I got the call from the hospital, and drove through the flake-laden darkness to her hospice room for the final time. Death had wiped away all signs of stress, my mom looked peaceful and at least ten years younger. I sat with her body for a bit, eventually moved to gather the flowers and cards and the blanket that had been knitted just for her. I paused at the door for one last look, and then the coroner came to take her away. The rest of the evening passed in a vague blur.
"Grief, the shadow-ghost that had been lingering ever since my father passed a little over a year before, invaded my world yet again."
Morning came with a rush of remembrance. Grief, the shadow-ghost that had been lingering ever since my father passed a little over a year before, invaded my world yet again. I brewed some tea, a small, warm comfort, and signed in to check my e-mail. I found an update from Daniel Martin Diaz, a Tuscan artist who occasionally sends newsletters regarding his work. He was announcing a new piece of art that, like many of his paintings, contained both text and image. This particular piece was of a stylized sugar skull, along with the Latin phrase, “Etiam in morte, perdurat amor.”
My tea cooled as I stared at the screen, incredulous as I translated the words. Tears came as I plugged them into the computer, just to make sure my translation was correct. Sure enough, the phrase that arrived via my in-box less than a dozen hours after my mother had passed, read…
“Even in death, love prevails.”
I thought about ordering a print of that work, but time went on and I lost my window of opportunity. The sentiment and its spectacular timing stayed with me, though, and I was inspired to create my own sugar skull design. It is dedicated to those that we hold near and dear in our hearts.