My mother passed away a few days ago, but I am going to post these blogs just as I wrote them.
A two edged sword. That is how I describe this process at the end of my mother’s life. Hospice is full of warm, wonderful, helpful people. They have resources, knowledge and experience with each of the obstacles, the feelings, the emotions and the grief that I am going through. I felt such relief when they told us Mom was being admitted to Hospice. They would assist us in allowing her to die at home, as she wished.
I let out a huge sigh and immediately burst out crying. Being admitted to Hospice means she is dying. She has rallied so many times, fought off illnesses so many times, but this time, she is going home. Next time I come over the hill, she won’t be sitting in her blue rocker. She won’t play rummy with me. She won’t sit with my laptop on her lap, oohing and awing at the pictures of her great-grand children.
I give her drugs every four hours to make her comfortable. She no longer cries out in pain. (We determined she sustained a fracture from her last fall.) Knowing she isn’t in pain is a good thing, however, as the process comes to a close, there is no talking, no more smiles, she does not eat or drink. It made me feel like I have made her into a vegetable. The nurse explained how people function very well on the amount of drugs we are giving her. They go to work even, so the stage she is in is a result of the disease of death, not the drugs I am administering. Yes that helps, but yes, I still cry.
At ninety-eight and a half, you would not think I could call this sudden. A month ago, however, before the first fall, she was slowing down I’ll admit. The daily phone calls were shorter, the topics fewer, really all I had to tell her was that each of her great grandchildren was okay and with their parents. That would satisfy her. She’d ask what tomorrow was going to be, tell me she loved me and say goodbye. Now I am telling her these same things, but I don’t know if she hears me. I hope so, and I leave out the goodbye.