This is something I wrote for my book of short stories called "Unsent Letters". It's fiction. I wrote it a few weeks back. I hope you like it.
Sophia died today. I’m sorry I had to be the one to tell you. I was hoping you would hear it from another, as I hate to be a bearer of bad news.
You know she’d been sick and you hadn't come around lately. I’m not trying to make you feel worse than you already do, trust me. I’m only pointing it out because no one knew how to reach you. And she asked for you. She asked for you twice. Once, right after you left for the last time. The second and final time, it was the day that she died. Today.
In the morning, I got a call from Norman. He told me he’d been up with Sophia most of the night. He said she’d awakened several times in the night and would start coughing so badly that she was spitting out blood. She was in and out of sleep. At one point, he said he could hear her talking, whispering. He went closer to her and noticed she had fallen asleep again, but was talking to someone. She said “It only hurts some of the time”. And that’s all he could make out.
She refused to go back to the hospital. She knew her time was near and didn't want to die in that sterile place, hooked up to machines. She wanted to leave on her own terms in her own bed in the house she so dearly loved.
She would tell me about the great times she had in that house with her husband before he died. She told me stories of the Christmases she spent there, surrounded by her children. There was so much love and warmth, leftover from the memories she cherished. She wanted to be there in the bed she shared with Raymond, with the pictures of her family on the walls. No one wanted to rip her away from that. So we stayed with her the whole time. Mostly in her room.
Did you know that Sophia was only 75? I know it seems like a lot, compared to us. She’d lived a lot before we came into her care. Her stories never got old to me, though. Even the ones I’d heard before, I was always happy when she’d retell them. Her eyes would light up and I could see what happened, in her eyes.
Sophia was not our mother. I know that’s what you’d say because you've said it before. I know in some ways, you feel as if she failed you. Again, I don’t want to make you feel worse. Even if you won’t admit it to me, I know that you missed her. And you have to know that she missed you too. Sophia did all she could possibly do for you. And if your mother hadn't come back, she was going to keep you, like she kept Norman and me.
I walked into her room this morning, knowing she was gone. They’d taken her out of there, and even though I knew she was gone, I could still feel her there. I could feel her warmth. If you want to say good-bye, I’m sure you can feel her there too.