The last gesture


In the last hours of her life, my mother held my hand long and repeatedly with her folded hands. They were touching moments of great closeness. I felt that we both wanted to let go, but could not. When our hands separated, they sought each other again. When they rested in each other again, I suddenly remembered similar moments in my early childhood.

My mother would come to my bedside, fold my hands and I would pray with her, “I am small, my heart is pure, let none dwell in it but Jesus alone.” One night I held my mother’s hands and said, “I can’t pray this. You don’t want me to lie.” I answered her astonished look: “I do want you to live in it – and not Jesus.“

Whenever my mother held my hand with only her right hand in her last hours of life, she lifted her left forearm from the bedspread. She would slightly open the lifted hand and stretch it out a little with her fingers. Then her fingers relaxed and she put her arm back on the bedspread. I had never seen a movement like this before. And to this last gesture of hers no memory gives me words.

Robert Krokowski

The last gesture