On the Night My Mother Died
On the night my mother died, it snowed.
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.
Donna Quattrone is an artist, author, photographer and tribal fusion dancer. Photography by Donna Quattrone.