Friday, June 10, 2005

The moment she died Part II

Four months after I lost my great aunt (who was essentially a grandmother), I had to admit my mom to hospice. She had been ill for a long time, and her health was declining rapidly. One day, I got the phone call. They said my mom was nearing the end. She lives in the same city, so it was a short trip to her facility. She looked horrible. If you have never seen a person who is dying, you can't imagine it. It's not as pretty as the movies. There is a definite physical change that takes place towards end of life. I'll spare you the details.

Anyways, this is hard to write about, so I'll be brief. I did bedside vigil for 3 full days. I even stayed overnight in an awful recliner and was awoken every two hours by the nurse who was checking on my mom. My mom was still hanging in there. I finally decided to go home and sleep in my own bed. The next day when I got back to the facility I knew something was wrong. The aids were sitting in the hallway looking at me mournfully. My mom had just passed.

Now here's the thing. The nurse told me that in the morning she was healthier than she had been the past few days, and then suddenly she took a turn for the worse and died. She died in the 15 minutes between the time I left my house and when I got there. I know in my heart that she chose to go at that time because she did not want me to be in the room when she passed. Still, it hurt. Bad. If you're lucky enough to still have your mom - please tell her you love her.

No comments: