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.


25 comments:

  1. Will keep you in my heart. Deep sympathy.

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  2. Oh Claire, I'm so very sorry. You can still talk to her and she'll know. I believe that. Sending you hugs. g

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  3. So, so sorry to hear your sad news. Sounds like your family carried on her love each moment.

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  4. So sorry to hear this news. It sure sounds like she was loved deeply, and that you were too. I hope this brings you comfort and happy memories when you're ready.

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  5. I am so sorry for your lost Claire... Cherish the best memories and your mother will always be a part of you, so there is no shame to still talk to her.

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  6. You have my very sincere condolences, Claire. I wish you strength during those difficult days of your final goodbye for your Mom.

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  7. So sorry to hear your news. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  8. Oh, Claire, I am so sorry for your loss! Prayers for strength and peace and comfort of memory for you and your family!

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  9. I'm sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Rose in SV

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  10. Oh Claire. I can understand your pain. I went through the same experiences . My mother had alzheimer for the last 15 years of her life and couldn't talk for the last eight , She was in a Nursing home for 12 years and I grieved for her all that time. Once , about a year before she died , she looked at me one day, smiled at me and kissed my hand. It was a precious gift that I treasure and will forever. God Bless you,dear Claire.

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  11. Oh Claire my heart hurts for you. I'm so sad to hear about your mom. She sounds like she was an amazing woman. Hugs to you.

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  12. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Claire. It is very hard to let go. It sounds like she had wonderful care, and that her own wishes were respected to the end. Peace and love to you and your family.

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  13. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, and as an only child, I watched her decline and was responsible or her care for 16 years. I am now in that same position with my Aunt who is 95 yrs. old and just recently moved to a nursing home. I will say that after my mother's passing, my memories are of her in good health. I see it as a gift that those years of her illness are not associated with who "she" was, because the person the illness presented was a stranger. I am sorry for your loss and hope that you will once again enjoy the memories of your mother's love.

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  14. Claire, I am so sorry for your loss. My mother valued me only for what I could give her or do for her, from the time I was a teenager on, so when she died in May, it was a relief to know that those calls were over, and I had only to pay for her cremation and then walk away from her (negative) estate. You are so lucky to have never felt that way.

    I hope you can focus only on how wonderful your mother was, and not her Alzheimers for the past few years, and depend upon sharing those splendid memories with the rest of your family. I'm sorry I've not been by to check on you in a couple of weeks, and so am late with this comment, but please do accept my condolences on your loss.

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  15. I came by way of Diana's blog. I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope you are working through your grieving and will be able to feel like getting back to your sewing if that is what you love. So very hard loosing a mom.
    I will be looking around your blog.....I know it has to be good since recommended by Diana.
    God Bless you and give you peace.

    Nan

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss. Remember all the happy days. I wish you peace in knowing she was not alone and she now knows her family was by her side.

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  17. Sending you a warm hug, Claire...

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  18. I am sorry for your loss. May her soul rest in peace, sending you warm and hugs

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  19. I am so very sorry for your loss. Losing a mom is a loss that stays with us but once the acute pain lessens, somehow they seem always to be near. ((( )))

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  20. Dear Claire, hope you and Bob are doing well. Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you.

    Marjie

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  21. Thinking of you. Missing your blog. xxxooo

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