Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Saying goodbye

I feel like I need to write but really don't have the words I want to say. There's no eloquence in my writing, it's just words on paper. My youngest brother's calling is writing. he expresses so much meaning and emotion with his words.

My world fell apart 13 days ago. You know my Mom's been in the nursing home with Alzheimers for the past 7 years. She hasn't known anyone for about 3 or 4 of those. On the 18th my sister called - Mom had failed and was being moved to palliative care. She had signed a DNR so there was no care other than morphine for pain. It was just a matter of time. Friday morning the phone rang again "get home". In the midst of a winter storm and holiday travel, I could only get the train - a 24-hour trip by the time I finally arrived in Saint John. I was positive I was too late but I and 2 nephews who were travelling from Edmonton made it on time.

Everyone who was coming, made it. Mom was never left alone and the nursing home accommodated us all. Mom failed Sunday night and we all had time to say our goodbyes. Early Monday morning she passed peacefully with my eldest sister by her side. We had to get through Christmas before the visitation and funeral mass.

Mom lived for Christmas. When Father Doug was speaking with the family during the visitation all of the memories were about the holidays - cookie decorating, music, food, family. Mom would never have wanted the holidays to be affected by her death, but how appropriate it seemed that she went home at this time. We are all so glad that her suffering is over, but it has left a big gaping hole in our hearts.

Mom loved all us kids and would have been so proud that we grew up to be loving and close to each other. During the waiting and through the whole week no one was alone. There was always someone to lean on when we needed it. With so many of us, no one had to do more than they could handle, there was always someone to step in.

Now, I don't know what I'm feeling. It's been so long since she recognized me, but she was always there . When I went home, I could still talk to her even though she couldn't respond. That's gone now and I'm not sure how I'm going to wrap my brain around it.

I love you Mom.