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In the days, by Britta Benson

This time, two years ago, I was sitting at my mum’s bedside, waiting for her to die. After fourteen months of fighting leukaemia, my mum had decided it was time to stop fighting. I spent ten very intense days with her, watching her transition from here to there. A quiet death. Dad and I held her hands until the very end and I think she was ready to leave before we were ready to let her go. Life takes as long as it takes, and so does death.

In the days

In the days

when she didn’t speak any more,

when the fight was done,

pain slid through a gap in the window,

and left almost unnoticed.

Mum’s face looked decades younger,

closed eyes smiled and laughed,

her small soul all packed up,

in limbo, readying.

Our panicked hearts

threw sticky spiderwebs

over her dying body,

trying anchor this silence

in the depth of our bargain.

We tugged and pulled,

held on to thin air.

I wondered what it was like,

stretching between worlds, gliding.

Mum just waited patiently

until we tugged no more,

cut our ties

and let her travel on.


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