She’d kicked off her sheets in those final moments, leaving a bloody mess for her daughter, who had set about cleaning up almost without hesitation. A brief second to confirm the end had come, a sojourn into the dining room to call the mortician, then back into room where the hospital bed had been sat for her mother to wait out her final days.
She tried to arrange the arms and legs under the sheets in some semblance of the grace her mother had tried to project in life. As heavy as a dead cat, the limbs were difficult to arrange, captured in linens. The short struggle forced her to admit she didn’t know what the old woman would have wanted.
Here she was, daughter at 42, the age of the secret to life, the universe, and everything. Decades of experience reduced to nothing, a little girl trapped in an aging body, nothing to show for it but a dead mother.