The end

My children, three robust little beings, have made death much more real to me.

I can't remember my own beginnings; my earliest memories are spotty dreams. So I feel as if I'll end in the same vague way.

But Saskia had a definite, dramatic starting point. I can give concrete details - the day of the week, the room number, the precise time - of her birth. And it suddenly became clear to me that she will have as explicit an end.

Maybe that is partly what drives the fierceness of mother love: the desperate realization that all living things die.