Ten years ago today, my mother dropped dead on the driveway of a friend’s house after a New Year’s party. She was 62. She was not well and hadn’t been for years.
At the hospital as we stood over her lifeless body, a nurse pulled me aside and asked me to witness her removing my mother’s jewelry and personal effects so they could put her in the body bag. We walked around the bed removing bracelets and rings, a small pendant, and finally, her worn shoes. Everything went into a large zip lock bag with her name on it: Patricia Martin. The nurse handed me the bag and told me she was sorry for my loss.
In the end, we leave this world as we entered it: naked and alone.
After her death, I dreamed of her a few times until she told me that she would no longer be able to visit me. I understood this to mean that she had to move on to whatever existence was ahead of her and leave this life behind.
So today, I bear witness to her life, to what was, and I hope she has found peace.