The Alchemy of Tending a Soul at Death’s Door
She claws at me, tearing at my skin.
Fierce! How can an 85 pound woman be so strong?
I learn quickly, shifting my angle to avoid her piercing nails, only to find her teeth lashing out, nipping my skin.
How did she learn to fight like this? Did she have to do this to protect herself, or is this completely instinctual?
I force myself to lean INTO her field, past the quick, feral arms, and whisper softly to her ear.
She’s scared, disoriented. I have to talk to her, stroke her, reassure her, let her know it’s OK.
This woman I barely know is dying.
The same woman who gave life to my beloved, and had used her life and death-giving powers to withhold love and physical affection when he needed it most.
This is my mother-in-law, and I am here to love her so she knows she is not alone.