Her Perfect Ending
My mother passed away just one month ago. If she could have planned it, I think it happened exactly how she would have wanted it to be. Her immediate family just happened to be on vacation together at that time. We rented a beautiful home at the beach where she could watch the grandchildren play on the beach from the balcony. We had several wonderful days together of playing in the pool, shopping and cooking dinners for one another. She was so happy she was planning for the next summer family vacation.
That morning, I went outside on the balcony to feed my 3 month old. I had such a relaxing visit with my mom. It was peaceful and I longed for more talks with her like this. That day I shared with my sister-in-law that this vacation was going so good - everyone was having a good time and not getting on each other'+s nerves. She said to give it some time and see how I felt by the end of the week. The last time I spoke to my mother was while admiring a giant kite flying next to the house. It was a brief seemingly unimportant chat. The last time I saw her alive I was rocking my baby on the porch while she swam in the pool below. She asked me a question and I nodded my head - I can't even remember the question now. I took a nap and never saw her alive again.
When I got up, my husband and I took our two children out to dinner. My brother and his wife went out for a date night. My parents went out to eat with their other grandchildren. On my way home from dinner my phone rang and I missed my mother's call. I called back and no one answered. I called again and my father answered. He said my mom was sick and they called an ambulance. I was shocked and confused. After a minute I turned the car around and headed to find them. As I pulled up to the restaurant I saw the ambulance racing down the road. My father had the twins in the car and said he would follow us to the hospital - 45 minutes away. He said she was unconscious but breathing. I contacted my brother on the way to the hospital - he was an hour and a half away. I was so anxious. I was afraid I would not be able to say goodbye. I knew inside it was happening...she was leaving this world. My greatest fear was happening - I was losing my mom. I had that fear for years and was really nervous since she was the same age her mother died.
At the hospital we approached the desk and asked for information on her. While waiting I went to the restroom and when I came out they were moving us to another room. They referred to it as the "family room." I knew it was bad - icu, coma, death? I did my best to stay calm especially with the kids and my father in the room. Then four people walked up and I knew. My chest tightened and my stomach burned. One was a doctor, a nurse, a chaplain and then my mind froze. The doctor spoke and my brain did not work. Get to the point was all I could think. He then said those difficult words...there was nothing more they could do and she died.
She had a massive heart attack. I don't think she felt any significant pain. She told me earlier that morning she felt like she had a heart attack the night before. I thought it was heartburn from the spicy dinner. She never told my husband who is a doctor. I don't think she was sure what had happened or she would have said something to him. At dinner she told my dad she didn't feel well. She asked for a cold wet cloth and said she didn't think she could get up. He paid the bill and when he came back she said to call 911. Then she closed her eyes as if falling asleep. The paramedics were there in 3 mintues. She had a weak pulse and was breathing. Her granddaughter heard her say "I'm sorry" as they put her in the ambulance.
At first I thought she was apologizing for what she thought would be messing up our vacation. I now think she was saying she was sorry but she had to go. It was her time. My mother had said she did not want to live like her father who spent many years in a wheelchair relying on others for help. She continued to smoke even after I begged her to stop because she would rather not live like him. She got her wish. She was losing her mobility and was in pain everyday of her life. She did soldier on and did the best she could. She died the best way possible for her. She had several days of wonderful time together with her husband, two children, daughter-in-law, son-in-law and four grandchildren. She was at one of her favorite places to be - the beach. She even managed the day before to walk on the beach and find a seashell which she had not done in years. I am so happy she did not suffer and she had been with her family.
Selfishly I am begging for one more hug, one more conversation with her. I understand she is gone, but I don't know how to live without her. I had moved to a new city and house just 2 days before our beach trip. Moved closer to my parents and now she is gone. I can't look into the future anymore. It is too confusing and empty. I miss calling her to share the mundane details of my life. There is a void no one can fill. My husband is asking for his wife back. My 3 year old daughter is hugging me to make me feel better because I cannot quit crying. The one person I want advice from is the one person who is gone. I know I must find help and support...my work is only beginning.