Passing time

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Nine

At 7 pm, my mother was pronounced dead. I asked to pass sometime with my mother’s body, before it had to be removed from the bed, to make way for the next patient. Some of my relatives and my mother’s friends had come to visit my mother that afternoon and they too witnessed the last hours of my mother’s life. Everyone in the room was filled with emotions of their own. What were their thoughts of her death?

It was impossible, at that time, for me to apprehend the suddenness of her passing. I was confronted with relentless questioning (in silence). What is the meaning of life when one has also to die? Does this paradox of life make life meaningless? How am I going to deal with the void that she has left me? What is the meaning of absence in one’s daily life? Who will look out for me now? Who will remember me as I was? Who will know what happens to me now? Where will I be from? Who can I go home to tonight? Et cetera, et cetera.

That night, I held on to my mother’s cold right hand, for as long as I could. Later, the nurses unplugged all the medical attachments on her; cleaned her body and then wrapped her up in white cloth, crisscrossed with white strings. When the job was done, we had a last look at my mother’s pale, wounded and warned out face. She appeared to have had enough of her last existence and cannot bear to suffer it for one more moment and was happy to depart. But, where will she be going to pass time tonight?