Firstly, I want to say that I know this post is a long one because I wanted to share my experience in full. I hope you can manage to find the time to read it. It would be much appreciated.
Over the last six years, I’ve shared several posts about my dearly-loved late Mum. I wrote at the time she had her stroke, and then, a couple of years later, I wrote a post called THE MISSING MUM YEARS. It explained how, because of my disability, I could not access my Mum’s house, and Mum couldn’t leave there because of her severe agoraphobia, so we didn’t see each other for several years. It was heartbreaking.
It was only a few weeks after Mum’s stroke that she finally left the hospital and went to stay in a stroke rehabilitation unit, where she had her own room, daily physiotherapy and a television. There was wheelchair access to the unit, so I could finally see her regularly. She was, understandably, becoming depressed there because she’d always been so active and was mowing the lawn two weeks before her stroke. Now, she had no movement down her left side and became increasingly frustrated. It was awful to see my Mum like that. She spent three months there before my sisters and I had to decide whether Mum could return to her house as she wished. It was impossible. Mum had lived in a big Victorian terraced house with many stairs, which she just would have been able to manage.
We had many meetings with the hospital staff and the social workers there and finally concluded that Mum would need to go into a care home. It was decided that she would come to a home near me, given that my sisters all worked and lived too far away. I went on the search to find a suitable place, all the time knowing that Mum wasn’t happy about leaving her home after being there for decades. I spent several weeks visiting care homes, but none were suitable.
Finally, I found one called The Lodge. The lovely manager showed me around. I noticed many elderly and disabled residents, some asleep in chairs, some watching TV, and some happily participating in craft activities and bingo. The manager took me to the room that would be Mum’s. I really wanted her room to overlook the garden at the back, but because of the urgency of the situation, the only room they had had a view of the neighbouring house’s roof and a few weeds growing out of the paving down the side of the house.
Her room was almost bare, apart from a bed and a wardrobe. Some faded pictures hung on the walls, and some artificial flowers in a jug on the dressing table. The manager explained that Mum could bring any of her belongings, like pictures, photos, ornaments etc., to make the room more homely. I tried to imagine Mum there, knowing she would hate anywhere I could have found her. She wanted her independence back, but that couldn’t happen.
I felt so guilty because my disability and having no car meant that I was limited in choices of care homes. I would be the only member of my family who would be able to visit Mum regularly. This home had, at least, very kind and caring staff. I went back a couple more times to make sure I thought it would be suitable, knowing full well that Mum would hate being in any home. It was heartbreaking to have to make that choice on my own. A moving-in date was set for the 10th of January, 2017, one day after Mum’s birthday.
When I next visited the stroke unit, I told Mum all about it, ensuring I pointed out all the positive aspects and tried to help her come to terms with her upcoming move. She wasn’t happy, but I felt I had no choice. I would have loved her to come to live with me, but the practicalities made this impossible. She was so unhappy, and it broke my heart to see her this way. A couple of days later, she caught a cold that went to her chest and caused an infection. Then, it developed into pneumonia, meaning she had to return to the city’s main hospital. I saw her frequently, but she wasn’t at all well. My sisters and other family visited her; one sister flew over from Australia. She wasn’t really aware of what was going on, but now I imagine this is such a common scenario; families all flocking around their loved ones’ beds. I can’t help but wonder if she knew why we were there.
By the evening, the family had gone home, leaving just Mum and me. The ward sister allowed me to stay late, so I sat at Mum’s bedside, talking quietly and holding her hand. I sat with her for hours, talking to her and wondering if she could hear me as it wasn’t evident. A nurse came along to check Mum’s sats and said Mum’s oxygen levels were up a bit, and she seemed more alert. I was so relieved at the thought of Mum pulling through this horrible illness.
When I finally got home, feeling a bit more positive, I thought I would be able to see a lot of Mum now that she would live within my wheelchair-driving distance. I felt a little more reassured about the future.
And then, came the next morning and the phone rang very early. I hesitated before picking it up. As soon as I heard the sister’s voice, I knew it would be bad news. She spoke softly as she said my Mum had passed away about half an hour ago. I was devastated and put the phone down with tears streaming down my face. As the oldest daughter, I had the job of informing the rest of the family.
Looking back now, I’m almost sure that Mum had lost the will to live because of not being able to go back to her beloved home and having to go into a care facility. It was the 30th of December 2016, and only a few days before she was due to move to the home. I truly believe now that it was a blessing that she left us then rather than go into this care facility. She’d always been such a positive, independent woman, and this was her way of escaping the reality of her future.
