Janina with my sister Susan, 1966.

My mother died on the Vernal Equinox, March 20, 2020. She passed away mid-morning, in her sleep. She was 77 years old. She had been suffering. From what? From life. My mother had a spinal injury in her mid-50’s, and she had lived for years with chronic pain. After my father passed away in 2009, in her insurmountable grief and difficulty, she succumbed to alcoholism, which led to stroke, which combined with the damaged caused by the spinal injury resulted in a slow and painful demise into dementia, and eventually, an inglorious, solitary, pathetic and regrettable death.

Old age is cruel. Once vibrant men and women become enslaved to the decrepitude of their bodies, with no recourse, no option but to watch their slow and evil decline into utter helplessness, with all of the accompanying loss of dignity that comes with losing control of your body.

How does one express grief? What words can ever be said to adequately encompass the loss, the sense of futility, and anger at the injustice that befalls our loved ones? No words can ever suffice. Love is eternal, but I wish I still had my Mom.

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