Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Mum Crossed Over

My Mum crossed over 10 February 2013.  "Failure to Thrive"  I've heard of that in babies but never for a 78 (she just had a birthday in January) year old grown woman.

Anyway, the Pixie and I drove up there late in January.  I visited her in the Nursing Home a few times and Pixie came once.  I didn't want to have Pixie remember her that way but I did want her to have the opportunity to say the I Love You and such things to her Gma and for Gma to hear them.

I did not visit as much as I should have.  Mum did not recognize me when I walked into her room and it took several attempts with me telling her that I am her daughter (and saying my name) before she was able to grasp that it was really me.  She apologized for that [silly woman] and I explained to her that I was not offended and that she wasn't expecting me so her confusion was perfectly understandable.  We talked a bit that day.  Me telling her that when she is strong enough she's going to come visit with us (come to live with us but not phrasing it that way so as to not stress her out about it).  On that visit she asked if my Pixie was with me and I told her yes, but not at the facility.  She was glad of that (didn't want Pixie to see her like this) and told me that she had seen Pixie playing in the snow and wanted to know if that was real.  I told her that Pixie had been playing in the snow and had a wonderful time building a little snow fort.

The days that I did not visit I did call.

After that first visit I was never again able to hear what she was saying.  On my last "in person" visit she said only two things that I was able to understand "I don't know him" and "I can see him ... but I can't touch..."  I'm assuming she was referring to God.  Mind you she was the most spiritual [Christian] that I have ever known (I truly believe the woman is a saint and have said it regularly for most of my life "My Mother the Saint").  I cannot believe that she should have had any fear about meeting her maker with how religious she was.  Though I sincerely hope that her God, my Father/her Husband, her Parents and everybody else who has gone on before had a talk with her about the choices she made toward the end and/or perhaps rather the lack of choices she made.

I could not sit by her bed holding her hand and watching her kill herself.  I simply could not.  I suppose that means I'm awful.  I know I "should" have been by her side night and day until she passed.  I simply could not do it.  On my last in person visit I told her I love her, I told her she could go, it is okay for her to go.  I told her we would miss her and that although I didn't understand the choices I respect her decisions.  She was talking the whole time.  I couldn't hear her, neither could the Nurses.  I finally gave up trying to hear her and said "I hope you're praying because if you're talking to me I cannot hear you, I'm sorry."

You see she refused tests, she stopped taking medications she needed, she refused treatments (I'm saying that her "I'll think about it" qualifies as "refusal").  This started about September 2011 actually before that but I was not acutely aware of what was going on with her.  At that time the three different medical facilities wanted to do tests to determine what was going on. For almost a year and a half she "thought about it" but never had an answer as to what she had decided after all that "thinking".  "Not making a choice IS a choice" I kept telling her for a year and a half.

Her passive-aggressive nature killed her.

She was had gotten better, gotten up to her normal weight, doing well in her Physical and Occupational therapies. We were all set to go get her.  Her room was nearly ready, Hubby was going to take care of the last bits after we found out if she needed a hospital type bed or if a regular bed would be okay...

She was bleeding internally and because she refused tests and treatments for that condition she declined again.  I still believe that if she had simply had the tests and had the appropriate treatments for what the results revealed that she would be alive today.  Happy, healthy and enjoying her life.  They were sending her out from time to time for blood transfusion and then she started the "I'll think about it." for the transfusions.  She never had another one.  She refused to go to hospital where she could have been treated medically for the dehydration, anemia, etc.  She was on Oxygen 24/7 the last few weeks (she would only use it part time prior to that despite the Doctor's instruction for her to use it all the time).  She had "End Stage COPD" and stopped using her inhalers but did (toward the end) have her nebulizer treatments but that was only because she was desperate to breath.  At least she did that.

She stopped eating.  I simply do not understand how such a religious woman could choose to commit suicide by passivity.  Hubby said, and I must agree, that she decided that God needed to either cure her or take her.

Pixie and I ended up being at her apartment for 3 months...almost to the day.  It was very difficult.  We're not used to snow and the complications it brings.  I had to search out things [like the safe deposit box key] and make the funeral arrangements, sell her car, try to sift through belongings (I really did not succeed with that - I did managed to stack up the mountains of religious books, CDs, Audio Cassettes, DVDs and VHS Tapes.  That was quite a task.  It looked like a religious book store in there.  I don't think even a Christian bookstore would have the inventory that she had - I plan to give those to her Church when we go back up to bury her ashes).  My plan is to put my Father's ashes in the same grave with my Mum, they will be next to her parents.  My Father passed in 1987.  In all this time we have not been able to do with his ashes as he asked so this is what I have decided to do.  At least they will be together.  I hope he doesn't mind that we were unable to carry out his quirky wishes..  So that will mean getting a stone too.  I should probably arrange for that before we go back up so the stone can be placed at the same time as the ashes are interred.  When we go back we are also going to hire movers to empty the apartment and will ship the things down here to put in storage until we can get everything gone through and distributed as is appropriate.

Going through her clothes stopped me dead in my tracks.  I did well for a while, but then I just couldn't do anymore.  I was beside myself... One of Mum's neighbors and I were chatting and she mentioned that she still has some of her husbands clothes.  What is it about their clothes?  It's hard to do the clothes.  My Grandmother had the same issue after my Grandfather crossed.  She simply could not get rid of his clothes.  I thought it was silly at the time.  Now I know, it IS hard to do the clothes.

I think I'm still in shock.  Leaving there was very hard.  In some ways it cemented that she is gone.  We were supposed to bring her home with us.

It's an odd feeling to be an orphan at 53.  Yep, this has been a lot about "me".  Not as cathartic as I had hoped.

The people there spoke of her in such warm and glowing terms.  I'm glad they knew her that way.  I envy them in that.  She kept me at arms length, with us she was not the person they knew.

Perhaps that was the worst thing.  Hearing all the wonderful things people had to say about her and not knowing that woman.

Huggles, Faerie

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