I was sitting at the foot of my father-in-law’s hospice hospital bed when I heard from Midway Journal that they’d accepted this essay for publication.

Moises had passed away only an hour before.

“A Sharp, Distant Applause” is about my mother’s death and the gift of hospice to her and my family. It’s not a happy topic but a necessary, real one.

Thank you Midway Journal for seeing the humanity in fighting for death. Thank you for dropping God into that sad, snowy, spring day in Cleveland. Thank you for reminding me, the writer, that words can heal and that grace — whoever, whatever that might be — is everywhere, always, in moments of joy and harsh suffering.

The timing of the acceptance was a beacon, a call, one of those coincidences that comes with shivers and goosebumps. I had submitted this essay to many other journals but accepted their offer without hesitation or regret.

To anyone brave enough to read this, I hope it honors my mother, my brother and all those health care providers who are not afraid of death.

Please read “A Sharp, Distant Applause” here.