My Beautiful Darling Mom
As the saying goes, of all the things our mothers taught us, they didn’t teach us how to live without them. My family lost my precious mother on June 17, 2012. Her name is Inga and she came from Iceland. She read a lot of newsletters and books on natural health and eschewed hospitals, prescription medicines and aggressive treatments. But there was one day when I couldn’t take it anymore.
She was getting weak and I went shopping for items like a walker, a bath chair to put in the bathtub, etc. When I arrived home, she was on the floor. I wanted to call someone but she resisted. I deferred for awhile but couldn’t take it anymore and called 911. She didn’t want to go to the hospital but I convinced her, saying we would come right back home. I found out that she had congestive heart failure and her ejection fraction was 15%. While at the hospital, someone asked if I wanted to sign a DNR (“do not resuscitate”) form. You know what it’s like to sign something like that? It was emotional agony. Yet I knew that my mom provisioned the DNR in her medical directive and I later I summoned the courage to sign the form because that was my mom’s wishes. In Texas, showing the medical directive isn’t enough. You have to sign another form for hospice care. I broke down afterwards. We stayed in the hospital for 3 weeks. To respect my mom’s wishes, I told them that if my mom is to leave this life, then she wants to be at home. After coming home, she passed away 13 days later.
While looking for something to relieve my grief, I came across a book entitled Life After Life. The book cites case histories of people who were clinically dead but were later resuscitated. The people in the book described what happened to them while they were “dead”. It was striking to me because my mom described the same experience of being drawn into a dark, peaceful space like those mentioned in the book. This happened before she went into the hospital.
Most of my mom’s family lives overseas. Because she was home-bound, she lost contact with friends. Therefore, we declined funeral services and a formal memorial. It’s like she went away quietly and invisibly. Therefore, I writing here to let someone know she was here and very much loved and adored. I’m looking for more books on coping strategies and the afterlife. That is my therapy right now. I have no energy yet I cannot sleep. I sometimes feel restless and wonder if I did enough. I’m filled with guilt that I was not there as she passed (I was running an errand and believed I could get back home shortly). I’m so messed up, I’m lighting candles hoping her spirit will contact me.
The mother-daughter bond is profound. Even with all the frustrations and worries that come in life, my mom’s love was always unconditional. I never doubted her love for me and I believe she never doubted mine. I feel for anyone experiencing this emotional agony. I wish I could tell you how to cope but it is I who needs to learn how….