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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I wanted my mother to die

I've been sitting on this post for a very long time and I'm not sure how to finish it. I'm going to add what I can and publish it though.

The Thing of Which I Will Not Speak is no longer in my life.

It is resolved.
It is over and done.
It should be cause for celebration because it is dead and gone.....

But so is my mama.

Cancer that kept popping up like a sinister Wack-a-Mole game, The Thing if Which I Will Not Speak, took her away from me yesterday morning.

Earlier in the week as she got weaker and weaker and her moments of willing response began to wane, it was clear that ventilator or not, she wasn't long for this world. But there were hopeful signs, edema going down, responding to our conversations by blinking, and on some days the optimism would begin to build a little.
When you ask a caregiver how they are doing and they say "Fine," voice full of cheery enthusiasm and certainty you want to believe it, need to believe it.
You rationalize in your head. "They would never give occupational therapy to a dying person."
One doctor had the courage to tell weakly say "That you need to make a decision" but they don't really tell you what that decision means. Why do I have to make a decision? If I'm hearing that my mother is doing "Fine" why do I have to make a decision?! What are you not telling me?!? But somewhere inside you know what they're not telling you but as long as nobody speaks it, you can keep that little spark of promise.......

9/12/12....and you keep it until you see it for yourself. I wanted her to get better, but I also wanted her to get worse.
 I wanted my mother die.
I didn't want to be a part in making a decision.
 I thought that it would have been easier for us to come into the room one day and her heart had just given out.
It would be more tolerable for her to go to sleep and never wake back up again.
I didn't know that making a decision would give me one of the most profound moments of my life.

She'd been mostly unresponsive after intubation and even after they removed her propofol, a sedative, she still wasn't responding. I told myself that she was just tired and of course her caregivers offered no explanation other than "We don't know why she won't wake up." She wasn't waking up because she was dying. The day that my Daddy has to sign the paperwork to extubate her, I knew she was dying. Her feet were getting cold, her cath bag contents were very dark and cloudy. Every system in her body was shutting down. We called everybody. They removed her from the ventilator.

Surrounded by all of her sisters and brothers, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews with the last little bit of strength that she had, she opened her eyes. During her last hour or so of meaningful wakefulness, every single person came to her bedside told her how much they loved her and with her eyes, she did the same. Slack jawed, her face a little contorted from lying on one side, she flashed the most beautiful smile I'd ever seen as she tried to mouth the words "I love you". One by one we said our goodbyes and just a little after that she closed her eyes and lapsed back into a state of semiconciousness.

Peacefully and as and beautiful as ever, she passed into the next world just 14 hours later.

I might not be around as much as I try to sort through all of my feelings and figure out how to live without her, but keep me in your thoughts. You are never far away from mine.


  1. What a beautiful lady. You will have good days, bad days, why days, but with each day that passes you get stronger. I had a lot of 'how can I go on without her' days. Four years later, I'm still going on. Peace and strength be unto you and your family. -Richelle

  2. I am very sorry for your loss. I know those are just words and no words could provide comfort. I just wanted you to read them to let you know I am thinking about you. Post when you can. We understand.


  3. I love you beyond words. My heart breaks for you as I feel your pain as I have been there before. As I said to you earlier, the pain never fully goes away. After time you will find life a bit more managable, you smile a bit more, and you smile fondly with memories of her. Keep those, cherish them, share them with your beautiful son. Just know you are loved, and there are those who are here for you.

  4. What a wonderful heart filled read. I am so sorry for your loss, but to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Find peace knowing that there is no more suffering, no more pain, and no more sorrow. Praying that you and your family will stay strong. xoxo


  5. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. Praying for you and your family.

  6. I know that your momma was and always will be a huge part of your life. By knowing you, and your gracefulness I feel as though I know the kind of woman she was.
    I imagine that your your strength, your sass, your tolerance and understanding are all things your momma bestowed upon you. And I know that she took a lot of time to pour herself into your little man as well.
    Yes, you are going to miss your mom, and yes I'm so sorry that she died. But I know that she is everywhere you are, she is a part of you and a part of your boy.

    She is sterling silver hearts that you wear around your neck. I hope you have that necklace that you bought for her. You said it screamed her name, so you should wear it often.

    1. Oh Michelle, that brought tears to my eyes, I can't believe you remember that. I will wear it.

  7. I am profoundly sorry for your loss. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I wish peace for you and your family in this difficult time.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about your loss.

  9. You know that you have my deepest sympathyand love. My prayers goes out to you and your family. Im here for you!!!! All the way from SC!!!

  10. My Heart Is heavy for You, this brought Tears to My eyes, I'm 110% Positve you already have an Amazing support team*huGZyouTIGHT*

  11. I am sorry for your loss. God bless!

  12. I went through the exact same thing with my Dad. My heart breaks for you. Your Mommie is beautiful. Her smile is so radiant. When you have dark moments let her smile be the light that leads you out of the darkness.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story...truly beautiful. Your mother has moved on to the next phase of life and is free of pain now. I lost my mother in 1994. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her but the pain of loss is gone now. Each day that gos by will get better.

  14. Thanks for sharing your story with us all. You and your family were given the gift of a final goodbye, which I know will be treasured in the years to come. Take care.

  15. i started reading this yesterday. i couldn't finish it then. i sat here and cried for you my girlfriend. i left the window open to finish it. i had to finish it. i had to see it through. hugs love and my prayers to u sis. your mom was a beautiful lady and im happy you shared her picture so i can remember her beautiful smile and though i never met her, i feel like i know her because i'm so sure you are so much like her. she raised a beautiful daughter, inside and out, and i am thankful to her for that. love and hugs to you my sister.

  16. It's so sad to hear that story.
    She's so beautiful.

  17. I am so sorry about the loss of your mother. I love the photo that you chose to share with us, what a beautiful woman!! I'm sure that is how you will choose to remember her. I know during a time like this it might seem trivial, but how incredible that she was able to see all of those who were closest to her and loved by her at the end of her life. I think that is how I want to go, surrounded by love.

  18. Though we have spoken privately, I purposely didn't come here to read. The imagery is too stark, too real. Though I know you're strong, I am overwhelmed with sorrow for you and I know, I know "Pray for strength" are the words from an angel.

  19. This post was very touching. Your mother, beautiful. As I told you before, my thoughts are with you.

  20. Hi, I've been a silent reader for a year now. I'm so sorry for your loss ((((hugs)))) Reading this post made me cry for your loss. You mother is beautiful and always will be. I know exactly how you feel about not wanting to have to make "that" choice. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


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