I cannot believe that almost two and a half years have gone by and she is nowhere on earth to be found. I remember the day her physical body left us. It was a Sunday afternoon. I was coming back from Queens after dropping off a distant cousin because she was an exchange student. My mother had been in the hospital a few weeks with liver cancer and we knew she was in bad shape. Us siblings were taking turns sleeping over in the hospital. Our culture always taught us to take care for our elderly always and we did not believe in community homes. I remember reading a study that an elderly person lived longer if they lived at home. I guess something about loneliness eats you up alive.
Anyway, on the way home I was feeling some kind of chest discomfort. It was not exactly pain but a kind of worry. Or was it like when you cry and you feel a turbulence inside your soul? I do not know but I was confused. I knew it meant something because in spirituality I gained much sense of intuition and that led me to believe I was supposed to pay attention to it. I thought about my mother but I had already signed myself to sleep over on Monday. I looked for every sign I could while driving. The sky was clear and no clouds were in sight. I looked for a specific bird but nothing. Something was not right but I just drove and left it to God. When I reached the exit to New Rochelle I steered my wheel to my left as usual and then made a right to go towards my home. But that day my wheel steered on its own towards the complete 360 degree circle and I went back on the highway I was on, where I had come from. I am convinced that some mystical power led me to turn and so the next thing on my mind was “I guess I am going to the hospital”. I was convinced that I was supposed to get there for some reason. Some overhead power gently brought me to be with my mother. I was sure it was for a purpose. I was not scared and I did not even dial any of my brother's numbers, I just knew it was my place to go to.
When I got to that hospital with that insane name of The Calvary, (who wants to know that they are being sent to a place with that name.) I got to the fifth floor and I saw the door open. It was quiet and so I thought she was sleeping like always. She was on palliative care and so we were just glad she was not in any pain. As I got closer to the door I see all these people standing around her bed. I realized it was everyone. It was like some kind of gathering of the Native Americans when they were having an event or something like that. It scared me. It was like a ritual or something. Her brother and sisters were there. Their company helped alleviate the pain and suffering for us brothers. It scared me to see all these people surrounding the bed. I swear it must have been about 25 people, all cousins and aunts and uncles and my siblings. I felt a pressure on my chest and I knew with every fiber of my being that she had called me to be there for this moment.
I was so scared of what was about to happen. All I could see was her eyes open looking at the ceiling. They say that your loved ones come to help transition so you wont be afraid. I could not help but squeeze through whoever was next to her and look into her eyes and hold her hand and tell her how thankful I was for being our mother. I still remember her sad eyes losing their light while looking at me and just stare. I couldn’t make out what her feeling was but I do know that she knew it was me. My heart couldn’t stop bursting into tears. It's a sadness and hurt I have never felt in my life. It feels helpless like you're letting go of a loved one's hand when they are hanging from a cliff because you cannot hold them any longer. I held her head, I kissed her hands and I told her many times that I loved her. Next thing I remember is that other people wanted to do the same and so I stepped aside. I wanted to take a video of her while she had life inside of her but my brother told me not to. I wanted to do this so badly. I was gonna have no more memories of her alive. Why was it considered bad if it meant so much to me? I put my phone down and continued to stare at her in the last moments of her life. I couldn’t believe that soon her heart would stop pumping blood through her body and her organs would shut down. We were told that her blood pressure was very low and that it was a matter of minutes before she’d leave us.
I looked into her eyes and felt a loneliness to her. My intuition was that she wanted to be held by someone. My sister was to her left just where the bed could fold and so I said “AR, hold her or hug her” She tried to but said.” She’s heavy”. I felt an urge for my mother to be held, I saw it in her eyes. I went next to my sister and put my arm on her back and pulled her over to kind of sit up. “Here,” I said to my sister so she could hold her. I went to the other side of the bed so it was me and her on each side of my mother. I was remembering how her mother, my grandmother passed away in her son’s (my uncle) arms. I think that’s a comforting way to die. To this day I ask myself why I didn't hold her instead of telling my sister to do it herself. And I guess I gave both of them that honor because my mother had loved my sister much more than myself. There were always rumors that she was a love child. She overprotected her so much to the point of harming her in a way. So I thought this would make my mother happy. I’m not sure if my sister values that moment, I know I do.
Ever since that day, many good and bad things have happened. More bad things than good but I could never compare it with not having a mother. The person who made you inside her body and went through so much pain to bring you into this world. I live in her apartment now and I feel her presence here and there. I tell her many things in case she is able to listen. How come we can't have access to them once they pass?. Why can't we all be Mediums? Either way, life has never been the same without her. I will never be the same without her. Wherever you are, thank you for giving me life.
I realize the importance of grief. I believed I understood all this process of losing a loved one and then bam! I find myself crying and depressed missing my parents. We are human beings with feelings. We are not rocks. We are meant to validate feelings and set time aside to heal as much as we can.