My mother can finally rest in peace

My mother died Thursday morning.

It was a tough last few weeks, and the last hours were frankly brutal.

I can only hope she wasn’t in as much discomfort as she seemed, despite being given copious medications for pain and anxiety.

Mom loved her time in the Navy.

Mom loved her time in the Navy.

The hospice nurses and myself kept assuring Mom that it was ok to let go when she was ready. I felt like there was some internal struggle going on in there, despite the fact that she told me repeatedly that she was ready to go and was not afraid of death. She certainly did not want to linger in the state she did, non-responsive, devoid of her lively and happy personality, unable to eat or drink, and completely dependent upon me and the nurses for every task of living.

Maybe Mom’s spirit was just fighting with her stubborn body, and that determined heart of hers. The hospice nurses were quite surprised that Mom continued to live, considering the state of the rest of her body, but her heart and vital signs continued to be good. I was afraid, for her sake and mine, that it would continue to beat strong for much longer than it did. I was at her bedside when she drew her last breath, and I felt her heart beat slow, weaken and then come to a complete stop.

As you loyal followers know, this blog exists in part over guilt I had about my dad’s death, and how I wasn’t present when he died. I know being here to take care of my mom, and being present for her passing was the right thing to do.

But of course, there is a high price to pay on a psychic level by experiencing something so intense as a loved one dying. There are things I wish I hadn’t seen, tasks I wish I didn’t have to do. Time will no doubt provide a different perspective on the experience.

The important thing for now is that Mom was well-taken care of and she did not die alone.

As for what was beyond this life, Mom often said that, “It’s a good place and it’s a right place.”

I hope she’s right.

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10 Comments

Filed under Memories

10 responses to “My mother can finally rest in peace

  1. I’m sorry for you loss. I hope the hospice and your work with her helps you with the grief and sorrow. Now that I have lost both mom and dad, I smetimes think I can still call and ask them a questin. Sincere condolences for your loss.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. My mom’s been gone two weeks and it’s incredibly hard. I was there for my dad’s death but I went home to sleep with mom and she died at 4:20 am. As a nurse, I’ve been through hundreds of deaths but there is nothing like your parents. A pastor once told me that it was a blessing when people died with you. They only do it once, that always stayed with me. Wishing you peace and love. I need some of that too. ♡

    • I agree with you Jodi…there’s nothing like the loss of your parents. I hope you find the peace and support you are seeking. I thought because my mom was 95 and suffered from dementia, I would be prepared and even feel relief for her. On the contrary, I was completely grief stricken, and my sorrow did not ease quickly. Letting myself feel the emptiness inside me, and then writing about it, has helped get me (again, slowly) get to the other side. I can finally think of her and (usually) smile…My best to you, Hallie

      • Thank you Hallie…
        I think because it’s only been three weeks and the calls, food, cards and love are still coming. It seems to reopen open the wound, but not intentional by people. I have found that even when families say they are ready, they never are. Myself included. I’m 45 and so happy to have spent the majority of my life with her. My best to you too. ❤

    • Thank you Jodi. It is interesting to hear your perspective as a nurse. There is something about the loss of a parent that is particularly profound. Love and healing thoughts sent your way.

  3. Joy, I am glad you were with your mom when she passed.

  4. I am so sorry. I don’t think we can ever be prepared for the loss of our parents. My mom’s death at the age of 95 rattled me to my core; I think in part because our lives were so intertwined during her last years. One of the best things someone said to me then, and it might sound corny, but I am passing it to you: be kind to yourself. Her words allowed me to grieve, openly and freely, and not try to stifle my profound loss. I leaned on my friends and shared my bereavement. I didn’t try to pretend things were better when they weren’t. Writing A Swift Current has helped me get to the other side of my sorrow, but I subtitled it “Letting Our Parents Go” as something of an oxymoron, because I think they are always with you (hence the last post about the owls and other constant reminders…). I hope you find solace and comfort but again, be kind to yourself…Hallie

    • Thanks for your kind comments. In Mom’s final years we were brought closer together due to Dad’s illness/death and then her own illness, so I can relate. I absolutely agree that people should grieve however they feel comfortable.

  5. Just saw this now–went to my spam for some reason. Am so sorry. Having been through the same recently . You are so right that everyone grieves in her own fashion. And every love expresses itself differently. My heart is with you….

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