Watching a loved one die

I just watched the movie Irreplaceable You last night after coming home from visiting my mom.   Have you seen it?  It is about the journey of dying and trying to plan for life for your loved ones after you.  It was the appropriate movie to watch last night as I was full of a lot of grief which needed an outlet, and the movie provided that.  I always believe that certain movies come into our lives when you need them and this was an example of one of those moments.

My mom is in a long term care home and bluntly, she is deteriorating quickly.  We have been through numerous hospital emergency rooms and hospital stays and on the last hospital stay, the doctor told my brother and I to start preparing for the worst.  What the doctor failed to realize was that the worst has been ongoing for some time.

My mother was a strong, ferociously independent and stubborn woman who loved to laugh and cook.

The woman I go to visit now is so far removed from the mom that I knew.  One of the hardest aspects has been her interaction with my children.  She always dreamed of being able to cook for her grandkids and wanted to sew for them, as she used to be an amazing seamstress, but the dementia and the Parkinson’s put an end to those dreams.  Instead, she is teaching my children to be kind to those who are ill and is teaching them acceptance of those with disabilities.

But it is soul shatteringly sad to watch your mom wither away.  Yesterday, during our visit, she remained in her bed and there were moments when I was talking to her, when she just closed her eyes and her breathing became laboured and she started writhing in pain.

But the moment implanted on my soul is when she reached for my arm and pulled it to her face and held it there.  And even though her speech is starting to go and her memory is gone, in that moment, I had my mom and her love.  I stroked her face, with its soft familiarity and I wished away her pain.  I wished her peace.  I wished that she could be with her mother, who passed many years ago, and whom my mom misses every single day.

I will miss my mom dreadfully when she passes, but from her, my strong and determined mother, she has taught me inner strength and I know that even though I will miss her everyday, as she misses her mother, she is and will always be a part of me and I see that same strength alive in my kids.

But that’s just one Diva’s View.

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