Mum says “Sorry to be taking so long over this.”
I ask “What?”
I am helping her undress on the bed ready for the night. Did she mean being slow with bedpan, hand wash, eye drops?
“No,” she says. “This.” She gestures with her head. “Dying.”
I pause in order to feel the right response. “Be true,” I think to myself.
“Are you afraid?”
“No. Not really. Just. I’m keeping you from getting on with your life.”
I wonder if she’d understand what I’ve come to understand.
Getting on with my life is happening, right under our noses. Inside, where it matters.
Growing. Becoming. Being.
It’s what we all do.
While we think we are waiting for it to start, it’s already chugging ahead.
Later I write this poem, inspired by a book I read on quantum physics:
I am living in a field of death.
No asphodels or grim shades grieving.
This is light
Dissolving into light.
We now know that all
For all time.
That we are each a
Distillation of light
And breath. A drop
Of nectar quivering
For a moment
On the skin of a petal.