My biggest regret that haunts me to this day is that Mum died alone in hospital with no one to hold her hand as she slipped away. I just can’t come to terms with this. Perhaps, I will do in time.
RIP, My precious and so much-loved Mum, 30/12/16
(I was prompted to write this piece after reading a post from Cindy Georgakas. Thanks, Cindy xx)
Image source Google Images.
91 thoughts on “The Home (True Life Experience)”
I hope she is in peace and watching you over from another world.
Good wishes, Ellie🤗✨
Thank you so much for your kind words, Vidah. I like to think she is doing that, too. Xx 💐💖
Rip to your precious mum Ellie! xxx
Thank you very much, Carol anne. Xxx 💕
Most welcome, Ellie. XOX
I hear you. This is what we say in our 12-step programs. The other thing we say is, we are exactly where we are supposed to be. Physically, mentally, and in all aspects. And, to trust in God (a power greater than, ourselves, this higher power, is a power of our understanding, a power that is defined by ourselves and no one else, a power we can rely on to help us) and to trust the process.
I feel your pain. I relate with you. I am not sure if this helps.
Thank you very much, Blaise. I’m glad you can relate, although I wouldn’t want you to be in any distress because of that. I am familiar with the 12-step programmes but had forgotten the other saying about being where we are at the right time, physically and mentally. As hard as it is sometimes, it’s necessary to trust the process. Your words have very much helped, Blaise. Thank you for taking the time to read my somewhat lengthy post and for being kind enough to leave me a comment. I really appreciate it.
Your sharing did not cause any distress. Neither was it lengthy. It was what we call in our 12-step meetings, an Experience, Strength, and Hope, sharing. It made me realize that I am not alone and that realization was comforting. It also inspired hope. Thank you for your post. May your tribe increase and also the length of their posts. ❤️🤗🙏
Thank you for your response, Blaise. I’m glad my post made you feel less alone. It was a long time ago when I last did the 12-step programme, but I know, at the time, it was extremely helpful and beneficial. I wish you well, also. 💖✨😘
This is a beautifully written story Ellie. I deal with many of the same feelings. My father is in a care home. They treat him well and he has no complaints with the staff but he’s terribly lonely. There are only a handful of people “on the ball” enough to talk with. He eats lunch and dinner with them but the rest of the day he’s on his own. One of his favorite lines is ‘aging isn’t for sissies.’ It makes me sad that so many people end their life in such a dissatisfied state. I think there are true blessings in having good quality of life right up until the end, even if the end is too soon. I think it’s great that you’re capturing memories of your mum. I wish I wrote about my mom in the years after her death. It’s been so long now, most of my memories have faded to washed out snapshots.
Thank you very much, Jeff. I’m so sorry you lost your mom so long ago. Perhaps, it might be good for you to write about what you can remember, not necessarily for your blog, but for yourself to help you to deal with the loss you felt at the time.
I totally get your dad’s favourite line – it’s so true. I agree that it’s so sad that it seems so unfair that people who have often given their all or raised a family (or not) end up in residential care. Mum was very lonely in the stroke rehab unit for the three months she was there. I watched her turn from being a bright, alert and intelligent person into someone who constantly watched TV game shows and the like, something she would never have tolerated at home. I used to take her a copy of The Daily Mail whenever I went, so, at least, she had some idea of what was going on outside of that place. Mum also spent the majority of the time in her room, mostly even for meals. I watched her deteriorate day by day. Seeing how badly she was affected by the isolation (despite lovely nurses and care workers), I was dreadfully worried about what would happen to her in a permanent care facility. However, before that time, apart from her agoraphobia, she had an excellent quality of life. She adored her garden, and that’s how I like to remember her, out there with the old lawnmower she’d dragged up the concrete steps from the basement. She lived for her garden. I do think it was a blessing that Mum went when she did. Although I miss her terribly, I am very thankful for that. Thank you for taking the time to read my story, Jeff. It’s very much appreciated. I do hope that your dad is keeping well. X
You did what you could.
no-one can ask for more..
Thank you, Granny. Yes, I did what I could, although I still wish I could have done more. If I could have had Mum living with me, we would both have been happy, but it just wasn’t possible with my disability. Love you Xxx 🌹💞
Such a privilege to be able to follow and come to know you Ellie. You make my heart grow.
Thank you very much, Richard. That’s such a kind thing to say, and I am very appreciative and touched by your words 💙.
A beautiful piece Ellie. I agree with others, you have nothing to regret, you were there for your mother. You did what you could, she knew you loved her and were there for her! My sympathies!
