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Enter Mourning

Chapter 9: Safe Passage

In the end, palliative care. Pure love and shared presence.
It strikes me that I am being born again. Or rather, there are two things going on. I feel as though I’m serving almost as a midwife here, soothing Mum’s journey toward death and acting as her trusted navigator. And in making that journey so close to her skin, so close to death, I am being born into a new sense of myself and my own aliveness: on the other side of the fear of death, on the other side of my insecurity, of my fear of living fully.

Epilogue

….When Norma and I arrived half an hour later, the bars on the bed were down; no danger of Mum falling out of bed now. Seeing them down, Mum so obviously beyond the need of their protection anymore, I burst into tears, flung myself against her body, and howled.

But not for long. In fact, I felt amazingly calm, serene almost.

Enter Mourning Testimonials

Heather Menzies is available for speaking engagements on the themes of Enter Mourning: A Memoir on Death, Dementia and Coming Home as well as those of previous books. For information about booking Heather. Speech to the British Columbia Nurses' Union 2011 Annual...