August 04, 2007

she gives wings to grief


I also remember how Wendy told me I would need to be careful not to feed him too much or too little. Too much would make it difficult to die, too little would make it more painful; the same with hydration. I thought that would be an impossible task, but I don’t think he lived too many days after that. I do remember my surprise when he asked for bagel pizzas and soda pop just hours before his seizure and he hadn’t eaten by mouth for days. I heated them up, made them into small bites, and he ate the whole thing. His last supper.

I remember sitting one afternoon, just him and me, making a list of all his favorite things. Like movies, and blueberry jelly bellies. I was compiling the list to use at his memorial service, but I didn’t tell him that.

After Tommy died, and I could find my voice, I made another round of telephone calls. His teachers came over from the school including Mr. Shipman, his favorite kindergarten teacher for whom he had a special love, and they all sat with his body for a bit. My sister, Marilyn arrived from San Francisco about an hour and a half after he died. I was so glad to have her there…no body else could have helped me send his body to the mortuary.

Grandma and Grandpa Smith came from their campground just moments after he left. They helped to get calls made to the Smith side of the family.

Wendy and Bill called the coroner and made sure the body was properly identified. And then they left. I asked them to come to the memorial service, and I received notes from all three, but I never saw them again.

Tommy’s body lay in his bed for about 5 hours. I’d come in and out of the room, putting away the clean laundry in his drawers. When I finished the last bit I told him, “It’s all clean now, you can pack a bag to go home.” I was glad to have time to see him still, not asleep. I could feel his body lose it’s heat. It helped me lose my fear of death.
and this.

the end begins here.

and i would like to scream for her - i am a mother too - nononono, it is not fair,
it is not fair, change it, make it not so, make it undone. Please. i am a mother too.

the point is---