Thank you so much for your kind words and sympathies, Brian. They are much appreciated. I loved my Mum dearly and used to tell her so every time we spoke. I still miss her a lot. I often sit in my favourite chair, laptop on my lap; I go to put it down and reach out to the phone before the realisation hits, and I know she’s not here anymore. I miss our long phone calls. Nevertheless, I do believe we were blessed in that she didn’t end up in the care home, however kind they were there. It’s been six years since we lost her – I wonder if it ever gets any easier.
While it is a terrible loss for you, like you said, she was blessed with not having to live in an environment that she would detest. The guilt we carry over things we have no control over can be enormous and overwhelming. There was no way to know she would have passed away that night, and I’m sure she left comforted that she had her family around her earlier in the day. She may well have been content to slip away quietly after that, feeling if she let go in front of everyone it would have been traumatic to witness. Peace to you.
Thank you for being so understanding, as always, Tamara. I do carry a lot of guilt about the situation, even though I recognise that I couldn’t have done anything differently. I hope Mum did feel comforted by all the family being there almost at the end. However, it bothers me that some of those relatives hadn’t tried to see Mum for many years, either at home or in the hospital, but were keen to come and stand by Mum’s bedside. I can’t help but wonder what Mum would have been thinking. I don’t think she’d ever had so many family members around her in the past, even when she was well. I wonder if she would have known the reason why we were all there. I do understand what you say about it being too traumatic for us to witness her death. I just hope she, at least, had a nurse by her side when she went, but somehow, knowing how busy nurses are, I very much doubt it. It’s this that bothers me the most. Thank you for your wishes for peace for me. I very much appreciate that. Xx 💖💞💐
I understand what you are saying. I know some people who would prefer to be by themselves when it is time to leave, the solitude serves as a time to go inward and prepare for the next step. Being able to leave with a peaceful, calm heart is quite important, and of there is friction or tension from certain family members it is difficult to focus one’s thoughts to be able to release in peace. Sounds like your Mum had a peaceful release.
I hadn’t thought of it that way, Tamara. That really is food for thought and a very valid point. Knowing that makes me feel a bit better about my Mum being alone when she left. Perhaps, it would have been too stressful and painful for us all (including Mum) to have been there at that time as we had been the previous day. My Mum had double pneumonia in the end so that she couldn’t breathe without oxygen, and eventually, it became too much for her. I guess, when she went, she wasn’t in so much physical distress. I like to think that, anyway. Thanks again, Tamara, for your wise and valuable advice. Xx 😘
I’m sure your mum was very aware that the family was all around and what the significance of it was, it’s very ingrained into our collective societal consciousness. I’m also sure that your mum left peacefully, knowing her family had come to be by her side and send her off with good wishes. People who are end of life have a knowingness and peace about what is about to happen. It is the living who struggle with the whole concept. Even if there was still tension in certain relationships she had with family members, her sense of peace during those last hours would have allowed her to let it go and not feel in turmoil.
Thank you for so much reassurance, Tamara. Where did you learn so much about these things? It’s such a relief to know this. I had no idea that this was how people feel at the end of their lives. I also find it very reassuring to know that when my time comes (which hopefully won’t be for a very long time yet, but none of us knows what our future holds) that I, too, may be at peace at this time in my life/death. Your advice never ceases to amaze, and more importantly, teach me so much. You are a wonderful person to know and I’m so gad we ‘met’ on WP Xx 💐🥰💕
Ellie, I’m always happy to help, and I’m glad we met on WP too!
I’m happy that my diverse life experiences and learnings are of help to others, that is very gratifying. After I left the 2 strict fundamental/evangelical churches, I decided to open my mind to learn about “what is” and that led me to some great experiences. One of the biggest things I experienced after leaving the church was learning about and becoming involved with Native American spirituality and ceremonies through my second husband. This led me to want to learn more about different spiritual beliefs as well as what people experience through illness and end-of-life. After having been told what to think and believe for so many years, I was ravenous to fill my knowledge batteries!
