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Mom is gone

December 29th, 2015 at 04:44 pm

I hope she is in a better place now.

These past few days I really had to push myself to see her. Because while she was there in body, she was not present. They upped her morphine to 4x daily, so that probably accounted for some of it. It's been very difficult to see her like that.

Yesterday, I nearly didn't go, but then I asked myself how I would feel if she passed that day, and I knew it would upset me if I hadn't seen her. So, remembering what a staff nurse told me, that hearing is the last sense to go, but against the advice of the hospice nurse, I went back again yesterday. I just kept telling her how much I loved her, that she had lived a wonderful life, that everything was going to be okay, and that I would continue to exhibit her work. I don't know if she was aware of my presence at some subconscious level.

I left there around 2:30 pm and about an hour later, I got a call from Masonicare telling me she'd passed.

I am feeling a mixture of relief, sadness, regret, loss, pain, panic and dread of living the rest of my life without my mother. Relieved... the last time she told me I love you back, it was maybe 5 days ago, and it was hard for her to get the words out. It was like she had a mouthful of cotton. I believe she was losing the ability to speak and form words, and even without much memory, that must have been very frightening.

I called my sister first, and without rancor told her, as gently as I could, that Mom was gone and that I would let her know the details of the funeral as soon as I had them. She didn't have much to say, nor did she offer to help -- I didn't ask. Then I called my dad and the funeral director. I emailed the monument guy so he had the end date for the stone. I spoke to my mother's two cousins and traded emails with a third. I sent out several group emails I'd composed a week or so ago informing friends, fellow artists and patrons of the arts of mom's passing, using names I'd culled from her address books.

It was difficult to tell a casual acquaintance from a close friend, but hopefully I included everyone who was important to her. I got a few Christmas cards yesterday from old friends in Jersey which had been delayed because they were sent to her old address. I found their numbers in the phone books and called both, explaining what happened. I called a few friends of my own.

While no one seemed to know she had Alzheimers, a few said they thought something might be wrong because my mother hadn't sent a Christmas card the year before or if she had, she only signed it without including a newsy message.

After the initial shock, I find that I am not falling apart as I imagined I would. Truth be told, I've been mentally preparing for this day for weeks. I've cried daily for many weeks, often on the ride home from Masonicare, and it would take me a full day to recover some semblance of normalcy, only to return the next day and repeat the process. In an effort to hold my mother close to me, I've been wearing her clothes and her jewelry for some time now. I know the tears will return but for now I am just sad. Keeping busy has always been my antidote to pain.

I emailed my 2 managers at work, and someone I was supposed to interview tomorrow for a case study, letting them now I'll be out until probably mid- next week. Most people are out this week anyway, extending the holiday season.

I am still trying to get a hold of the Lutheran pastor here to see if he can do a service. It will be limited to family, and that means probably just 3 of us, including my dad and sister. Not sure my sister will come; she has a history of avoiding unpleasant situations, but I think my dad will, to support us. I sure hope so.

I have to meet with the funeral director this afternoon to sign some paperwork, and before that I want to clean out my mother's room at the nursing home. I don't have to do it today, but I want to get it over with. And say goodbye to some favorite staff, if they're around. I hope to stop at the florist and decide on some floral arrangements. I want the obituary to appear in the papers before the funeral, but not have too long a delay, so am hoping for a Saturday or Monday funeral at latest. Friday being a holiday sort of messes things up.

34 Responses to “Mom is gone”

  1. Butterscotch Says:

    I am so sorry, PS. I believe all the mixed feelings you are having are normal. You have been incredibly strong and I appreciate the loving and responsible example you have set for everyone who reads you posts. Take care of yourself.

  2. Petunia in a Flower Garden Says:

    I'm so sorry.

  3. laura Says:


    Prayers for peace. Please accept my condolences. No doubt this is a difficult time for you, but you can rest assured knowing that you did everything in the best interest of your mom; she knew this, appreciated it, and loved you more because of it. As a Christian, I believe your mom is in the presence of the Lord - fully alive and rejoicing. I like that you are keeping parts of your mom close to you - I find comfort in things that my loved ones loved. You are the best daughter your mom could have hoped for. HUGS.

  4. Wink Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  5. Janelle Says:

    I have been lurking and reading your blog for at least a couple of years now. I am so sorry for your loss.

  6. Carol Says:

    I am so sorry. Please take care of yourself. You have worked so hard to do your best for your mom. It's a treasure to have the memory of her"I love you" as her last words.Sending you lots of hugs and caring thoughts...I hope things go smoothly....

