Well, of course. Most of the people ever, ever to have lived are dead. Why should I expect that my mother, myself, my partner, my friends, my children should be any different? We live, we die; in doing so, we make room for the people who inherit the human condition after us. But still, every moment is a new slash in the face, a new stutter of the heart, to realize that the woman who overshadowed my childhood, my young womanhood, my motherhood, isn't the element of nature she always seemed but fragile, mortal, friable, and too soon gone.
Words are what I do. Words are the only thing I can give to someone beyond any other gifts but my love. What does a woman who has said good-bye to her body, her family, her joys, her friends, and all but the stripped-down essence of herself need? Nothing. So I give her what I can: my love, my forgiveness, my hand in hers, my effort to give her my whole attention and hold my overflowing grief for some other place. And my words. I feel as if I've failed to manage the poetry I'd hoped to offer, and instead wound up howling to the empty air my anger, and my loss.