That’s really interesting to know, Tamara. Thank you for sharing that with me. I had a similar experience at a church I belonged to from 2007 until about 2019.. We had a new minster who also told us how to live every second and aspect of our lives. I left that church after I lost my Mum and the minister told me when I was just bereaved, and seeking for answers and comfort, that she had gone to hell as she wasn’t a believer and hadn’t come to Jesus to repent before she died. That just smashed me to bits, as you can imagine. I also felt very excluded by the church members, being the only wheelchair user in a congregation of nearly 300 people. I spent years sitting alone in my wheelchair without a soul coming to sit near me. It broke my heart to be excluded in that way, almost like I had the plague! I was also ignored or spoken over my head at wheelchair height when we had coffee after the service. I left after the minster telling me what had happened to Mum after her death and and never went back. Although I remained a member there for all those years after I left, I was informed only last week that my membership had ended. It doesn’t bother me, but I wasn’t even consulted. I think it’s great that you learned more about other spiritual beliefs and all that goes with that. I’m definitely not against religion or Christians or any other religions; I am respectful and will listen and try to understand, but I want to live my life in a more positive way now, and where I’m not being told how to rule every part of my life. I like to be very open-minded now. I love your expression, ‘to fill my knowledge batteries.’ That sums everything up perfectly. Thanks, again, my friend. Xx 🥰
It guts me each time I hear about another person experiencing rejection, judgmental behavior, and unkindnesses. I’m sorry you had to endure that for so many years. I struggle to see Christians in a good light these days, as so many of them are publicly being very hateful to people they don’t like or agree with. I know there are some good Christians, but too many are only Christian in name only. I choose to pray to God quietly in my own places of choosing, to express my gratitude for all the wonderful help I receive. I prefer spirituality to religion.
This was so touching! I’m so sorry your mom suffered a stroke and that you weren’t able to say goodby to her at the end. I hope the fact that you were with her most of her last day is a comfort, and I suspect she did know you were there. I think many of us with elderly parents and grandparents can relate to this situation. My father also died alone in a hospital, after we had been with him all day. We drove mom home that night, exhausted, planning to come back first thing in the morning. He didn’t make it through the night. But like your mother, he died before he had to go into a nursing home, which he would have hated. I take comfort in that, but I understand how you feel in many ways.
You were a good daughter, Ellie, and you were there for your mom when she needed you. Hang on to that!
Thank you for your understanding and kind words, Ann. I’m sorry that you lost your father in this way, too. It must have been a very tough time for you. I had intended to travel to London to see Mum again first thing in the morning. She had brightened up the day before, but I have heard that people, when they feel that the end is near, often wait until the family go home. My father did the same thing. I saw him in hospital in the middle of the night after a call from the hospital saying we should come right away. A friend took me then. He died only a couple of hours after I’d left. It seems to be a common thing for the person who is dying to appear to pick up a bit just before their death. I don’t know why this is so, but I remember my Mum saying the same thing about my grandmother at her time, too. Thank you for having so much understanding because of your father passing away before he was due to go to a care home, too. Take care of yourself, Ann X 💐💕
I’m certain that your mother knows and appreciates you Ellie, life is unbearably hard sometimes, for both those who leave and those who are left behind. You did what you could. She knows that. Sometimes there is very little space to manoeuvre between a rock and a hard place. … stay well, T
Thank you very much for your kind words, T. I hope my Mum knows how much she meant to me. I think she did at the time. Doing whatever I could never seemed enough, especially when I had to find a care home, knowing that Mum would have hated it, but having no other choice. I do know what you mean by there is sometimes only a little place between a rock and a hard place. I just hope I can come to terms with her loss in time.
Cry, Ellie. Just let the tears roll down your cheeks. Don’t wipe them away. Just cry until there are no more tears — no matter how long it takes.
Each tear represents a moment with your mother. Feel each tear. And let each tear fall away…
Thank you, J. I can’t, J. I haven’t really been able to cry since Mum’s funeral apart from in therapy, and that was dealing with my abuse etc. I often wish I could let my tears run freely down my face, but they just won’t come. I can’t even look Mum in the eyes in her photos, I think, because I fear being totally overwhelmed by my feelings, but I’m not sure even if that’s the reason. It’s something I want to deal with with a new therapist when I eventually get one. I don’t feel that I’ve grieved properly (whatever properly means in those terms). However, I do think I did a lot of grieving after Mum had had her stroke and lost so much of herself. Apparently, grieving for someone who is still here, but when you know the end is near is called anticipatory grief. Thank you so much for caring, as you always do, J. It’s very much appreciated 💜.
I am sorry to hear you cannot cry. I had such a period in my life, where I held everything including my tears inside. I got so sick I landed in the hospital.
I had to learn to cry all over again, to allow myelf to feel compassion. I hope you can learn to cry too. It provides so much relief…
I wish I could cry, J. It would be good to let all my feelings out. I’ve never been able to cry; I think it was caused by being told not to cry or tell when I went through my child abuse. I can see why you got sick because of not being able to cry. 💜💙💜
Self harm did not work. What did work was watching a whole bunch of tear-jerker movies one after the other, and trying to feel what the actor or actress was portraying. At first I was immune, but I would not let myself stop. Eventually it worked…
Self harm didn’t work for me, either, J. I rarely watch TV or movies, but I guess I could find something on YouTube that might foot the bill, if you know what I mean. Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks 💙💜💚💛💚💜💙
Will get on that. What worked for me (a long time ago) might not work for you (today). So if anyone in your aidience can suggest a tear-jerker or two, please do so. (I typoed audience, but I thought “aidience” deserved to stay, because I am looking for help, or “aid,” lol.
