Category Archives: Death Can Be Healing

Mom Died and I’m Struggling…

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Mom died. It happened almost three weeks ago, on March 27, 2017 at 2:55 a.m. I’ve been dealing with various aspects ~ like getting her buried (actually encrypted) next to Dad at Forest Lawn, getting her death certificate, and notifying various insurance companies and pension plans of her demise for starters. Then, once I get the forms from the aforementioned insurance companies and pension plans, I get to fill them out using the copies of the death certificate that I got from Forest Lawn ~ and I HATE filling out forms.

But it’s got to be done. Harrumph.

I’ve been flooded with a myriad of feelings since she died, and I haven’t really had any place to take them. I know I can talk about them with Karen, or Helen~Kim~Rachel~Jesse~Jacob~Rob~Isaac via email, or God via prayer. Of course, I’m talking to God about them ~ I talk to God about everything ~ but sometimes it FEELS better if I can talk to a person I can see with my eyes. And that precludes all of the above-mentioned people except for Karen, but it’s hard to think of talking to Karen, because there’s never a time when she’s not sleep-deprived and therefore struggling to stay awake as you’re talking to her.

So that leaves here. As in talking about all these roiling feelings here, regardless of the fact that here isn’t a person I can talk to face to face. Here feels like it would be the same as talking to God, because He knows my every thought even before I think it, but writing it down here feels somehow different. Maybe it feels different because I feel like I can say whatever I want and/or need to without regard to what anyone might think of me. I’m pretty certain I can do that with Karen, and with my email friends, but because of the issues already mentioned, it’s much more difficult to talk to them. Another complicating factor with my email friends is that they live all over the world ~ literally. Helen lives in Sydney (that’s Sydney in Australia). Rachel lives in Northern Ireland. And that’s just for starters.

With that said, let’s get on with it.

As I said, I’ve been flooded with a myriad of roiling emotions since Mom died. Actually, they started beforehand, once I knew she wasn’t going to survive this illness, but I didn’t really let them come to the fore until after she was gone. So I’ve decided to use this blog to process all of it. It may take several posts or it may take a few. For all I know it’ll only take one, but it may take many. I just don’t know. I only know that I have to get it out from inside of me, because if I don’t it’s going to fester. I can already feel myself getting seriously depressed, only for the first time in my life the depression has a temporal focus and isn’t free-floating, like it’s always been in the past. This time it’s actually related to something in the world that happened to me that I can pinpoint on the calendar. Which means that, hopefully, it will end at some point. Hopefully.

So…

One of the biggest things I’ve been feeling is that I hastened Mom’s death because I didn’t visit her often enough. And my fear isn’t without justification. By not often enough I don’t mean I visited her once a week when I could have gone to see her three times a week or everyday, even though there were times that I did see her once a week. I mean that, while I did see her once a week at times, most of the time, I came up with reasons and excuses to not see her at all, every reason in the book, in fact. I did pay her bills as needed, though I wasn’t very good at that either, and whenever there was a care-planning meeting for her at Monrovia Gardens I always showed up and asked questions and signed whatever papers they needed me to sign. Whenever she ended up in the hospital I would visit her everyday while she was there. I just couldn’t seem to make myself go and visit her at Monrovia Gardens on any kind of regular basis.

Mom never did advance beyond mid-stage Alzheimer’s Disease. She just kind of gave up. I know what advanced and end-stage Alzheimer’s looks like. Karen’s mother is in end-stage Alzheimer’s (I think). If she’s not in end-stage, then it’s very far advanced. Mom never got that far. She was still able to talk and feed herself when she felt like eating. She was no longer ambulatory, but she wasn’t yet bedridden, and she could still socialize and interact with other people when she so desired. Karen’s mom hasn’t been able to do any of that for a very long time. Karen says she can understand what her mother is trying to communicate, even though she’s completely nonverbal.

As I said, Mom just seemed to give up. She stopped eating and drinking, and then she ended up in the hospital because she got dehydrated and came down with pneumonia. At first her doctor told me he thought she’d recover from that illness, but that she’d fairly quickly become ill again, and that she wouldn’t recover from the second illness. As it turned out, she didn’t recover from the first illness. She died two days after coming home from the hospital.

I had started praying that God would take her Home right around the same time she stopped eating and drinking. I just felt like her quality of life was such that she wasn’t happy, and wasn’t at peace, and I couldn’t really ask her about it because she wasn’t able to communicate on that level anymore, and hadn’t been able to for a long time. And the point of it all was that she wasn’t going to get any better, but rather would only get worse over time. So the overall picture was fairly bleak.

On that note I’m going to end this post and continue with this in my next one…