When my mom died, it was during the pandemic. I was a country away and was unable to get to her in time to say goodbye. The complicating factor was the space between her being diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia and her being put on morphine for the pain was a nano second. She never came round once she was on the powerful pain meds. I’m grateful she was out of pain, but the rub was that none of us had a chance for closure, even my brother who lived nearby. I had given him a list of things to say to our mom when he visited – in case it was the last time. I am indebted to him for telling her all that my heart held. She was diagnosed on a Thursday, my brother visited on Saturday and on Monday she died. The silence her death created was a white noise of grief that I had never before experienced. Although many tried to step into that private-vulnerable-painful time with words of comfort, the best moments were when my friends and family just sat with me in silence, letting me cry or talk or be. Many of these times were virtual, because of the times. The space between life and death is … indescribable by words. Only silence captures the enormity of the gulf.

there is comfort
that only comes from silence–
words say too much