Thanks, J. That’s a good reason to sometimes ignore spellcheck. I like your reasoning behind that. Have a great day 💙💚💜💛💜💚💙
I took Spelchek off 2 years ago or so. It makes such stupid corrections. Yes, I make a lot of typos sometimes, but at keast they are my typos…
There is so much love and tenderness in your writing, Ellie, and thank you for sharing this personal part of your life. Your mother seemed to be a proud and independent woman and perhaps chose her time to let go. I think people of her generation always liked to do things with the minimum of fuss. Your endless love and support would have always been with her.
Thank you for such kind words, Davy. Writing about those days has helped me to process some of my feeling about that time. She was indeed a very proud and independent lady, and I think, as I told Ann in my reply to her kind comment, that people do choose their time to go, often when no one else is there. I just wish I could have been there at her end, but it wasn’t to be, and I have to trust there was a good reason for that. Thanks again, Davy.
Ahhhh This is sweet!!
But also broke me.
I loved what I read, but the end made me sad.
She has gone, but she’s always with you.
Thanks for sharing. I don’t know what to say further.
Thank you for your kind words, Devang, and thank you for reading till the end. I appreciate your comment and can understand why you don’t know what to say further, and that’s okay; it’s fine and I understand totally X
Sending you some love and positive vibes 😃
I am so sorry for your loss and hope the writing of this emotional piece has served as a piece of healing! ❤
Thank you very much for your kind words, Layla. Yes, I found it very helpful to write this piece. I don’t think we ever get over the loss of a loved one; I think we just become more accepting of our loss over time. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t miss my Mum. Thank you for caring. It’s much appreciated. X 💖
Really me too dear
Thank you, Yaksh. I appreciate that.
It’s always a pleasure for me dear Ellie✨😌
I believe my mom died because she was referred to hospice. It caused her to stop fighting. I wish things ended differently, but I know that it was the end anyway…
Oh, Sam. I’m so sorry for your loss. I feel incredibly sad for you. That must have left you with some very difficult and painful feelings. How long ago did you lose her? Hugs Xx 💙
8 years now. While it’s gotten easier to live on a daily basis, there’s still times when the pain comes back up… I appreciate your concern 🙂
Oh Ellie…I’m so very sorry you had to go through the loss of your Mom. I’m sending you big warm hugs and I’m here to listen and support you any time you want to talk. You did your very best to help your Mom and if she had lived on, I think you would have made her room at the Care Home as beautiful and as homely as you could. I think you are right about your Mom “leaving” before she had to go to a care home because by the sounds of it, she wanted to go to her own home but that just wasn’t a viable option 😦 I’m so sorry, Ellie. I understand your guilt, thinking that your Mom died all alone and I’m giving your hand a gentle squeeze. As much as we want to be with our parents when they need us, they seem to leave us in the moments we are away. It leaves so much pain and so many questions. You were there for your Mom as much as you could be and I believe she knew she was loved by you all. That’s the important thing. Sending you so much love xxxx
Dear Janet, thank you so, so much for such kind words and your comments on my recent posts, which I will read later this morning. It’s really so lovely of you to take the time to read them all. Thank you for your kind thoughts about losing my Mum. I’m convinced that Mum went when she did as she knew that she was going to go into a home, and I know she would have been so unhappy there, however nice it was. She just wasn’t a bingo and craft activities person. Had she gone, I don’t think she would have kept the will to live once she was there anyway. I’m a blessing in a way that she passed away when she did. I do feel bad about Mum being alone when she died – it haunts me rather. As you said, I have so many unanswered questions. I think she knew how much she was loved. I miss talking to her on the phone every day. Although I wasn’t able to access her house because of my disability, we did speak on the phone every day, and as she got older, it was twice or three times a day. I miss those conversations. Thank you for all your care and hugs, my friend. They mean a lot to me. With my love and hugs Xxxx 💓🌷💞
You did all you could, Ellie. Whatever happened, you were bound to feel guilty in some way. That always happens when we lose someone.
