top of page

Letters To My Mother: Letter Fifteen

Dear Mom,

Well, I am sitting here next to you lady, watching you sleep. It looks like you’ve taken a turn for the worse and ended up here in Hospice care. The doctor told Carl you are dying. It’s what we’ve been waiting for I guess, but no one, if they are telling the truth, is truly ready for death.

I arrived here yesterday morning at about 3:45am. I was up in the north woods looking for answers among the trees and drove the four and a half hours to get to you. You woke up shortly after I sat next to you and said, “I wouldn’t die.” I won’t get into everything else you said. Later that afternoon when we were alone, you had tears literally falling from your eyes down your pretty face, and those tears told a story. I sat there holding your hand and you said a few things in between the sadness. One was that I reminded you of your daddy the way I sat and tilted my head and shoulders. Then you told me you didn’t die because you were waiting for me to get there. You said, “I needed to see all my children.” I asked if you had anyone else to see and you said that you saw everyone and you were now ready. I told you through a few tears of my own that it was okay to let go now. I believe you heard the same from Carl today. It’s okay, sweet mother, it is time to stop fighting this thing and move on down the road.

You then talked a lot about Charlotte and said that she’s been coming to visit you and there was a dim light and she was close. You always said when you die that Charlotte will come. I know there was some turmoil with that girl now and again, but you were meant to be her momma. You were meant to be the one who lifted her to be her best self and care for her while she walked this earth. She loved you and will guide you to wherever she has been. I’m certain of that.

I think about how much love you have had in this room the past couple of days. It has felt strong, genuine, and real. That is what you have built. It is a family that holds you up high. You said this evening before everyone left that you may be leaving. It is okay to leave us now. That day has come.

After the room cleared, you asked me to sit next to you. We talked about car rides and country air, and I told you it wasn’t too late for me to put you in my truck and take you west until we saw some mountains. You gave me that look of yours and said, “You’d probably go find us a mountain lion.” You may be right about that. I once told you that being taken by a mountain lion might just be a good death. “At least the damn thing would know he’s been in a fight,” I added. I’m not so sure about that anymore. I think a good death is being surrounded by people who love you. Yours will be a good one because of love.

Before you fell asleep you asked me what I was going to do. When I told you I brought my computer with me you said, “Oh hon, can you sit next to me and write me a letter while I sleep?”

Well mom, it’s time for your son to get a little more real. You won’t read anymore of these letters, but I wouldn’t ever hold back anyhow. If nothing else, I tell my truth. I am sitting here feeling helpless. As you know, I like to “fix” things. I like to try to lift you up from those bad places. There isn’t a damn thing I can do about this. I am powerless to death. I heard you were hallucinating last night and having bad thoughts and dreams about dad. He can’t hurt you anymore. Yesterday you said to me, “I would have never let him hurt you if I would have known.” I know that but this boy's back wasn’t quite broken from his blows, so I kept quiet. I hate it that he still enters your nightmares. I can’t fix that either. We share some pain, don’t we? I then told you that I forgave him long ago because I am the better man. You liked that and agreed. Still, I sit here now and watch you sleep and look at your face laying sideways on the pillow and I see pain. Not just from the past few years but a lifetime that has added up and held tight to the shine in your eyes. I want that pain to go away. It’s hard for a son to want his mother to let go of life. It’s like letting go of my own. However, it is the most loving thing I can do for you now, to encourage you to let go.

I am almost afraid to go to sleep. I listen to your breathing and don’t want to miss the last one. However, there is also some peace knowing we will share the same air tonight. Our breath will mix, as will the beat of our hearts. The last breath. I’m not sure why I am thinking about something that no one knows when it will happen. No one can predict when that last breath will be. Someone will miss it or maybe everyone will. Death is hot tar on soft skin. It’s a bee sting to the eyes, and it’s a soothing, cool cloth on your face. Death is joyous and destructive and it’s a celebration and a suffocation from a lead pillow. It brings so many emotions and all within three of your breaths, watching you lay there with an older version of my face.

I’m tired now. I think I will just lay back here in this chair, close to you, and fall asleep listening to the sounds of life coming from you, along with the rattle of death that appears every so often from somewhere deep inside.

I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring. I never have and never will because I have chosen to live in the moment and one day I’ll choose to die in the moment. I am here for your moment if that comes tonight. Oh dear mom, I will miss having you around.

You left me this message Tuesday before this new phase came your way:

“I promised myself that I would love my children with every fiber of my being. I think I have accomplished that, do they ever get tired of hour long good-byes, hugs over and over as the time slipped away. I think if I say it enough it will be so! My love has no depth, it lives in an eternal cavern of joy. I can feel the love long after our good-byes. No, I will never say goodbye. Only see you on the Other Side. LVU

Like Dylan says, Chuckie you are my blue eyed son.” 😘



62 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page