I dreamt of you, Mama. You were of sound mind. You did not have dementia.
You said, “I think it is time for me to go to the other side.”
“Oh?” I respond.
“Yes, my soul is too heavy for this life.”
I ask, “Your soul is too heavy for this life, or your body is too heavy for your soul?”
“Yes,” you said, as if both are true. Then you reflected and said,
“But I don’t know know how to get there. May I will drive.”
“Mama, you don’t like to drive.”
“Oh, yes. Then how will I get there?”
“Your soul knows the way. Don’t worry.”
And I saw you gazing into the distance, your eyes clear except your one corner of your bad eye. Then you smiled a little,
“There are so many children playing. I want to be with them.” This made me smile too.
“That’s wonderful, Mama.”
Suddenly your expression changed,
“Oh Ruth, how horrible,” a sob escaped your lips, “it’s just awful.” You became distressed upon realizing, remembering the murdered children, these same children who were playing before you. You cried for a moment. I wondered,
“Do they remember how they died?”
“I don’t know,” you said. We were quiet. You, watching the children. Me, watching you. Watching your body for the last moments. Cherishing the moments, recalling how poignant it was being with Dad in his last weeks, months, hours. Saying goodbye to his physical vessel, his warm soft hands, his voice, his personality. Where does it all go? Ken. Dad. Diamond. Mom. Where are they? I am forever confounded.
I went to check on my girls. They seemed younger. I suggested to Elisheva that she take a shower. They were goofing off. I suppose the act of parenting, instructing, reassured me somehow.
You came out of your room. My room, really, but yours in the dream. You were in the hallway and your lip was turned out. You were dying, and you looked scary, Mama. You fell into my arms. Miraculously, I caught you without being knocked over, but able to soften your fall. I held you as you fell and I cried a silent cry, then I real one when I saw that you were gone.
Mama, let us, you and I, write your obituary.
Ruth Wiseman © November 2022