Monday, February 26, 2018

Even Dying Is Hard Work

     It certainly looks that way.  Maybe that's a crass observation, but it feels wretched to have to watch someone beyond all help, well beyond any real help you can give -- simply worn out by time -- with good painkillers (but not so much of them as to induce unconsciousness), with supplied oxygen, with nurses and lovely surroundings, with familiar pictures on the wall, familiar belongings on dresser and nightstand, live flowers on the windowsill and she's having to -- only able to -- just lie there, eyes shut, mostly asleep, sometimes dreaming, sometimes awake enough for a word or two.  For all the peace, prettiness and soft music in the hallways, it still looks like desperately hard work.

     To watch you own mother go through this is pain almost beyond enduring.

     Mom had a bad few minutes while I was visiting tonight.  We were waiting for the nurse with her medicine and Mom moved and cried out, quietly.  My sister, my brother and I gathered around, talking to her, patting her, telling her we were all there and we loved her.  She never opened her eyes, but she calmed and said, a bit indistinctly, "I love you," as she relaxed.

     She was sleeping fairly peacefully when I left.  I hope she dreams; I hope her dreams are pleasant.

     It's not like the movies.  It's hard work.  Terribly hard.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is a special place in heaven for mothers. God Bless.

Joseph said...

"You can't just plain die. You got to do it by the book."---Richard McKenna in "Casey Agonistes"

JayNola said...

Blessings to you and prayers for comfort for your mother.

waepnedmann said...

I sat two nights with my mom.
I talked to her, but she was beyond responding.
She was not expected to last through the first night.
She recovered!
We had another year, but life had become a burden that she was glad to lay down.
Smoking robbed her of her health and eventualy took her life.
I wanted to blame someone, but where do you start and where do you end?

Thoughts and prayers for you and yours.
It is a hard time.

John said...

My father stood up to walk across the room to change the TV channel, (yes, that was a long time ago) collapsed and died.
As bad as that was, my mother's slow decline of physical and mental health was much, much harder to face.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Our condolences ma'am. My brother and I are in similar situation - Mom is in last stages of pulmonary fibrosis and watching her fight to just breath is extremely difficult to witness. We've already said what has to be said to each other - just waiting for her struggle to end. It is heartbreaking, but she is facing it with dignity. I am so proud to be her child - I hope when it is my turn, I can do the same for my kids.

The Old Man said...

The MIL (97 y.o. WW2 vet)entered a nursing facility two weeks ago with a prognosis of 2 weeks to 2 months left due to her congestive heart failure. She's been my MIL for the last 47 years. It is tougher than toenail soup to watch her slide down the mental faculty slope to a different world. So far she "comes back to the reservation" but the fugues are getting more frequent.
Needless to say, I empathize with your plight. May she go painlessly.

JimBob said...

Been there. Pray for strength, comfort, and may God's will be done.

Rob K said...

You and your mom have all of my sympathy. I think watching helplessly as loved ones slowly succumb to the inevitable is one of the worst things we all share.

fillyjonk said...

Condolences to you and yours. Too many people I know are suffering some kind of loss or pending loss right now.