In this lyrical adieu to her mother, renowned Catholic essayist, poet, and professor Angela O’Donnell explores how the mundane tasks of caregiving during her mother’s final days—bathing, feeding, taking her for a walk in the wheelchair—became rituals or ordinary sacraments that revealed traces of the divine. This deeply human portrait of loss is balanced by the surprising grace found in letting go and will resonate with any spiritual reader, but especially caregivers and those currently in grief.
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell teaches courses in English and interdisciplinary courses in American Catholic Studies at Fordham University in New York City. She also serves as Associate Director of Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies. O’Donnell has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been a finalist for the Foley Poetry Prize and the Mulberry Poets and Writers Award. She also writes essays on and reviews of contemporary poetry and literature.