Creating a Dignified Transition: A Daughter’s Gift to Her Mother

Eugenia (Jenny) Eurilda DeCosta Hylton in Plainesville, Ohio in 1957.

Creating a dignified transition was a daughter’s last gift to her mother.

My friend’s mom was 100 years old when she recently passed.

And though I never met her, I witnessed from a distance the tenderness that accompanied her last months.

My friend was clear that being in one another’s company during this time when her mother needed near round-the-clock care was the only choice .

Here was a daughter who created room in her home and time in her life so her mom’s last days were spent in heart space.

A daughter who fought daily fatigue to comfort and tend to another.

The email read, “My mom transitioned this morning. I am heading straight to bed now.”

Maureen Hylton cared for her mom, Jenny, through the end of her life.

From my cross country location I saw deep humanity accompanying exhausting days.

And I know that living that choice couldn’t have been easy.

I have to wonder if at its roots was a quiet, mutual understanding.

Personal and Social Justice

I saw two lives in service to one another, even — maybe especially — as one moved from purposeful to incapacitated.

Ultimately this love story is a triumph of personal justice.

For my friend it was simply the right thing to do and the right way to be.

Her decision demonstrated grace and grit, and it was in harmony with her heart’s intelligence.

And her mother was an equal partner.

She willingly received during what might have been the most vulnerable time of her life.

The email read, “My mom transitioned this morning. I am heading straight to bed now.”

What I had seen through occasional emails and conversations was a glimpse of what love looks like in private.

And in a similar way the empathy we show one another and the actions we take on behalf of fellow human beings, of animals and of the planet has a comparable resonance.

My friend’s love and action with her mother is an up close look at what Cornel West says we have a chance to demonstrate to one another in public.

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public,” he said.

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Ellen Synakowski lives in Laramie, Wyoming.
Her website is EllenSynakowski.com

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.1  — C. West

3 thoughts on “Creating a Dignified Transition: A Daughter’s Gift to Her Mother”

  1. Beautiful story. I think of it as a circle of life; a caring mother to child, a caring child to mother. Love is not always easy, but is always right. Perfect.

    p.s. My mom has passed, but I remeber back assisting her with her shower. My always ‘proud and do it herself mother’ gave herself permission to accept my help. For me, that moment made my heart so tender for her. She gave me a life lasting gift.

    Thanks for sharing, Ellen.

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