The Nonna died, with my pink teddy bear and the Midget’s crying mouse in her arms. Warm, peaceful, painless. Death.
I held a tiny baby in my arms. One week old, the son of a friend, lips twisting ready to smile. Warm, soft, sleepy. Life.
And my mind is twisted by this circle that I so regularly ignore, the inevitable, the potential.
If I knew how to cry, I know I’ve got a world of emotion struggling inside me, but I don’t know how. I don’t know what I feel. First shock. The phone call stating that there was nothing more that could be done, the life support the Nonna’s body depended on would be switched off. Her brain, damaged beyond repair. Her life ended. Her breathing, once the ventilator was removed, steady but raspy. The snoring, predicted and normal, sounded a familiar imitation of The Mother.
Yet, throughout, her hand in mine was warm. The night passed and the sun rose, the sleepless night exhausting. Her breathing became more laboured. Gentle nurses injected drugs, brushed her teeth, applied lip-salve, and kept her eyes the picture of peace.
The end came eventually, as it does for all of us.
And in another room, a life was only beginning.