As you may have figured out by now, my mother passed away. Friday November 27th at 2:38 am. She fought cancer. Mom didn’t lose. Cancer didn’t win.
It was a great blessing that I was able to spend the last 6 days of her life with her. I held her, prayed with her, sang with her, read bible verse with her… we said rosaries, sang the Litany of the Saints and Ave Maria…. on the night before she passed, I bathed her. I will never be able to enjoy the scent of lavender again. It will forever remind me of that night.
On my way to her home last week, I was dreading what I knew was coming. I was afraid of watching my mother die. But I also knew I had to be there. I had to hold her and love on her. But damn if I wasn’t more frightened of anything in my entire life. I didn’t know if I would be able to do it.
This was the evening before she passed … before her bath. I know she looks scared but she really wasn’t at this point. She was quite relaxed and at peace. Her stare was interesting. She was talking with someone. We didn’t see them. I heard her talking to my Aunt Mary who passed away a while back… she really missed her sister. And I heard her talking with her parents. Spooky but not.
The things I felt during this time I can’t find ways to express. Profound sadness (obviously) but also an incredible awe. To witness such an important part of the life cycle… I mean, we all see birth, experience it many times with the children around us. But how many people are exposed to the dying process? Most turn away. Most don’t believe they can cope with it. And many just choose not to. It’s the part of life we all want to deny. We are afraid of the end so we just ignore it.
I have spent lots of time over the past few days trying to rationalize my thoughts and feelings. I have a (sometimes bad) habit of analyzing things in an effort to make sense of them. And then eventually I just wear myself out and decide that somethings will just never make sense. Or they won’t make sense in a way the human mind can comprehend. I haven’t worn myself down yet. I’m still analyzing. Rambling. Trying to figure it all out.
My MS brain doesn’t remember many of the finer details of daily life anymore. I’m very afraid of losing the finer details of my time with mom. So many things were said and felt between us and I wish I could hold on to them.
I’m glad I chose to be present. It was hard. I’m not brave. I’m not courageous. It was my mother. How could I not be there for this life event?
I realize this might just possibly all sound quite wackadoodle.
I guess more than anything, I just needed to come here and write this down. I want to always remember what an extraordinary honor it was to be there for my mother.