Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Gone Too Soon

Thank you to everyone who has been sending me warm wishes and praying for my mother to recover. Sadly, this post brings very sad news that my mother passed away Monday night.

We had a glimpse of hope last week when we met an oncologist who arranged another MRI and thought surgery and radiation might help. She was transported to a larger hospital for the MRI, but just a couple of hours after she was returned to her regular hospital room, the doctor called our family in. She was dying. Nothing could be done. Her organs were shutting down, and her lungs were filling with fluid.

We all drove there as quickly as we could. My mother was surrounded by my father, my sister, my three brothers and me, our partners, as well as many of her siblings and grandchildren. In total there were about 30 of us in her room. Her IV line and feeding tube were removed and she was given oxygen and morphine to ensure she wasn't in pain. She hung on for about 6 hours, with quick, shallow breaths, and an erratic heartbeat. My father quietly begged her to wake up and be alright. But we all knew she was on her way.

At 10:30, the nurses came in to move her a bit and give her another shot. When we walked back into the room her eyes were open and she was looking at my father. She hadn't opened her eyes for more than a few seconds for the past few days. He had renewed hope. I held her hand and kept my other hand on her wrist checking her pulse. She moved her eyes and looked at me. "We're all here for you Mutti," I whispered. "Everybody is here to take care of you. We all love you."

She closed her eyes. She stopped breathing. I lost her pulse.

Someone called the nurse who came in, put on her stethoscope and placed it to my mother's chest for a moment. The room fell silent. "She's gone," she said. I already knew. I think we all knew.

My father looked stunned. "What?", he asked the nurse in disbelief. "I'm so sorry, sir. She's gone."

I couldn't let go of her hand. I just kept holding on. And we cried. We took turns hugging her and giving her a kiss good-bye, and hugging each other to give support as much as to receive it. I leaned in to give her a kiss, and I whispered in her ear as I stroked her hair, "Zoe and Brynn are going to miss out on an amazing Grandma."

We all stayed with her in the room until well after midnight, and I continued to hold her hand until it was finally time to go.

We all went back to my father's house (so used to saying 'my parents' house'), and we discussed arrangements, wrote the notice for the newspaper, confirmed pallbearers, selected her clothing, and did all the other things that everyone hopes they never have to do.

Today we went to the funeral home to arrange the visitation and service and select her casket. Wednesday is the visitation, and Thursday morning is the funeral service.

I'm already exhausted from the emotional drain. These next two days are going to be so taxing to my entire family, especially my father. And my thoughts are constantly with him. My parents' lives revolved around each other. They were inseparable, and I just don't know how he'll go on without her.

We love you, Mutti. You will be missed.

So sorry for you loss Dave. My heart is heavy for you.

Regular lurker,
Christina in Niagara
Oh, Dave, honey. I'm so so sorry. Sending many hugs to you and yours. That picture is so cute.

I'm sad for all of you, especially your Dad. Your Mom lived a good life and loved all of you. She didn't live long with the terminal aspect of her cancer and I hope that is a blessing in some way.

Be good and kind with each other.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Thanks for all of your kind words, thoughts, prayers and sympathy. Definitely not an easy thing to get through, but knowing there are people who care softens the pain a bit.
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