I Died When My Mom Did

by Deb Fegley
(Quincy, MI)

On June 26th, 2013 I got a frantic call from my eldest child. "Something's wrong with Grandma," she screamed into the phone. "Why, what's wrong?" "She is wide awake but she won't look at me or answer me and she's messed herself." "I've called the ambulance. "I'll meet up with you at the hospital then." I suspected a stroke right off and I knew time was important. I wasn't dressed yet, hadn't eaten, so I hurried around and headed up to our little, rural hospital.

I beat the ambulance to the hospital by about 25 minutes. I paced up and down the sidewalk in front of the ambulance entrance and finally it pulled up in front but it just parked. I finally beat on the window and asked them if they had my Mother, Dolores on board. They said they didn't but she was about 5 minutes away. My mind was in a turmoil; a turtle could have made it quicker. Soon after they arrived and unloaded her. I grabbed her hand and walked by her side. I speak loudly, so I was pretty sure, that if she was able to hear, she'd hear me! "Mom, Mom?" My worst fears were confirmed as her head lolled around and she remained unfocused with dolly eyes. This being a term I heard years ago to describe brain damaged person's actions as their head and neck lolle about and the eyes never focus. Her pupils were dilted and it made her eyes look coal black. I knew in my heart she was gone then but still I hoped.

They did a CT scan and showed it to me. It revealed a midline intracranial hemorrhage. One part of her brain had slammed into the other part, actually moving it she had a massive stroke. I am 62 and Mom was a vital, energetic 82 year old sweatheart of a woman. There wasn't anyone that didn't love my Mom. She was a compassionate and caring person. She never judged anyone and she always saw the good in others. I used to ask her how I could be her daughter, I am just the opposite. I am loud and excitable while she was quiet and calm. She sent me to do the dirty work, she couldn't do like yell at neighbors for transgressions on her property. She was sent down to a bigger hospital in Fort Wayne where neurologists could maybe perform surgery but I wasn't given much hope of her even surviving the trip down there.

There was nothing they could do for her so she was placed in the hospital hospice wing. I watched her every breath until June 29th when she took her last one at 5:55 PM. In those four days I grieved, even though she never regaine consciousness, they say hearing is the last sense to go; I was careful what I said to her but I thanked her for all she did for me, I told her I loved her. More than anything I wanted to beg her not to leave me. I saw her on Monday and she was out in the yard yanking and cutting branches out of her snowball tree; dragging branches to the burn pile. It was so hot that day near 90 degrees. She said she was done but my daughter told me she worked until late in the afternoon, until she was red in the face and she was sweating. I talked to her on Tuesday afternoon. She asked what I was doing and I told her I was taking it easy since I had been out earlier picking strawberries for her and I have serious back problems. I wanted to do something for my Mom and she always makes that real difficult. I wanted to paint her kitchen for her and she wanted to know if I had run out of things to paint at my own house; she was referring to my ongoing redecoating/wallpapering/painting of my bedroom (I still haven't finished it). Can't I just do one thing for my Mom? She relented and said I could. I then asked her how she was. She said she was very tired. Well of course she was. She was out cutting branches and dragging them and burning them and she could work circles around any teenager I know. She never said she was having headaches. She never said she was confused. What she said was she was slipping some. Of course she was. She was 82years old!

I told her I wanted her to see my doctor, I didn't like hers. He was flippant and rude. He blew her off. I used to go to him. He was too young and too uncaring. She said she'd go to mine. Take care of yourself and rest she finally said to me to end the conversation. You take care of ourself! I didn't know that those would be my last words to her that I know she heard. I love you Mom. She had her stroke the next morning and the essence of who she was; ended too.

I am desolate. On so many levels; I cannot be comforted. Long time ago my Mother was young and she had dreams and I never even thought about that. I mean, I never thought of her having dreams or of her sacrfices. At one point she carried me in her own body. Never did I ever have that close a relationship with anyone else. I was an embryo, a fetus, a baby, a toddler, a child, a youngster, a teenager, an adult, a mother,and a grandmother, but always I was her daughter. I came to see myself reflected in her eyes. Now, I do not know who I am. It is like I ceased to be when she died. A huge part of who I am, my history ceased to exist when she passed away. How could she be so lively one day and then within a few hours not be, anymore? That fact pains me the most. The lack of warning, the suddeness of her passing. I can almost see her outline when I go over to her house to finish up final details. I feel empty and so alone. I look up at the sky so clear and blue and my mind screams out, "Mom, where are you?" There is no answer, because she no longer exists. She remains in Gods memory awaiting Jesus's voice calling her name to arise in the resurrection after Armaggedon. Mom I hope I will be able to see you again, if I didn't have that hope, I would surely perish!

Comments for I Died When My Mom Did

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May 23, 2014
I miss my best friend my mom
by: marty

My mom was my best friend my everything she was so smart an made my life so easy but now she's gone I feel like I have no one ican count on anymore! She had alot of medical problems her whole life but no matter what made the best of it she had her first kidney transplant in 93 her brother donated then it started failing in 2000 in 2001 I was 21 an I wanted to donate my kidney to her they said I was a perfect match so we had the surgery an I had my mom back til sept 2012 when she had to have a port put in for radiation treatment for cancer it was supposed be simple procedure an get out the next day but the next day never came she ending up being in there over 2 weeks dying slowly every day it hurt so bad to see the day I lost her she raised up out her bed an said marty I love you more than you will ever know an she passed away just mins after I feel like I died that day too why did god take the one person that I was the closest too an can't live without!

