The Hug.

5 Feb

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My mom died in the middle of the night. She just stopped breathing around two-thirty.

My brother and I completely reclined the overstuffed chair she’d been tucked upright into in order to breathe and covered her up with an extra blanket until morning. There was nothing else we could do. As she laid there, head on a pillow, eyes closed, hair smoothed to the side…she looked very peaceful. 

When I awoke a few hours later, her face was cold, but her body was still warm. I knelt down beside her and gave her the hug I hadn’t been able to while she was alive. She’d been so frail, so weak, so sick; I’d always handled her very gingerly. I’d touch shoulders with her and lightly circle my arms around her with a slight, lame squeeze. With her lung pain, I’d been afraid to do anything more.

That morning, while everyone was outside on the patio speaking in hushed tones about the business aspect of dying, I knelt beside her chair and I squeezed her as hard as I could. I rocked back and forth, holding on to her warm body, her ribs, her chest. I buried my face in her shoulder and I hugged the way I’d wanted to for all the times I hadn’t been able to.

And that’s how I said goodbye to her.

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6 Responses to “The Hug.”

  1. Nik Havert February 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Your mom rocked.

    • themuseherself February 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

      Thank you! My mom DID rock. And she REALLY liked you Nik. You guys turned that weekend, which could have been just a work weekend, into something special and fun for her.

  2. Dale February 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Hi, April. just read your post about the HUG. so touching……how does one say good-bye to their mom? you can’t. but, remember, it’s not good-bye, it’s ’till we meet again.

  3. John February 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    You Rock

    I never got to properly say goodbye to Mom.

    Thanks for Sharing

  4. Shane Davies September 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    I felt lost for words when I read what you wrote about your mother’s passing and I remembered how I felt when I lost my father in 2001.
    He had suffered from Diabetes for many years and it wound up taking his sight then later his legs due to poor circulation
    He was in a nursing home at the end because he was in need of 24 hour care
    He was drifting in the last few months sometimes he would remember who I was sometimes he wouldn’t
    On the night he passed though one of the caregivers at the home (had the sheer nerve) to tell myself and my sister that she thought about calling us or not calling us for about an hour before finally made the call but her reluctance to contact us meant that we didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to our dad…..
    He passed about just a few minutes after she made the phone call
    It was my dad who got me into wrestling because we used to watch British Wrestling on a Saturday afternoon………He even treated me to 2 live WWE and 1 WCW live show I will never forget my dad.
    I’m sorry for your loss, April.

    • themuseherself September 12, 2013 at 12:25 am #

      Isn’t it amazing how, at the very end, certain things can vividly mar your memories like a terrible stain? I had something similar happen that I didn’t include here, so I COMPLETELY understand. I’m sorry…Moms and Dads are just not replaceable in any way and nothing anyone says to you will make you feel better, so I won’t try. I especially hate the ever-so-weak “well, they’re in a better place now” or “they’re with you from above”…this is always said with confidence…as if anyone in this world KNOWS for certain.

      That spewed, I feel for you deeply and appreciate your comment a lot. Thank fuck for photos, videos and memories. 🙂

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