Friday, 16 March 2018

a small goodbye


 my mother-in-law died Wednesday 14 March, in the afternoon, surrounded by a couple of close family members myself included; what you could claim to be a 'good death' she breathed her last gasping breath and then as we sat watching and listening: nothing, not a sound and we knew

she was gone

apart from our dog Tungsten I have never witnessed a death of a living being I have been emotionally attached to
it's unnerving and moving in ways I hadn't considered possible

I know I'm not saying anything new here, but for me this actual experience was an unknown

we have been sad and out of kilter, none too much though, as her passing was expected and in a strange way even welcomed; she suffered from dementia and had long gone, in a sense

I say to self how I must remember to embrace the living whilst they are here

always when I feel at a loss I go for long walks, being outdoors and breathing in and out is all it takes; and then in the evening, sitting and stitching, making a small pillow 

the pale yellow and blue fabric comes from Dee, the brighter blue from Jude, the polka dots are from a scarf that happened to come my way, the rust resist is from one of my own dye pots






13 comments:

Mo Crow said...

(((Saskia)))

Liz A said...

Ohhhh ... wishing peace for you and yours

Tina Zaffiro said...

Even when expected.. it is always sad to have those we love leave us. Your little pillow ... made from people that care about you ... is a treasure.

Ms. said...

A pillow to soften the passage. Perfect tribute. Your description of your feelings is touching.

My acquaintance with witnessing death was early on with the death of companion animals in childhood and my father's sudden death when I was 9 (though I didn't watch the process but found the body), then many more animal deaths over my seventy five years. It was always disorienting. We are creatures of attachment and letting go is a practice we will never be quite done with...until we're actually done.

Nancy said...

(((Oh Saskia)))...sending you and yours such love and healing thoughts. I was with my mama (as was my sister) when she passed. It was an honor, even if hard and off-balance creating.
This little pillow is a deep holding of this moment in time, brought forth by your hand and a community who loves you. Your rust piece is amazing. Looking at it, I had these three thoughts, in this order: A Native American storytelling doll, two ears (for listening) and a butterfly. That pretty much covers it. Beautiful.

Dana Webb said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your mother-in-law. Even when death is expected (and even welcomed) it is still hard. Blessings to you and your family.

jude said...

i think of my mother now and remmeber so much of this.

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

to all: thank you for your kind words, it helps

Marti said...

Hugs to you and your family Saskia; sometimes, while we may not realize it at the time, being present as a loved one passes is a gift. Over 40 yrs ago, my parents died, first my Father, then my Mother in a 2 yr span and I was with both of them. When the memories of that time come to the surface, and they still do at times, sadness as well as love also come and there is comfort...

fanny said...

Never easy to say goodbye ...
On the small pillow , I see somebody dancing , free !
Soyez en paix .
Fanny .

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

death is the most Profound part of living.

Anonymous said...

so sorry for your news, Saskia. no death is 'easy'.

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

to all:
it was all so overwhelming, and now life has returned to normal, 'normal' what's that, movement and action and whirling...I have witnessed a human death and for the first time truly felt how fundamentally this is part of life, living, and now I just keep on going