  7. Analise Says:

    I am very sorry your mother has passed but her suffering is over. You have some wonderful memories to sustain you and the knowledge you did the best for her. You are the daughter any mother would be blessed to have. Please take care of yourself and know that you have many SA friends who care about you.

  8. debt-free by thir-ty Says:

    I'm sorry for your loss Patient Saver. I understand the need to keep busy, but echo the sentiment to take care of yourself and let yourself fully grieve. My prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  9. snafu Says:

    {{{Hugs}}}, sad news. Please accept my condolences. You've been a wonderful daughter, so strong when strength was needed. This is a difficult time and we who have lost parents hope you know that time and memories of happier times does lessen the feelings of loss.

  10. NJDebbie Says:

    PS, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. You were a wonderful daughter to your Mom and I certain she really appreciated your care for her. ((HUGS)) and I will be thinking of you.

  11. Jenn Says:

    Prayers for you from PA too. Even when you know the quality of life is gone, it's still tough. When my mom died, I also experienced relief first and then the finality of it hit. I found that during the year afterward, something might happen that I'd think "I can't wait to tell Mom..." and then I'd realize that I couldn't and I felt like the death happened all over again. Be prepared for that and take care of yourself.

    You have been an incredible blessing for your mom. We hope that we'll all be treated so lovingly in our last days.

  12. LuckyRobin Says:

    I am sorry for the loss of your mother. I think it helps that it is expected over when it is not. At least it did when my dad died and when my grandparents died. You've had time to prepare yourself, as much as anyone ever can prepare themselves for the loss of a parent, and to say good-bye. Hang in there. You are strong, and have been strong for so long now. It is okay, when you are ready, to not be strong for a little while.

  13. Petunia 100 Says:

    {{{hugs}}}

    So sorry for your loss, Patient Saver.

    Farewell, Patient Saver's Mom. Rest in peace.

  14. creditcardfree Says:

    ((Hugs)) My condolences to you, PS. May the memories sustain you in your days of sadness and grief.

  15. TarWalker Says:

    I'm so sorry for your loss. You have been an amazing daughter and gave your mother the best in what I view is one of the worst situations. Losing your mind to the disease is hard on both the person and their loved ones.

    You did everything to help her keep her art alive and in her heart. With only knowing her from your stories, I'd still think she'd be very proud of you.

    My thoughts are with you.

  16. scottish girl Says:

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

  17. pjmama Says:

    Thoughts are with you. It sounds like she had the best of care and support she could have possibly received in her last days. You are truly an inspiration. Wishing you the best while you heal.

  18. Rachael777 Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. You are handling things very well and were/ARE an aamzing daughter. Just because your Mom is not here in spirit, alive on Earth does not mean she is gone.

  19. Pnwmom Says:

    I'm so sorry for your loss....you were a great daughter and I'm positive your mom knew it and appreciated everything you did for her.....prayers for comfort and peace to you and your family.

  20. Kiki Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.

  21. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Condolences for your loss, very sorry to hear it. My thoughts are with you in this difficult time.

  22. CB in the City Says:

    Oh my, this brings it all back for me. I am tearing up. Please take very good care of yourself; you have worked so hard. You have been amazing. I know that on some level your mother knew this and appreciated it. Now be gentle with yourself and let the happy memories come back. They will.

  23. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear this PS. My heart and prayers go out to you. {{hugs}}

  24. Kaycee Fisher Says:




    I am sorry for your loss.



  25. Dido Says:

    I am so sorry, but glad for you that it was not any more prolonged. Hugs.

  26. SavingBucks Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Even though you had "prepared" yourself, it cannot be easy. My FIL had Alzheimer's as well. May your Mom rest in peace.

  27. rob62521 Says:

    Sorry for your loss. Although you weren't unprepared, your mourning probably started when she started going downhill. Prayers for you.

  28. My English Castle Says:

    I'm so sorry, PS. People who mean so much are so hard to lose. Wishing you peace.. She looked like such a lovely woman.

  29. MonkeyMama Says:

    I am sorry for your loss.

  30. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I'm sorry, too, dear.

  31. Ima saver Says:

    We are all thinking of you at this time. We love you.

  32. Bluebird Says:

    I'm so sorry, PS. {{hugs}}

  33. scfr Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. You are such a good daughter and did so much to help her, especially in her final months. I suspect that is a big part of why you feel so much peace.

  34. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I was unable to use the internet really but I did manage to read this and wanted to send hugs, thoughts, and prayers for your well being.

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