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My mom passed away this morning

June 5 2012 at 12:09 AM
Renata  (Login doglvr)
*HFP Mommies*

Dearest friends: Thank you so much for your prayers and words of comfort. Truly, it means the world to me. I went to the hospital alone on Saturday night and prayed with/for my mom. I sobbed. I held one hand on her heart and felt its frail beat while resting my head against her's and whispering into her ear. I asked for forgiveness for ways I had hurt her. I forgave her for ways in which she hurt me. I told her how much I was going to miss her...just her presence. It was very painful, but very needed and I'm so glad I had that time alone with her. By Sunday she was basically in a coma. We decided to move her back to her board and care home for hospice. The hospice nurse was amazing. She gave DD a stuffed puppy and some permanent markers so she could write a note to my mom and we tucked that puppy into her arms. Hospice also placed the most beautiful quilt on her (which is our's to keep), made by hospital volunteers. I was very impressed with how Kaiser handled this, truly.

I went to see her Sunday night and the priest from the parish of the school where I work came over to do the annointing of the sick. He was interested in knowing about my mom's life and her background. We looked through her very old, much loved prayer book (all in Italian). He looked at pictures of her with me. At the end he gave me the warmest hug ever (he isn't really a warm and fuzzy guy, so this was very meaningful). Although I converted to Judaism a number of years ago, it was a huge comfort for me and I immediately felt like I could let go of my mom after she was annointed. After he left I took out some lotion and massaged her hands and smoothed lotion on her face. Her skin felt unbelievably soft and there was not a wrinkle on her face.

We thought she would live several more days, but alas, about an hour after I left this morning she died. The caregiver called me and I was happy to know that both she and her husband were there with my mom for her last breath. She said, "I couldn't believe it. Two tears ran down your mom's face and then she took her last breath. I started to cry". I am sad that it wasn't me there with my mom, but maybe she waited until I was gone. I have heard from hospice folks that that often happens. I'm just glad she wasn't alone in darkness like my father was. DH, DD and I went to the home after that. DD actually wanted to see her grandma and was not at all afraid to see a dead body. Anyway, we are having her cremated so the funeral home came to get her and I couldn't believe how lovingly and beautifully they covered her body with a gorgeous embroidered blanket, and haloed her head with the sheet. It was so respectful and touching. The caregiver's DD who is 13 told me, "The other day my friends asked me which of the ladies I would most NOT want to die and I said your mom. She was my favorite."

Really, as far as death goes, I feel pretty lucky. She didn't suffer long and I had many chances to be with her and talk to her and talk to other people. I am bringing my father's ashes up from the Bay Area and will place them together in the Catholic cemetery here, which is in a spectacularly beautiful spot. We are having a Mass on Friday, then we will be "sitting shiva" as a Jewish family and taking that time to mourn the loss.

I think it's auspicious somehow that tonight is a full moon, and a lunar eclipse as well. A time of death, and renewal/rebirth.

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