Slice of Life: Holding On

This weekend was hard. It was hard for my kids to see their grandfather slip away.

Sitting in that room, gathered around they see glimmers of their papa. He rallies for a moment then goes back to sleep. My son rubs his eyes and puts his head down. My daughter looks at him, her eyes red and swollen. She holds his hand. There is no hiding the fact that recovery isn’t possible.  The road has been long; the deterioration has been slow.  The fact that they can’t reach him hits them hard.

Walking out to our cars, saying our goodbyes, my son stands at the gate, frozen. I hug him, holding back tears, willing myself not to cry, trying to be strong.

My daughter leans in; wipes her face on my shoulder unafraid to hold on and not let go.

My husband’s silly joke makes it possible to walk out the gate and go on.  What a gift he gives us by lightening the load with a laugh.

Seeing a person slip away, you can’t help but wonder, where’d they go. Are they there and we just can’t see them?

The hospice nurse says this is a part of the process, which doesn’t answer any questions that are swirling around us.

We go home and hold our breath waiting and wondering. Holding on and holding back.


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers Blog for a space to share ourselves as writers and teachers of writing. Read more slices here.