Your Last Breath Was Our Forgiveness

by Jennifer Lothrigel



We didn't speak

for years — 

your words always hurt.


Nine days after my other grandma died,

I awoke from a vision of myself

sitting at your funeral

on a hard wood bench.

I was near the back of the church.

I tried to remember a time

you might have loved me.


An hour later Dad called

to say you had been rushed to the hospital,

your aorta torn.


I went to see you because my vision told me to

and because I didn't want you to leave, incomplete.

I didn't know until later

that you had asked for me.


I arrived just as they placed your breathing tube.

For a few seconds, we spoke a truce with our eyes

and then you shut them and began your transition.


I slept in your room

in a hospital chair,

because I couldn't bare the thought of you dying alone.

But the truth is,

it was the only time we were able to love each other

without all the baggage.


On your last day

I touched your hand.

I had never felt your skin.

It was so soft, beautiful,

only gently lined with age.

I told you not to be afraid.


Then you and I, and the setting sun,

all let go together.

Your last breath was our forgiveness.


Jennifer Lothrigel

Jennifer Lothrigel is an artist and poet residing in Southern California. Her work is an exploration of the feminine psyche, both personal and archetypal. She creates intuitively, draws from the mystery of the unconscious, and weaves her findings together. Learn more about her work at, and follow her on Instagram.