After Jeannie Green read Entering the Blue Stone, she was so moved by Molly Tinsley’s memoir about her parents passing that it stimulated memories of her own mother’s dying moments. She wrote Molly a letter to share all that had emerged in response to readingEntering the Blue Stone. Here is an excerpt from her letter, which readers may find, in full, on the Fuze blog
I read your fine, intimate recollection with feelings of recognition and empathy. My mother’s final week of life and her death in April 2010, were in some ways quite similar to your mother’s transition.
My sister and I were not prepared for the sadness and drama of Mom’s departure at age 93, nor for the difficulty of encouraging her to let go, although it was time. Hospice workers told us she would leave soon, and we believed them. She hadn’t spoken in days, nor opened her eyes. And so we watched her waxen face, hoping she’d hear us and know we meant to be of comfort. If we could ease her passing it might answer our own near desperate need to DO SOMETHING—before it was too late. We hovered by her bed, loving, determined to surmount our inadequacy. She had never voiced thoughts about her own death, which informed us that the subject was not to be broached. But we thought she seemed anxious, although she’d had end-of-life doses of morphine and was assuredly not in pain.
We come from a family of talkers and sensed that Mom, always garrulous herself, wouldnot have wanted us to just sit there as silent observers. Instead of risking emotional talk, we reminded her we were there by singing her old favorite songs—in shaky harmony no less. Like standup performers who’ve run out of joke material, we chatted, groped for subject matter, recalling family adventures and funny incidents. We talked to her of times past and of the future, of grandchildren who were with us in spirit and would miss her sorely. Of her great granddaughter, born the day Mom turned 90. Her only response was feeble—the semblance of a frown. She was not sleeping. This was not restful repose.
Then something clicked as I observed Mom’s subtle reaction to bird song playing softly on a nature CD she had always loved…