You are a fierce warrior. You have stood up straight and strong for all of your nine decades of life.
You are powerful. You were the first warrior woman I ever knew. You stood up for yourself when the Catholic Church told you to stay quiet and obedient. You stood with your hands on your hips when the schools told you to send your girls out into the snow wearing skirts.
You have never backed down, even when the idea of standing up made your hands shake.
You are a tired warrior now. I think that you have fought all of your battles, and I think that you have nothing left to prove.
You have raised a troop of healthy, happy children. You have watched your grandchildren grow and thrive and multiply.
I think that your journey is complete.
In my loving daughter’s heart, I think that you have earned your turn to rest.
I stand outside tonight, under the Hunter’s Moon. I breathe in the crisp scent of the dying year. The gentle exhalation of the oak leaves, the wet smooth smell of the soil, the bitter scent of fallen seeds. I pull them into myself. I hold my breath.
I think of you.
I think of how fiercely you are holding on to this life.
I wish that I could tell you that your work here is done. You have earned your gentle rest. You have been a loving wife, a supportive mother, a loyal friend. You have done enough. You have been both good and worthy.
“Please go gentle into that good night,
Old age should sigh and smile at close of day;
Embrace, embrace the dying of the light.
And you, my mother, there on the proud height,
Bless, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Please go gentle into that good night.
Embrace, embrace the glowing of the light.”
You can, if you choose, let go.