Charlie O. wrote:A lot has happened since my last Mom update, but I'll cut to the ending:
As I was getting dressed for work this morning, I got a call from my eldest brother Jim at the hospital: "Mom's gone. She just... stopped breathing."
As I hung up the phone, my first thought was: this could have been so much worse, on so many levels. She could have had something that lingered for months or years, with continued physical pain and continued fluctuations of lucidity, or even slipped into full-on dementia like a number of her elderly friends have (which I know she would have hated). Many times over the past quarter-century, and as recently as a few days ago, she told me how afraid she was that Dad would go before she did (though I never said it, I feared that, too); that didn't happen. She could have died, as her father did, terrified of what agonies might await her in Hell. (I don't know why Grandpa was so worried about that. I don't remember him being devoutly religious, and he certainly wasn't ever much of a sinner as far as I knew.)
To just "... stop breathing," with no apparent pain or fear, is a pretty enviable way to go, as ways to go go.
I wasn't sure what state I would find Jim and Dad in when I got to the hospital - but I found that we were all on the same page.
At the end, she was fighting Norovirus (picked up at the miserable rehab place she transferred to from the hospital, before THEY sent her back to the hospital on Thursday), fluid in one lung, kidneys that weren't functioning properly, very low blood pressure, and very high blood sugar. The pulmonologist told Dad and Jim yesterday (and they told me) that while he wasn't "predicting anything," we "should be prepared for the worst." I suppose we were.
So while the grief may hit me hard at some point, right now I'm okay. We're okay. I'm confident that she's okay. It's all okay.
Every ounce of pain, distress or anxiety your Mom was going through has ended. All gone. I sincerely hope you can find comfort in these totally obvious but nonetheless true words. Sending much love to you and your family, dear Charlie xx