Those Last Words

“I’m sorry but we have done all the best we can and she isn’t going to make it past tonight.”

Those agonizing words which the doctor left us with are all the memories I have of that night when my mother died. And every time I think of that night, I am reminded of the harsh sobs from my brother and the disbelief etched in my father’s tired face after the constant vigil we all had kept by her bedside for the past one week.

I was just thinking how ridiculous his words sounded. My mother’s condition had been improving and she was still breathing. Her serene face even while being sedated did not seem like she was in pain or that her organs were failing like the doctor explained to us as kindly as possible.

I took her hands in mine and held them while thinking those same hands had carried me all these years, comforted me when I needed it, spanked me when I was misbehaving, cooked me those wonderful meals, and those same hands were soon going to be lifeless and I would never see them again.

I wanted to beg for her forgiveness and let her know how much she meant to me all those years. I wanted her to wake up and let me say goodbye for one last time. I wanted all those things that one does when being told their loved ones whom they took for granted would live a long and fruitful life is not going to live that long after all.

But I could not say it with my throat constricted tight and my chest feeling like it was going to burst, making it so hard for me to breathe. It was as though that I was the one whose organs were failing instead of my mother, who lied there so peacefully in her cold and hard hospital bed.

I just held her hands trying so hard to choke those last words out before the heart rate monitor hooked to her would show that she was no longer just sedated but she would be never waking up again.

And she left us just like that. She died while my father watched disbelievingly, my brother covering his face, his body wrecking with sobs and there was me, who was holding her hands trying to convey some gratitude for the 28 years of love she bestowed upon me without expecting anything in return.

That was three years ago and yet those agonizing last words which the doctor left us with still remain fresh in my memory encompassing everything else that she left us with.

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