Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mom's death

This is May 9 and I am trying to hold my thoughts and being together so I can speak at a memorial for my mother. Yes, she died on May 3 at 7:30 in the evening.

Oh, this is so sudden. Her small, easily dealt with infection became pneumonia which did not respond to antibiotics. One weeks she was at exercise class doing her own sort of aerobics, the next week she was in Emergency and four days later she died. For her last 36 hours, I watched every breath she took.

She knew she was dying, asked to be taken off any life saving measures such as antibiotics and, seeing as they were not working anyway, it made sense. She asked the doctor for a big white pill so she could just die. We tried removing the oxygen at that point but it was terrible - her blood oxygen saturation levels were in the 75% range and it was like watching her drown. She asked that the oxygen be put back on. The doctors gave her morphine to slow her breathing and she slipped into unconsciousness almost right away. She told me to go home and told the doctor she wanted to die just before the morphine took over.

I will write more but right now I need to get myself ready. This will be tough. So many friends who loved her so much will be there - right down to the waiters at the restaurant we went to every Wednesday after exercise class. I have many emails to read aloud - without crying. I can do it. But, as the music, 'Peace in the Valley' by Johnny Cash and "Amazing Grace" fills the room, I know I'll cry.

I keep saying that Mom is sewn into the fabric of my life but there are many friends around my with darning needles making sure I don't unravel. I will be fine.

1 comment:

  1. Barb:

    It's Richard. We've spoken already; I am one of those friends/family with darning needles, helping patch up the huge hole she has left in your life.

    You mentioned the memorial service coming later in the day after you wrote this -- I would have loved to be there, but I'm on the other side of the continent... Nevertheless, you spoke of Amazing Grace -- I have a fond memory of when I was there, was it her 80th? birthday -- so long ago -- surprise party when we brought her into a hall packed with old and new friends and neighbors, to the sound of a piper playing Amazing Grace, her favorite tune!

    I'm going to light a candle for her, in the next few days. Amazing Grace for an amazing woman.