Thanks for your understanding, Mick. I tend to agree with you about feeling guilty about whatever happened. I know I would have felt ten times more guilty to see her in a care home, where she would have been so unhappy. It was best this way, really. X
Such an amazing post to read Ellie! Your posts are so nice👍😊👏
Aww, thank you so much, Yaksh. You are very kind and I will keep sharing – it’s what I love doing the most – my writing, that is 😊💕🤗
Yes we know that it’s the thing which you love to do and keep doing that and never stop dear💕🤗
Your poetries are fabulous✨
I’m so honored you used my post as a way to share more about your time with your mom. You were an awesome daughter Ellie. You loved your mom and she loved you so much as well! Facing immortality on this earthly plane isn’t easy especially when there is still so much love you have to share. Dying reminds me of birthing in that, we just never know when the baby will make its way into the world or when we make our way out when we are transitioning and dying. While it’s optimal to have someone there to hold your hand, some people need their space and want to be alone. A client of mine who was dying’s daughter called and wanted to see me for bodywork because she was so stressed about her mom. At the end of the massage she got a call from her Dad telling her her mom had just died. I saw her mom 2-3 times a week and I think she was concerned about her daughter and didn’t want to die in front of her and knew she was in good hands with me. Even though the daughter was sad because she wanted to be with her mom, it may have been more than she could handle at the time. We never will know but I hope you can come to terms that it was how it was suppose to be for both of you and she went the way that she was supposed to. Holding you close in heart! Her spirit is always with you. 💞🌹💞🌹
You are very welcome, Cindy. I was very grateful to you for inspiring me to write this piece. I would have included a link to your post, but I didn’t like to do that without asking you first. However, I can still add it if you’d like me to. If you send me the link to your piece that day, I will happily include it in my comment here.
Thank you, too, for the kindness you’ve shown me in your comment. I found it very reassuring. I liked how you compared death with birth – neither event can be predicted. Perhaps, you are right about my Mum wanting to be alone at her time, and perhaps, it would have been harder on her to let go with all the family around her bed. It’s interesting and helpful hearing about her client’s daughter and her experience.
Mum was dearly loved by all of us. I spoke to her two to three times a day as she aged. Isn’t it strange that the mother/daughter roles seem to change as our parents age?
I mostly felt for my sister, who was flying over from Australia, as Mum passed while my sister was still in the air. She hadn’t seen Mum the day before and was absolutely heartbroken. We never talked about that; I feel it would be too painful for her. I feel for her so much. Thank you so much for keeping me in mind and your heart. That is so kind and so comforting. I hope you have a wonderful day. Xx 💓🌷💓🤗💓
It was my pleasure and I’m honored. You can always add a link… feel free but no need if you don’t want to… here is the link in case you are inclined https://uniquelyfitblog.com/2023/02/17/acrostic-poem-and-friyay-musings/
You’re so welcome and I’m glad my words were reassuring. You know birth and death are 2 of my favorite times actually Ellie. As hard as death is there is no where to go but to be in the present moment. Same with birth. I think it’s really hard for people who don’t know how to be with sadness, joy, fear, pain etc. That is why I am so adamant about meditation and a spiritual practice. What’s really upsetting for me is when people are focusing on the monitors and not the person. I do realize that is easier sometimes. I love that time stops and we can surrender to the unknown and all that goes with it.
I’m glad my client story was helpful. I haven’t talked to the daughter since she went away to school since she died but I’m going to pick up the phone and call her.
I can tell your mom was well loved and that is the main thing. I’m soooo sorry for your sister as well. My Step Father died this past palm Sunday and my son walked in right after his last breath. I know how hard that was for him as well. You’re so welcome my friend. My heart is warm knowing it is helpful and comforting.. Bless you! 💗
Thank you for your kind and reassuring words, Cindy. I like your thoughts about death and about birth. I’ve never thought of them like that before. You make a lot of sense. Have you written any posts on your blog regarding these topics, and if so, I would love to read more about them if you could send me a link. If not, please don’t worry; I just thought I’d ask as I’d like to learn more. I’m sorry to hear that your son just missed your Step Father’s passing. I totally agree with you about hospital staff concentrating only on the monitors and not on the person. The evening before I lost my Mum, the nurse commented that her stats on the monitor were looking better. I found this reassuring, even though I knew how ill my Mum was. As it happened, as I wrote in my post, she passed away early the following morning. I’m so glad I came across your blog when I did, Cindy. I find it so inspiring and encouraging. P.S. I’ve added your link to my comment at the bottom of my post, so that people reading my post can track back to your post to see what I was inspired by. It’s an honour to be able to do that. Thank you sincerely, my friend. Xx 💖💝💖
You’re so welcome Ellie,
I don’t think I do but if I come across any, I’ll let you know. Thanks, I know it was hard for him but maybe that was as much as he could handle, Idk. The one thing we have both learned is focus on the person, trust our intuition. I was going to stay with a client that was dying.. (oh I might look that up for you, I think it’s on the blog), I went home because I had young kids. She and I did have a wonderful talk and she thanked me for all of my help. She was gone in the morning. I always wish I’d stayed but I can’t go back. I have long released it thankfully. Oh I’m delighted to be in touch and so happy you enjoy my blog.. I enjoy yours as well. Thank you so much for adding the link. That was very kind of you. Hugs and love 🤗💞
RIP Aunty! When I was going through your blog, I really can understand your love for your Mom! Friend
Thank you for understanding, Thotaramani. I’m sorry you lost your Aunt, too. Was it long ago? Xx 💕
2 years back dear
RIP. I was able to feel your every word. Stay strong. Beautifully written Ellie .❤️
Thank you so much for your kind words, Sana. I really do appreciate them. I’m glad you were able to connect with my writing and that you enjoyed it. It was quite tough to write, but at the same time, it was cathartic. I hope you are well. Take care, also. Xx 💓
I can understand, it is not easy to talk about such emotional moments of life but you’re strong enough to talk about it.
