect on her life. I am hoping that she is not in any pain as she flies away. She does not deserve to be in pain right now.

I once again spent time with her today, assuring her that it was ok to fly away. I told her that I loved her, I wished her good night, and I said “sayonara” to her for the first and last time in my life. I told her that I loved her with all my heart, and that I will be seeing her again. I believe that I will see her again in my dreams very soon.

Good night, mom. Oyasumi nasai. Sayonara.

4 comments:

S.S. said...

This is a beautiful farewell. As painful as these last days have been, take some comfort from having had the chance to say what you needed to say while she could still hear you. We love you so much. See you in a few hours. Rest now.

Susan

CBH said...

I have been where you are now. My thoughts are with you.

Susan Hardin

Dee said...

Blessings and condolences.

MrsAlbrecht said...

Sad with you over you mother's death. I am thankful that you were able to talk to her before she passed from this life into the next.

There is peace when a person is able to face death with such courage as your mother did.

Your posts have been a beautiful tribute to her.

Much love from Japan,
SJA