Caregiver · Death

Godspeed / April 15, 2008

My Mom died this afternoon at 2 PM.  My sister and I were fortunate enough to be with her when she stepped fully into the afterlife.  The Hospice nurse had adjusted her medications earlier, then the waters calmed and she seemed set on a peaceful course.  We noticed her hands becoming cool and her skin color changing.  Her breathing became shallower and shallower, and I knew she was on her way.  She took a last breath and was gone.

That moment was like a window flying open.  My mother’s spirit took off and all the bottled-up feelings came loose.   There has been so much grieving over the past few years–in increments–that right now I only want to piece together the mother I had for the first fifty-two years of my life.  I’m heartbroken but relieved that she might now be able to understand the past few years–why she couldn’t stay in her home, why her mother never came to visit her.

We each have to come to terms with death in our own way.  It’s not any nobler or braver to be an atheist than it is to believe in God.  The noble part is living by your beliefs.

13 thoughts on “Godspeed / April 15, 2008

  1. Patty McNally Doherty Says:
    April 15th, 2008 at 6:47 pm
    Dear Deb,

    What a beautiful, heartfelt post. Thank you for letting us know. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Love,
    Patty

  2. Gail Rae Hudson Says:
    April 15th, 2008 at 9:47 pm
    I’m glad you were able to be there.

    I’m leaning into you.

    Your post puts me in mind that the mother you “had” is the mother you will always have. The daughter she “had” is the daughter she will always have.

    Fullness to you both in this new circumstance of your mutual relationship.

    I thank you, too, for this post.

    Love, –Gail

  3. Pam Says:
    April 16th, 2008 at 4:57 am
    The first three words of your post stunned me into reliving the final momemts of my Mom’s life. Then your words “relieved that she might now be able to understand” brought me immediate calm and peace. I never even thought of it that way before. I hope your Mom and my Mom can know each other in the better place they are now in. We were blessed to have had them for our Mom and to have been with them in their final moments. I too thank you for your post and send you love and good thoughts.

  4. michaelm Says:
    April 16th, 2008 at 6:52 am
    I’m so very sorry, Deb.
    I saw your URL in my dashboard this morning and usually I wouldn’t click on it but I did today.
    Maybe it was intuition.
    At any rate, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom. Her soul can shine once again.
    Hope you’re well.
    ~m

  5. Paula from Caring Says:
    April 16th, 2008 at 2:50 pm
    Thank you for this lovely post (and for sharing the rest of your journey in this blog). I went through this less than four months ago. “I only want to piece together the mother I had for the first 52 years” is a very healing perspective.
    Wishing you well.

  6. Maggie Says:
    April 19th, 2008 at 10:14 am
    Hello there,

    Will be thinking of you and your sister over the next few days and weeks.

    My Dad died last July, and we were fortunate enough to be with him. He went very peacefully at the end.

    Sadly we were not with Mum when she died in September. She had been on the Liverpool Care Plan for the Dying for 8 days, so had basically been asleep all that time. The Staff Nurse phoned us to say her breathing had changed, but we couldn’t make it to the hospital in time.

    I have taken a lot of comfort from looking at the old family photos, many of which I had never seen before, and the rest hadn’t seen for around 50 years.

    I hope that you can get some peace, but would urge you and your sister to seek bereavement counselling if things are difficult. I’ve been going for around 2 months now to a counsellor I saw about 10 years ago when I became disabled, and the last couple of weeks am beginning to feel somewhat better about everything.

    Before I felt fragmented, out of control, and not really able to grieve.

    Sending you and your sister hugs from over the water in Liverpool.

  7. Paula Martinac Says:
    April 26th, 2008 at 10:31 am
    Dear Deb,

    I just checked in at your blog for the first time in a very long time and found the post about your mom’s passing. I totally understand your “relief” that “now she might understand.” Although I’ve been absent from this caregivers’ support community for quite a while, the people like you that I met and who showed me such support have remained in my heart. I’m thinking of you, and I thank you for this very moving post.

    Paula

  8. Gerry Orme Says:
    April 26th, 2008 at 11:27 am
    Condolences on your families loss.
    And to you and the many caregivers whose lives are so deeply affected by this disease, a huge recognition of the warmth and courage to persist in the caring of someone who at times, does not even recognize you.
    Having witnessed this in our family, who are originally from RI, it is diffcult, for me to put into words the experiences of tending someone who has Alzheimers.
    Thank you for expressing your experience, strength and hope.

  9. Karma Says:
    April 30th, 2008 at 11:36 pm
    I’m so sorry for your loss, but grateful that your mother’s suffering has ended. Thank you for sharing this process; it has certainly be helpful for me to read your blog postings. Take care of yourself in this difficult time of mourning.

  10. Gail Rae Hudson Says:
    June 8th, 2008 at 10:11 am
    Deb,
    I was sooo pleased to hear from you and especially pleased that you wrote a comment to one of my posts! I would have responded to you by email but my Mac hard drive finally died last Friday so it’s in getting a new one. Should be out of the shop tomorrow. Thus, on this computer (which I hate and rarely use), I didn’t have your email address, unfortunately.
    Anyway, how are you doing? Let me know when it’s appropriate for you.
    And, as it turns out, I have to monitor Mom’s meds at the facility, as well. The tweaking continues…it’s very weird, but at least the tweaking only involves the timing and amounts of her usual meds, not having to look for psycho-actives that they might be trying to slip her. That’s a relief!
    I’ll write more when I get my old, trusty Mac back and restore my back-up so that I have access to your email address.
    I hope life is evening out for you. Keep in touch as you can and I will do the same.

    Thank you for the good wishes…everything helps!

    Love,

    Gail

  11. Patricia Howitt Says:
    July 1st, 2008 at 4:31 pm
    Hello Deb

    I am saddened to hear of your loss, but at the same time I know the peace that can flow when a bound spirit is liberated at last. You and I will be looking back now to recover our memories of our real mother who helped us through OUR lives. As I pick up the pieces I had already written for my blog, and move on to telling the end of my mom’s story, I can sometimes hardly believe these things actually happened, but they did.

    Time heals our wounds, and I know that like me you will not regret a moment of what you gave to help your dear mom in her final years.

    God Bless You and fill you with His Peace that passes all understanding. Thank you for stopping by and visiting me. I hope we can keep in touch.

    Much Love,
    Patricia

  12. Bert Piedmont Says:
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:45 pm
    I’m sorry that I missed this post. It is a curious mingling of sadness and relief when someone like this dies. I hope you are doing well.
    -Bert
    alzhiemersdad.blogspot.com

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