How Do I Prepare my Mother for Her Death?

Cancer was the only word I heard and it was enough to land me somewhere I have never been. I felt sad suddenly and afraid to have experienced it. The light went out and the dark took over in a selfish way. I conquered fear and didn’t know what to do with it. Time split into two worlds, real and fiction, and I wanted to be on the second one. Fate chose me as the messenger. My mother was innocently peaceful in her world of the unknown. I could not dare to change such peace inside her. I realized I did not know how to prepare her. I felt unsatisfied with the ignorance, incomplete, and alone. It was not the sickness but rather the pain that I feared. The pain that would metamorphose slowly into a physical one.

The thoughts and pain stopped me at my mother’s hospital door. The fear smelled like iron at that moment. It almost tasted like blood but in a vaporized form. The hospital’s walls described it all. I could hear the noises echoed behind me through walls, often unique to the place. Those sounds occupied a place in my memory, that later would only hibernate, and surface as a reminder of all. That was a journey toward no address but in the same time, it existed.

I pushed the hospital’s door slowly although it felt more like the door pushed me. That was the beginning of a farewell. My mother embraced me hard trying to cover my head with her hands. I went blind for a moment but I could feel my mother’s heart beating strongly. Suddenly the strength was controlling within me. My mother’s tears had a strange instinctive effect on me. I was no more myself, I was transformed. She slowly turned my head between her hands and looked at me straight in the eyes. I could see my face reflected in my mother’s big eyes. She strangled her feelings and chained them. We both were shaking. My mother tried to talk but her voice was chained inside her chest and all she could speak was a mix of sounds. We stood in that position, for a while, embracing each other very hard releasing the fear. We wanted to stop the time and belong to the air. The past traveled ahead of us at that moment.

My mother looked at me as if it was the first and the last time and said with her unique sound in her voice, “You have a beautiful smile. I am going to miss it in eternity”. It was the love that survived, a human feeling with no measuring tool. She hoped I would lie if asked. I hoped she would never ask. A dear friend told me once that death when it comes it does not want to leave. I disagreed. I realized death was intelligent, it knew its path. It was the pain that was the ignorant one.

Fatjona Lubonja©


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