My Mother z"l passed away last week on Asara Be'Tevet after a prolonged illness wracked with terrible pain.
My Mother was a Holocaust survivor, having endured the horrible gehinom of Auschwitz with everything we already know that occured in that extermination camp. She survived the death March, near death from Typhus after liberation, incarceration in Cyprus, the 1948 War of Independence and the 1956 Sinai War. In 1960 my parents emigrated to America and the family grew bli ayin hara.
In 2001 my father z"l passed away and on Purim five years ago, she lost her beloved daughter, our sister, at the young age of 51.
The above is a quick synopsis of what transpired in my mother's life in order to get to the point I was urged by rabbis to relate to the world.
In the last years of her life my mother's health spiraled downwards to the point of having to be connected to an oxygen machine 24 hours a day and being confined to bed.
Many times during the last six months we thought she is about to leave us, but she always rallied back...untill..
We live a floor below her and we would check on her many times during the day and night.
It was my almost daily routine to go a 7 30 Shachris minyan. At 7 - 7:10 I would go upstairs to turn on the gas in case her gentile, Hungarian aide needed to cook something for my mother (to prevent bishul akum, a halakhic issue, ed.). I would check my mother to make sure she's ok.
On Asara Betevet I went to an earlier minyan, at 6:30 and upon returning simply forgot to go upstairs to light the gas and check.
At 8 o'clock I get a phone call...My mother's aide is crying hysterically that I should "...come quickly because something happened..."
It immediately registered what possibly could have happened and I rushed up the stairs.
I went into my mother's room. She was white as a ghost and 'sleeping peacefully.'
I called out to her a number of times and not getting any reaction. I shut off the oxygen, covered her with a sheet and left her room, closing the door.
The aide was standing there crying and shaking uncontrollably.
"What happened?" I asked.
""As I do every day at 6 or thereabouts, I went in to give her something to drink.
She refused and told me to " get out of the room".
I asked her " why should I leave?"
"I'm talking to Him, please get out"
"Who are you talking to?" I. asked.
"I'm talking to G-D...leave the room..."
" I shivered and quickly left, closing the door behind me. I went in a few minutes ago but she was gone".
In the last minutes of her life, my Mother A"H had the clarity of mind to realize that she doesn't want a non-Jewish person in her room during her Yetziat Neshomo (when her soul leaves her body, ed.).
Though extremely weak and barely audible for many weeks, she spoke clearly, firmly and loud enough to have the short conversation in Hungarian, the only language the aide speaks. Conversing with Hashem ,she wanted her last breath to be in a pure atmosphere around her and to remain untainted.
Yehi Zichra Baruch..