A Motherless Mother
I promised my mother I wouldn't write this.
Let me clarify. I told my mother I wouldn't write a detailed account about spending the past weeks with her--weeks in which she's been in home hospice-at end of her 18-year battle with metastasized breast cancer.
But having had the privilege of spending this time with her, I do want to pass along a few things (in no particular order) that I learned. Perhaps in its own unusual way, this was a final lesson and valuable gift sent from my mother to me.
** People who work in hospice are some of the most compassionate I've ever witnessed. They come into houses of total strangers and allow for comfort, talks, questions to be answered, and dignity for your loved one. Take advantage of this opportunity, as heartbreaking as it may seem, should it arise.
** Although I'm a big "talker" in general, (my husband would cry foul if I tried to claim otherwise) in this situation, I didn't have the desire to talk too much about what was going on. Instead, I read books that gave some amazing insights into what was happening, and what might happen as far as emotions and reactions before after death. From "On Death and Dying," to "Final Gifts" and the "Companion to Grief," I was reminded to further open my mind and work to understand the needs and communications of a dying person-my mother. I could more easily pick and chose what I wanted to spend time talking about. Stories in the books passed along from nurses and the dying patients they had worked with made me less fearful and more able to prepare for what was to come. Books also allowed me to think about the concepts that no one goes through grieving in exactly the same way and that no one should be judged about their "grieving"- no matter how it manifests or how long it lasts.Continued on the next page