Saturday, April 16, 2011

I Love My Mom and I Miss Her

April 11th marked the three-year anniversary of my mom's passing. It's hard to believe that it's been that long, and yet some of the memories of that time are so vivid. I don't like thinking about that last day and how helpless I felt but I know it helps me to heal as I process it all. So, this is mostly for me than for anyone else.

Mom was slowly slipping to another place and I wanted that to be such a peaceful transition for her. Her body was in so much pain and it was absolutely gut wrenching. We all new her death was imminent. We knew her steady decline in movement and ability to eat was leading to the end. But regardless of that knowledge, when I saw her feet turning blue and the nurse then pulling me into another room to tell me it was time and she wouldn't last through the night I lost it. For nearly three years I knew and had time to prepare, and yet at that moment the reality sunk in. The rest of that day was difficult trying everything we could to make her comfortable and provide relief from the pain. She wasn't coherent enough to swallow any pain killers. We finally got liquid morphine and when the recommended dosages weren't working we got the okay to do whatever was necessary, to give her as much as needed to make her comfortable as possible. After hours of misery she settled down. She wasn't really responsive, her spirit barely here, mostly transitioning on, but she must have been aware enough because she waited for family members to arrive.  And I think she wanted us to see her more calm before she passed, not in brutal agony. I'd begged her to let go and pass if she needed to and that it was okay but she waited. Unfortunately she couldn't wait for my sister Michelle to return, but she'd already said her good-byes the week before.

I turned on her relaxing music, hymns by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and read from the scriptures, which is something she'd asked me to do a few months earlier when we discussed plans for the inevitable. Cory read to her too. When my uncle Tom was able to get there he gave her a blessing and the calming influence of the spirit was palpable. He finished and gently stated that it wouldn't be long; that she was ready to go. I left the room to get something for Tom before he left and Cory walked out of her room a few minutes later to say that she'd slipped away. She waited for me to leave and she'd allowed that special moment between her and her first born to share. A sacred experience. We cried with relief that she was free from her diseased body and I felt her exuberant spirit in the room and she lingered awhile and then, it was evident her spirit left. There was a void in the room. My mom was really gone. 

About a month before she passed I was sitting on her bed with her chatting and she told me that no matter what age we are, it's hard to lose our moms and that I needed to be sure to take care of myself. She knew me well and that I tend to hold things in and power through without talking through things and expressing myself. I had nearly three years to prepare for her to leave but it didn't really prepare me for what would happen after she died. I have such tender feelings about my mom. I've reflected on how much I miss her and wish she were here. When I'm alone doing things, I've thought how nice it'd be if mom were here to spend that time with.  I miss the sound of her voice and her laughter. I miss her gentle encouragement. I miss that I can't talk to her about what is going on in my life. I miss her calling me on the phone. I miss having dinner over at her house and I miss her cooking. I miss how, without fail, she would remember special days like birthdays. I really miss her hugs. I feel her presence and influence often and for that I'm grateful...but it's just not the same.

I love my mom and I miss her. I look forward to the day that we can be reunited. 

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