When the plane carrying many of the highest ranking members of the Polish government crashed six weeks ago, the nation went into shock, but one woman knew nothing of the tragedy -- the president's mother.
Jadwiga Kaczynska, 83, was not told about the death of her son and daughter-in-law because her doctors feared she was too frail to take the news -- until Tuesday.
So today, Polish Mother's Day, a day when streets are filled with with sons and daughters of all ages carrying flowers and presents to their moms, Kaczynska was coming to grips with the news that her son, President Lech Kaczynski, and his wife Maria had died six weeks before.
Kaczynska is critically ill. She has been in hospital for the past three months with cardiological and pulmonary problems, and spent most of the time under a respirator.
In the weeks before his fatal air crash, the president canceled foreign trips and domestic appointments to be at her bedside. His countrymen understood and sympathized.
Investigators into the accident say that the last call on his satellite phone before the crash near Smolensk, Russia, on April 10, was to his mother's doctor.
Adam Bielan, a close friend of the late President told reporters two weeks after the crash, "Jadwiga keeps asking where Lech is."
Doctors decreed she was too frail to take the news when it happened. Until Mother's Day she was one of the very few in Poland oblivious of her son's death.
But just days before the holiday her condition improved.
The president's almost identical twin brother, Jaroslaw, 60, head of Poland's Law and Justice Party and now running for president himself, broke the news to their mother.
"He felt he just had to do it before Mother's Day, in spite of medical reasons. How else could he visit his mom on Mother's Day alone, if for decades her beloved twins always visited their mom together? How long could the truth be concealed?" a spokesperson for Jaroslaw Kaczynski told ABC News.
According to Elzbieta Jakubiak, head of Jaroslaw Kaczynski's presidential campaign, the news came as a huge blow.
"But I believe their mother, Jadwiga is a strong woman. I think that even in her ill state she is able to find the strength to give his shattered twin Jaroslaw the love and support that he now needs. This was the most difficult moment in Jaroslaw Kaczynski's life," she told the TVN24 news channel.
"I really feel for him. Jaroslaw was in a position difficult to grasp for most of us," Jakubiak. "And yet at the same time, I think this is a relief for him. It's also a relief for the mother, who should finally know about this."
In an Agence France Press interview Jakubiak said, "Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Marta Kaczynska (the 30-year-old daughter of the late president) are now with Jadwiga at the hospital to mourn the deaths of the president, his wife Maria and everyone else on that flight. The president's mother asked about the circumstances of the disaster and also about the other victims."
Even though the presidential election, in which Jaroslaw Kaczynski is facing off against parliamentary speaker Bronislaw Komorowski, is scheduled for June 20, the president's brother, deep in mourning, has kept a very low profile.
In a rare and frank moment he told reporters a few days ago how he feared informing his mother of the death of his twin, Lech.
"Mama still doesn't know that Lech is dead. She has been in poor mental condition for a long time and has sometimes mistaken me for Lech, something which had never happened before. She is now fully lucid and in the coming days I should tell her the truth. Honestly, I am scared."
Since the news had been broken, Jaroslaw Kaczynski has not spoken publicly. His aide, Elzbieta Jakubiak said she didn't have any details because the family was spending time together in private.
A spokesperson for the late President's brother told ABC News, "Their mother took the news very badly, but not tragically. She is strong enough. A tough woman, a soldier in World War II. She understands she had sons who served the state. Today, she fully realizes she has only one son left who must continue in the wake of his brother, the late president. Even in her frail condition, from her hospital bed, she will surround her remaining son with the love and support he now needs to run for office."