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This is a highly emotional and personal post. A walk and journey I am sharing with Mom, mostly alone but also with you as many of you have walked this path before me. Oh sure there are loving people on the sidelines that want to help, and I am grateful and willing to accept whatever help I can, and whenever times make it possible for me to tap into. But mostly this is a journey only a Mother and Daughter will make at some point. I’ve been afraid of “that point” for a long time, and in actuality have prepared for it all of my life, but can one ever truly be prepared? I don’t think so.
It was last Saturday when the message finally came and when everything escalated. After briefly talking to Mom the Tuesday before, she was already admitted back into the hospital the very next day with acute breathing problems. I was told that she can’t breathe and therefore is not eating. She has water in her lungs and her heart is failing. That she can’t talk because everything is very strenuous for her and that a visit had to be cut short because of her state of being. It was on that day, that for the first time ever I felt Moms spirit leaving. It was the first time I ever felt this way, and Mom has defied the odds being deathly ill a few times before. In the past I was always convinced that it wasn’t her time, and although I was worried because I didn’t want to see her suffer, I never believed that she was in any real danger. And she always pulled through, surprising everyone about her remarkable recovery. Until now…this was different. There are signs I don’t want to acknowledge but which I see clearly. There is intuition I want to ignore and there is a knowing I wish wasn’t there. There is a hunch, a feeling that can’t be denied and yet in a way one hopes to be wrong. But for what? To buy a few more weeks, months, perhaps a year? Precious time indeed and a day could be the best present ever, but it comes with a price. For the ones that suffer and the ones who wait fear of that call.
It’s been a rollercoaster week and things are getting worse with no improvement. The nursing home has already contacted me wanting to know how to proceed. Wanting to honor Mom’s wishes to be left alone, in her own surroundings, and her not wanting to go back into the hospital. I am to decide what’s next, but what’s next is not really in my control is it? A few emails were exchanged, some a bit heated, stating that it was my utmost hope that the question of whether to even call an ambulance the next time, could surely not have been a valid question or concern. Someone is in need…you call for help, no need to ask.
I was told Mom is weak and has no will to fight left in her. I know I can’t blame myself, but I also know that it is because she is giving up hope that I will be back, to be by her side, to take her home. She has no strengths left to survive, facing a place she doesn’t want to be and I wished this could have been different and she could have stayed at home. I will always feel horrible about that and I will always have to remind myself that this was the only way for her to survive. I couldn’t have lived with that death sentence of leaving her home alone. In a way it turned out to be a death sentence either way now and Mom never adjusted to the home. There are no winners walking away here.
I am in the process of leaving for Germany shortly as time is of the essence and I might be too late already. I am not ready to go and honestly it scares the hell out of me, but I am hoping to leave next week sometime. I know i have to pick up my swords of love and faith once more, despite being still so tired and not a 100% healthy myself yet. But I have no choice and I can feel my body preparing myself. Strong at times but also allowing myself to feel the emotions of grief and loss that awaits. Right now the stronger side is still winning, and it’s almost like shock is taking over, my soul is protecting me from the harsh reality that is sure to catch up soon enough. But for the moment I find myself in a place of having be strong because being strong is all there is left.
I was strangely calm, after journeying to connect with Mom energetically. I can’t ask her to stay for selfish reasons if she is ready to go. She has been lonely for a long time and Dad is waiting for her. It is hard to say that it would be best for all if she no longer suffered and wasn’t around. When all burdens of looking after a helpless and dependent person were gone. When my life is could resume without being in limbo and fused with the guilt of feeling helpless, unable to give Mom the answers she so much wanted to hear from her loving daughter. It sounds awful and the only thing that carries me is to see an end to her suffering and unhappiness.