(You are reading this post on Monday, May 15. I’m writing it on Friday, May 12.)
My mom passed away yesterday and I haven’t stopped crying. I just know I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning and instead of a funeral to attend I am going to go over and have some morning coffee with her. I have to imagine that if I’m going to sleep tonight.
I’m going to share this grieving process on and off for the next few days and then I’m done except for the occasional reference.
When this journey with my mom began escalating last October, I prayed for three things.
First of all, wisdom. If I told you all the decisions I’ve made along the way you wouldn’t believe it. I look back and feel good because I believe I made all the right decisions. There were big ones like taking her out of rehab at a nursing home and bringing her home. It was a disastrous experience. We had no intention of letting her stay there anyway but another day would have completely put her over the edge. Within a few days, she was back to where she had been before we took her in.
There were little ones like….Come to think of it, they were no little decisions.
Secondly, I prayed we’d be able to keep her at home until the end. My brother and I had a few moments when we thought we might not be able to accomplish it, but, by golly we did. My brother lives with her so up until a couple of months before her death, he was able to handle the evenings. Then it came to a point where I felt he needed to sleep better so I hired nighttime help. Eventually, she had round-the-clock care except for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the late afternoon.
After my mom died and we could finally quit crying, my brother and I hugged, and said, “We did it,”
Third, I wanted to be there when she breathed her last breath. Maybe I should have re-thought that one. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I did it for her. My husband and I slept at my mom’s last week because I just had a hunch that things would move fast. They did. If we’d spent the nights in our own home, we would never have made it on time. I should add here that my husband considered my mom his mom. They truly loved each other.
So all three prayers were answered but God took it a step further and blessed me in unexpected ways.
- As my niece and I were bathing my mom, she opened both her eyes and made contact with me. It had been days since she had opened her eyes. I was the last person she saw before she died.
- It turned out that she died shortly after that which meant that the Hospice didn’t need to bathe her which they usually do. I and my niece prepared her body. Do you know how good that makes me feel do know that a stranger didn’t have to it? I massaged her frail little body with lotion and I like to believe she felt it.
I went to the Funeral Home website and there were pictures of two other women who died last week. They were older as well. While I grieve my loss, their children are grieving their loss. While this is my mother and my pain, I know I’m not alone. It was a reminder to me that other people lost their mothers this week. I share their grief.
Earlier today, we ordered some sandwich trays today at our local grocer and the woman waiting on us asked us what occasion we ordering for. In the course of our conversation, she told me she had lost her mother a few years back and then her son. She told me I was strong and that, like her, I would get through this. Her words were particularly comforting. She “got” my tears.
I hope she’s right because I seriously question how I’m going to get through this. But I would imagine I’m not the first person to feel this way.
My grandson asked me last week how I was doing. I told him I’m pretty much crying all the time. I told him that’s what grieving looks like, that I’m supposed to cry.
Having just now thought of that conversation, I guess I am going to get through this.
I hope your day goes well and God bless you.
(Obviously, I won’t be posting for a couple of days but I may schedule some older posts.)