87 years old hands, Alexander Kleppestø.

The family’s tears were shattered shards of brine as he slipped away, but she knew it meant something different for her than it did for her children.

“I see us meeting at the end of a long road,” was the last thing he said.

How had it come to this? While she wasn’t paying attention they were imperceptibly completing life, blending day with day, going from sleeping in tents to sleeping by glasses of teeth.

She moved into a small empty room, four walls alone, a lamp barely giving it light. Cleanliness, nothing but cleanliness — the orderlies made certain of that.

“It will get easier, mama.”

“Easier?”, she thought, “as easy as learning to live without breathing.”

She knelt, she wept, she prayed.

Frail at the final moment, her watery eyes never saw her invisible executioner’s shadow.

This entry is part of my journal, published January 20, 2014, in New York.