Thank you for writing this and sharing it with us. What a dedicated and loving daughter you are. Your mother probably didn’t want you to be there for her death—it’s very likely she wanted to spare you the grief of seeing it. She sounds like simply the most lovely person and I’m glad she’s at peace. She’s watching over you now and I’m sure she’s very proud of the woman you are.
Thank you so much for appreciating my writing in this post, Bridgette. That means a lot to me. Yes, I hadn’t thought of Mum’s passing in that light before. You could be right, which is comforting. She was such a beautiful Mum despite all her troubles. I like to think she is looking over me. Thanks so much for your kindness and thoughts, my friend, Xx 🌞🌹💛
I can so identify with you Ellie. Long before my mom went into long term care, I had to tell her she could not stay at home because there were not enough eyes on her like at an assisted living. I was terrified that she wouldn’t handle it well, but to my surprise she did, and made a lot of friends. Then she moved to a second assisted living because it was better quality, and again, adjusted well. But over those years she still had multiple health issues, operations and mobility problems.
Unfortunately her last operation which was abdominal and invasive, she made it through, but lost too much mobility to go back to assisted living, and that is when the physical therapists at the nursing home told her she would have to be moved into the long term wing and could not move back to her apartment. That I knew would truly devastate her. Both of us were sure she would recover enough to go back, because of how well she did with all her other operations, but unfortunately not this time.
Of course her mood changed and in those final months the only bright spot I could see in her was when I would show up in the morning, and our silly word game when I left at night, and our hugs and “I love you’s”.. The bittersweet part was how she put on a brave face for me.
Then several weeks before she passed away, she got an infection, when the doctor gave her a 50/50 chance with another operation, she declined. Much for the same reasons you described in knowing she was independent and wanted to be at home. In my head I was screaming, “NO NO NO MOM, PLEASE TRY.” But I know it would not be fair of me to ask or demand her to stick around because I knew what the lack of mobility and privacy and independence were doing to her.
But you got the call, I actually saw my mom take her last breath at the nursing home. I honestly cannot say what would be worse. There is the horror of watching it, but also a feeling of guilt one might have if they were not there for their loved one.
I do know this, I know my mom would have been mad at me if she could have seen me stay in the depression I was in for months after. But she would also be proud of all my poetry and the fact I booked and traveled on my own. She would have been proud of me taking care of my own house, not in the anal way she used to, but still that I even managed. She would be happy that I made friends, and would have loved all the poetry I wrote since. And I sure would have shared your poetry with her if she were alive.
I think your mum would be proud of you today. Very touching and raw story. It really hit me reading it. A sad but beautiful story. I am sure many reading this will find comfort knowing the losses they have gone through too. You are helping lots of people by writing this.
Hello, Brian. I’m sorry I haven’t replied to your comment before; I’ve had my family staying, so I have fallen all behind with reading everyone’s comments and blog posts.
It’s reassuring that you identify with my post. I’m sorry you’ve been through such a difficult time with your mom’s worsening health and mobility. I’m glad she was happy and made friends at the two assisted living places. It’s sad to hear that she didn’t recover sufficiently from her last operation, meaning she had to move into long-term care. I’m not really surprised that her mood changed being there. I know, almost certainly, that my Mum would have been the same if she had ended up going into a long-term care home. She would have lost her independence, which was so important to her. She also wasn’t the type of person who would want to join in group activities like bingo, card making, watching soaps or game shows, or whatever happened to be on TV at the time.
