The makeup of her life

The makeup of her life

ARTICLE 20

She turned heads. Her body was slim. She looked like a young girl although her wrinkles revealed her age. She dressed with a lot of color and wore a lot of makeup. When I went to see her daughter, who was the patient, we had a very interesting conversation.

She told me that the way she dressed and wore makeup, was in honor of her daughter who slept in a dream provoked by the medicine she was being administered at the time. 5 years before she had gone through the same thing. Her other daughter had passed away in the same way this one would. She said her daughters were over 40 years old, but to her, they were still her little girls.

She spoke about how with the first experience she was filled with sadness. She let herself go, forgot about the world and even about the daughter she had left. She was like that for two years. Too much lost time. She wore dark clothes, but now she understood that was was really dark was her heart. Her only pastime was opening her daughter’s closet, smelling and touching her clothes. During those two years she looked for her in the corners of her house, but couldn’t find her.

One of many days, she opened the closet and tired of the monotony of her state, she decided to get rid of those clothes and of hers as well.

She hesitated for a moment, at the same time something caught her eye. She went out to the hallway and over a piece of furniture she had a frame with her deceased daughter’s picture. In its corner, a big butterfly fluttered. She didn’t understand how it had gotten there or where it came in through, given that everything was closed. Its colors caught her eye. She looked at the room and then at the picture once again. The butterfly had disappeared.

She was certain that it had been a sign from her daughter, letting her know she wasn’t alone. She finally got rid of her daughter’s clothes, and of hers as well, and the sadness that invaded her for so long.

She learned to do makeup and dress with joyful colors. When winter came, more subtle colored clothes accompanied her with a scarf that gave her joy and freshness. She didn’t regret the change, even though her other daughter became ill a few years later. She said she felt it in her soul.

Being sad about the state of the daughter still in bed was inevitable. While we had that conversation, she asked her each day to go, to fly far away from that body battered by illness. She asked for forgiveness for offering her so much sadness during that time. One day the three of them will be together.

Her story reflected an example of courage. She said she was telling me because to her it was a necessity, a way of letting it out.

Meanwhile, she took out a handkerchief and wiped the tears off her face, carefully as to not mess up the makeup that tried to cover up the wrinkles made by the years and the pain of her soul.

I can understand the pain… Her pain!! It’s easier to say goodbye to parents, grandparents… our elders. I don’t want to think about the pain caused by losing a child, although the protagonist of this story taught me what she learned, to share it and help whoever needs it.

Carmen Rosa Rivero

Carmen Rosa Rivero

Carmen Rosa is a Reiki Master and a Nursing Assistant, with 11 years of experience in the Palliative Care Department of the Dr. Negrin University Hospital.

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