Aug 30, 2013
Lost my mom too
by: Kim

I lost my mom on June 18, 2013. I don't know how to live in a world without the woman who brought me into the world. She was my best friend. You have my prayers and my understanding.

Aug 27, 2013
Cant seem to do it!!
by: Darlene

Im sorry for your losses. I lost my Mom/best friend Feb 7, 2013 while she was on vacation with my dad in Mexico she had a brain hemmorage, they did surgery on her down there and she spent her 88th birthday in a drug induced comma, 13 days later we life flighted her out of Mexico only for her to hav another one on the plane, she was diverted to Huston Texas, where she died. I have tons of guilt, we were best friends also, we talked every day at 6:45 pm for a good hour, and saw her all the time since she lived 5 mins away. She bright, and healthy, and full of life, never in a million years did I think she would go before my Dad. My problem is my parents were married 68 years!! Now my Dad is living in the house alone & hes not well, yet he wont admit it hes barley hanging on, Hes nasty & mean to me and all I try to do is help him, grocery shop, pay his bills, drive him where he needs to go even thou he still drives...he takes up all my time and I cant seem to grieve myself as Im trying to get him thru his grief. I sit here til wee hours of the morning and find myself crying I miss her so much and her words of wisdom. Im not sure what to do...Thanks for letting me share <3

Aug 18, 2013
I died when my mom did
by: silver

Dear Deb,It's so unusual.You sound like a nurse or other medical person.I am a retired nurse.I have a sister named Debbie and my mother died 4 months before her 82nd birthday.She died of a clot to the major artery to her lungs.My dad had died 7 months earlier and she just gave up.We became close when I became a mother also.When I divorced my first husband I lived with them for about 2 yrs until I married the true love of my life.I was taking my husband to a chemo treatment when I got the call from my youngest child that my mother had quit breathing and was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.When I got there they told me she had died.I totally understand how you feel.I miss my mom a lot.GOD send you strength and peace.I keep you in my prayers.This site,the support here with letters and poem have helped me so much.

Aug 03, 2013
I understand.
by: Disabled daughter

Dear Deb, Please accept my condolences on the sad passing of your mom.

I am disabled, and have no relatives. The passing of my mum is the worst tragedy. Even losing my sight was not as traumatic - because she was there to hold my hand.

Concerning the ambulance taking a long time to get to hospital. When paramedics are attending they need not leave until the patient is `stable'. I know this from my own experiences of using them. So please do not fret too much about this.

You will now feel like you have lost your right arm, but in time hopefully your cherished memories will comfort you. Remember when you praise your mom, you are her daughter, and despite your doubts will have inherited and been influenced by her presence.

Thinking of you.

Aug 02, 2013
Lost my mom and best friend
by: Anonymous

I lost my mom May 8,2013 and also feel a part of me died! I was very close to my mom. She lived downstairs from me and the pain of looking at her apartment and she is not there kills me everyday! She died of a heart attack while no one was home to save her. She felt ill a few days before but then the days following she walked the dog, talked normal. She had no shortness of breath. Nothing to show me she would be dead a few days later. The guilt of not taking her to hospital the day she was ill kills me everyday! I asked God everyday why did she not seem ill the next 3days but yet died! My mom was 79 years old and I miss her everyday I wonder and blame myself constantly for not taking her to hospital. Maybe she was having an early heart attack and I ignored it thinking she was just having stomach virus. Why did she not scream at me to take her to hospital! I never got to say goodbye and tell how much I loved her and how thankful I was for her guiding me in life. I have a 7 year old girl which is the only thing holding me alive, otherwise I would want to join my mom because It is so hard to live without her! I know the pain you feel and it is not easy. I try to believe in God and hope there is eternal life so I too can again see my mom. I wish you peace and comfort that we all seek and hopefully will someday find!

Aug 02, 2013
I died when my mom did
by: Doreen U.K.

Deb I am sorry for your loss of your mom. You had such a strong bond with her that you feel so lost since she has gone you have gone into an identity crisis. If you are struggling try and see a grief counsellor. You will be able to separate who your mom was and who you are as an individual. Few of us can have such a strong bond with our mother that is such a wrench to our being when they die.
I am thankful to hear your last statement of seeing your mother again. Your mother's body has just died but her Spirit is alive and with God awaiting the resurrection and her spirit being put back into a new body to live and reign with Jesus forever. This is the hope I have for my husband who died of cancer 15 months ago from a 44yrs. marriage. If I didn't have this Hope I would not be able to go on in life. I wouldn't see the point. To Give Glory to God is to survive and make our life count till we join our loved ones. If our Hope was only in this life we would be very miserable. WE are just passing through. The life to come is the Life we must strive for. May God comfort you in your grieve and sorrow and give you Peace.

Aug 01, 2013
So sorry
by: Anonymous

Dear Deb,

I am sorry to read about your mother's passing. I lost my father suddenly as well, at the age of 81. He seemed healthy and strong, and then one day, collapsed and died. I feel the EXACT same way that you do. I can only offer you peace and hope you find comfort in the days/months/weeks ahead. I am lost like you, and take each day as it comes. Keep the faith.

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