They could have been clouds…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a metaphor from Bob Morris…

My mother died 10 years ago last month. I still remember the inexorable hours I spent in her hospital room, comforting her, feeding her and negotiating with doctors. She had had a massive heart attack that January and hung on for four months. Fortunately, she was able to spend much of that time at her apartment, but when she died, it was in hospital.

Losing a parent is such a definitive, life-changing event. I now read accounts and remembrances of other people’s experiences of this unavoidable milestone with enormous interest. This, in fact, is what led me to the Bob Morris Opinionator piece in the May 30/15 New York Times — about the death of his own father — headlined “Directing the Final Scene.  One particular image stood out for me. Morris wrote:

We sat, we waited as members of the hospital staff in white moved with such gentleness that they could have been clouds.

This perfectly captured my own experience as well. At one point, when my mother had caught pneumonia, and it appeared as though death was imminent, we were assigned a nurse. The nurse sat quietly in a corner and drifted in and out of the room (like clouds!) to give us privacy. She was so calm and so respectful that we never felt she impinged upon our lives. Instead, we were supremely grateful for the way she contributed to the peacefulness of the room.

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