Saturday, December 13, 2014

What Love Is


The last few days have been unreal. My Mother is dying. We have been given a private room at the Nursing Home and I have slept on a roll up bed near her for the last two nights. I woke from a fitful and interrupted sleep the first night telling myself I couldn't continue to sleep here. But at 5 am she cried out and my presence made a difference. Then today, although her communication with us and ours to her has been a hundred times 'I love you', she said, "please don't leave me alone." So I'm staying. I am surprised to acknowledge that I consider comforting her a high privilege. 

Despite her four children a her good husband traveling on business, my daughter Jessica arrived yesterday and stayed until mid-afternoon today. That's her hand entwined with her grandmother's. We cried so deeply. My Mother is almost 99 but it still feels too soon. We will miss her so much it hurts so much already. I watched Jess caress her and calm her and kiss her and I know yet again that I have raised a wonderful wonderful daughter.

And I'm feeling that my Mother has also raised a wonderful wonderful daughter. I am proud of myself.  

The staff here feels that the process of dying will not take a week now. They assure me my Mother  will remain peaceful and without pain. This morning, around six am, I put my iPhone to her ear and played Perry Como singing "Till the End of Time" and the soundtrack of "Some Enchanted Evening." And then Bing Crosby's "White Christmas." Her eyes were closed and she didn't move. We held hands and my tears fell. These tears are so much about love I almost welcome them.

My Mother has every reason to be proud of her life and her passage. She spoke my daughter's name. She kissed JB, she told my sister-in-law "I love you four times." She told us she is comfortable.

And me: she struggled but she got it out: "Karen, I've always loved you. I worried about you because I love you so much. I love you. I love you."

There will be heartbreak in this family. But there will be no regrets.

What a blessing.

love
kj

28 comments:

  1. You're right KJ, it is a blessing. To have no regrets, sadness yes there will be heartbreak, but also comfort in knowing that love transcends everything. It is a universal truth. Much love xx Jos

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    1. jos, how wise you are. in the beginning and in the end, love is everything

      love always
      your pal
      kj

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  2. It will be alright kj, I know your strength and ability to shoulder large days. You'll be tearful but well.

    LOVE YOU KIDDO

    mark

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    1. mark, this comment made my day. especially the kiddo part.

      i love you too
      xokj

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  3. KJ you are truly in my thoughts and prayers. You are very blessed to love so much and be loved, and to have such a wonderful mother and daughter. It won't be easy but you have no regrets and that is in itself a blessing, believe me. Much much love to you and everyone. Mim

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    1. mim, i know you are thinking about me because i am thinking about you--the daughters that we both are. no, no regrets. not one damn one.

      love
      kj

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  4. kj, I am so happy for you. Weird to say, right? In my mother's dementia she has decided I'm evil and not to be trusted. I'd give my left arm to provide a nano second of comfort for my mum.

    I'm glad you can be there for your Mom.

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    1. cyndi and stumpy, i am so sorry for your situation. that sounds painfully hard and it's hard to find a way around it, right? i hope things change as time passes, as it often may. as we approach the end, my Mother often thinks i'm her sister betty and most recently her sister catherine. good thing i know she loved them both so much, so i accept the compliment.

      thank you for your comment. looks like you're not blogging any more?

      love
      kj

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  5. It's so hard watching someone you love die, you will miss her deeply. I sat with my mum as she lay dying and I'm so thankful I did. Mum did not suffer, she slipped into a coma and died peacefully. A good death. What more can we ask for? Take care woman. Sending hugs.

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    1. I'm right here with her, deb. i feel like the world outside is beyond my reach. last night i fell asleep upright in a chair and woke this morning still holding her hand. i was glad of that. we are in the final stretch and i do think my Mom is going to die in peace. so glad for that too.

      love
      kj

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  6. Kj, Yes, you are so blessed, when my mother died, she had a stroke and went very fast there was no time for me to get there. I don't regret it as I know everything happens as it supposed to, but there is a part of me that so wanted to be there holding her hand.
    You get to spend this time with your mom, you are very lucky indeed.
    It is always too soon to loss your mom.
    Love and hugs, xoxo

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    1. I meant lose. Heartbreak makes you make mistakes. xoxo

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    2. i know, annie.. i know how hard you tried to get back home. i know how fortunate i am. and i know how fortunate my Mother is to leave in the arms of love..

      love
      kj

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  7. Peace and love to you and your family. xx

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    1. thank you very much kay. xo

      love
      kj

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  8. "A high privilege".
    Indeed.

    Please remember, when she seems to be sleeping, or non-responsive,
    we don't know or understand. She may still know you are there, and be able to hear you. Mom had been non-responsive for a week. Saying nothing. When I arrived, I took her hand and she called my name, which turned out to be her last word.. And then she passed.
    "Be still and know".
    In His love, and mine.
    Babs

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    1. dear babs, i am talking to her non stop, whispering how i love her, assuring her we are all okay, telling her i'm picking up her mother and sisters for a visit.

      that is a heartwarming story about your Mom calling your name. We know so little about how this transition happens within oneself.

      love
      kj

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  9. It's hard, but how wonderful for your mother to get to spend her last days surrounded by love and for you to carry that memory with you.

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    1. hello cs, yes, it's wonderful. my memories of this parting, and of my Mother's life, will be precious.

      love
      kj

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  10. So now she has her wings. Another angel taking flight. My heart is with you KJ as you mourn this great loss. There is no way around it, only through it. The pain will ease ... however hard it is to believe right now. Warmest hugs to you xx Jos

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  11. Kj, What Jos said, I echo. Thinking of you and sending much love and many hugs.
    xoxo

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  12. What a wonderful time with your mother. And such beautiful reflections. I was half a continent away from my parents when they died; Dad within a year of Mom.

    Blessings and Bear hugs trough Christmas, and whatever else comes.

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  13. Thinking of you! Big hug !!!

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  14. You and your mother must have had a wonderful bond

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  15. Loving hugs ~ what a blessing that you and your daughter can comfort one another as well as your mom ~ xoxo

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  16. My dear k, there are no words for good bye. I love you cover us from birth to death. And then some.

    Your Mother gave you the most precious gift anyone could hope for: to be loved, and to love in return. Just say I love you over and over again, until you heart can hold the pain and your tears will be the relief of her absence, because every time you tell her you love her wherever she may be, you are keeping her alive in your heart.

    I know. That's how I keep Barry and Renee and all the other loves of my life alive in mine.

    I love you, and I am here, always.

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  17. Thinking of you and your family - be well, Sharon

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