When Mum was in the stroke rehab unit, she had her own room with a TV and a mini-fridge so we could take her favourite desserts like Marks and Spencer lemon mousse. Other than our visits, she so spent much of her time alone, apart from a nurse popping in occasionally or her meals being brought to her room. She couldn’t get to the dining room like some of the others, as she had lost the use of the left side of her body because of the stroke. There was absolutely no possibility of Mum ever coming home again.
Mum died at 9 am one Friday morning with no one there with her. I can’t help being haunted by that fact, as I don’t even know if a nurse was sitting with her when she died. It must have been equally tough for you actually being present at that time with your mom. I think both of our mums would be proud of us in writing and sharing (thank you for your kind words to me about my writing). I always hope that my writing will touch others and, perhaps, bring them some comfort.
Your writing is therapy for me. This one hit particularly home to me. Never easy losing a loved one. You are not alone. Thank you for your kind words.
I’m so sorry to read of your loss. May she RIP.
Thank you very much, G~. That’s so kind of you, Thank you, also, for reading some of my posts and following my blog. I hope you are well.
I lost my Mum before she went into care.. it was a rapid decline and my older sister lived for a long tine in care. It’s so challlenging to deal with all of those complex feelings, and I dont know but i feel glad in a way your Mum got to go before she suffered a confinement that would not have made her happy, after all on the other side one is finally free., even if its a terrible loss for those of us left behind I firmly believe all of our loved ones who pass are close by. When my older sister died after so long in care I actually felt a great sense of freedom for her, she suffered for such a long time. Your Mum is your heart and your home, I am sure you miss her every single day. Sending you a healing hug and lots of love Ellie as you hold these feelings inside of you.
Sorry I’ve only just seen your kind words, Deborah.
I’m very sorry that you also lost your Mum and your older sister. It must have been an awfully difficult time for you then. How long ago did you lose them both?
It must be awful to be confined. My Mum loved being outdoors in her garden; I don’t think she would have lived long in the care home. At least she didn’t have to waste away being miserable. I guess it was the same with your Mum. I am grateful that Mum went before she had to go there – it would have broken her, I think, and it would have broken my heart to see her like that. I’m glad that she is free of that now.
I don’t feel I have grieved for my Mum ‘properly’, whatever properly means. I think I grieved for her after her stroke as she lost so much of herself through that. I’ve spoken to my previous therapist about this, and she said it’s called Anticipatory Grief, meaning that you mourn someone before they leave us. I still find it difficult to look at Mum’s photos, although I have them in my bedroom and living room. I haven’t cried since the funeral, either.
It’s nice to think she is near me, although I have a lot of confusion about that, though. I do miss her terribly. I miss our regular twice-daily phone calls. We both lived alone and far apart from each other, so those telephone calls meant everything to us. I often go to pick the phone up to call her even now that she’s not here anymore.
Thank you so much for your love and healing hugs – that means a lot to me; it really does. I, too, send you very much love and lots of comforting, soothing hugs – always. Xx 💓💞💓
I really understand anticipatory grief Ellie as I went through that with both my Mum and older sister.. In my sister’s case we had to make the decision as a family to take her off life support, at that stage she had been in care many years and her mobility and quality of life continued to be reduced. Sometimes I felt guilt over that did she really want to go but I do think she would be happier as a free spirit which is what your Mum seemed to have been and loving nature, yes that small room it would have been so difficult for you both to go through that.. I used to often cry leaving my sister at the home.
I do not know if we can ever set an ideal trajectory for grief and each grief can awaken old ones as well. I just think if you can accept that you cannot access the feelings at the moment and love yourself through that it might help.
That said having the ‘holding’ of therapy means emotions can be permitted to slowly rise.. I often used to find myself crying on the way to therapy sessions about either Mum, Dad or Judy all of whom I lost Dad when I was 23
I didnt grieve my Dad until about 14 years after he died. I was in active addiction until 31,
When I got sober he came to me in a dream and I felt his love….I understand not being able to process it.. But I also know it will come up when it needs to, For me that started to happen from1993 to 1999 and on.. That was the breakthrough,
I am sure that will come for you at some stage.
Hugs again, and love darling. ❤
Thanks so much, Cherryl. Xx 💖
My dear Ellie, how brave of you to share this. Saying a prayer for your mum and sending you, loving, healing vibes. Xx ❤
Thank you so much, Harshi. It was a hard piece to write, but I also found it to be cathartic. Thank you very much for your prayer, love and healing vibes. You are very kind. Xx 🌼💞