"You're Just In Time!"

These were her last words to us last Saturday as we walked into her room. She began to choke on her medicine and I tried to save her with CPR, but by the time the responders came, she was gone. She was already too weak. She's gone now, at peace and free of pain, in a better place than the portable hospital bed in her apartment.
50percent 50percent
51-55, M
8 Responses Jun 22, 2007

Thank you Tate.

ehavemann,<br />
<br />
I'm so very sorry for your loss.<br />
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People told me that losing one's mother was a different experience than losing one's father. My father died in 1984 and there were a lot of differences - I'm older, I have children, I don't have a parent left to share the grief. But even if the cases were reversed, I am compelled by truth to say that there is definitely a difference.<br />
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It's Mommy who has died. Who loved me unconditionally. The physicality is profound - the body that bore me, that gave me life, that carried me around, picked me up, fed me, laughed and cried with me - that body no longer lives. And that's a different kind of severance.<br />
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We can never know what another feels, but we can share that we've lost our mothers and we know what that means. I'm glad you had the chance for some goodbyes, some appreciations. <br />
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Have courage, have wisdom, have strength in these moments of passage. Be there for all who share your loss. You will come through. You are not alone.<br />
<br />
-50%

Your story sounds sadly like what happened to us on Saturday morning 9/8/2007. We went to visit my Mom in her usual hospital room only to find out she'd been moved to ICU. We rushed down to ICU and found her feebly struggling with this horrible "mechanical ventilator" strapped on her face over her nose and mouth. While we helped her re-adjust it, she gasped out "You made it just in time". The only other intelligible words she could muster all day long were "I'm doing this for you", "Take care of him", and "Air, air!". She tried to speak a few other times but just didn't have the lung power. By Saturday night her eyes were open but not moving. Her pacemaker and lung machine kept her alive, but unresponsive, until Sunday when she passed away. I'm haunted by how she suffered that Saturday and the past two months from her lung cancer / emphysema / cardiomyopathy / pulmonary embolism. I did get my chances to say my goodbyes the previous month while she was alert and able to speak, but like 50percent said, I wonder at what expense - watching my mother suffer the way she did. I also found myself calling out "Mommy, Mommy" both before and still now, 9 days after her death, even though I'm almost 50 years old now.

Thank you glorygirl. This forum, the whole EP community, has been an incredible source of strength and wisdom. Weren't we lucky to have such parents? Didn't they set great examples for us, standards to which to live up to? Thank you.<br />
<br />
-50%

How very true, we are never prepared, and neither were they. Like us they just did their best. We need to honour them, and not be so hard on ourselves. Lost my Mom over 21 years ago this month to cancer. Still two years later raising my own children at the time, would find the suger in the oven, the salt in the fridge, gratefull I was getting through it. Miss you terribly even today. It took years before I would see her young again, laughing. The bad memories fade, and the good ones last forever in our hearts. Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt experience.

I haven't visited this group since writing my original post. <br />
<br />
My condolences go out to all who have lost family, friends, and collegues to this scourge. They tell us we're lucky. That cancer gives us time, where heart-attacks take our loved ones from us with little if any warning.<br />
<br />
Maybe, but with a heart-attack our last memories of them could be them rushing off to work, playing golf, playing with children or grandchildren. With cancer, the last memories are of shells, shadows. We see them half-way to the remains they will become, with fear in their eyes and a desperation in their grasps as we reach out to hold their hands.<br />
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So, all things considered, I think keeping everyone up to date on the simple fact that you love them, and then going out in a flash, beats the slow death of cancer, even though the latter gives you time to say all the things you should have been saying all along. <br />
<br />
And, thanks for the kind thoughts. Almost 3 months now and it's been a strange transition to being without either parent. I've resisted it's becoming my definition, but "Lost Mother to Cancer" may have to be a major theme in my life for a little while.<br />
<br />
She still feels a phone call away. I could dial her number - the next time the phone rings it could be her. My wife could say "Hi Mom" with that tone that tells me which "Mom" it is. Either kid could say "Hi Grandma!". Or it could be me.<br />
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Oh... Mommy. It's "Mommy". I called her "Mommy" as she faded in my arms. I hadn't called her that in decades, but when she was dying, and I was holding her, that's what she was. She was "Mommy", I was her son.<br />
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While she was in the hospital I'd call her a couple times a day and remembered how, when I was much younger and she was in the hospital for the birth of a sibling, I'd call her constantly through the day. "Hello. May I speak to Mrs. -----, please?" The operators knew my voice.<br />
<br />
Needless to say, she drove me crazy, I spoke in anger to her plenty of times, hung up the phone on her many times and now wish I could have the few minutes of talking I threw away on those occasions.<br />
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I remember the time in grammar school when I left without kissing her goodbye, and it haunted me the entire day. What a little wuss I was. And I'll never kiss her goodbye again. And it will haunt me longer than a day.<br />
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But we did talk in the end. I told her she was doing a great job as she lay in that bed surrounded by her family. I held her hand. Told her jokes. I told her she did a great job as a mother and a grandmother. <br />
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She couldn't hear me, but I told her that again, as I kissed her forehead as she lay on that table in that emergency room as her re-started heart beat as she breathed the rhythm of a ventilator. "You did a great job and now it's time to rest."<br />
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And I say to those in my generation of our family, "We're the grownups now. We take it from here. God help us all!" And we laugh, but we know we're not really up to the task, because no one ever is.<br />
<br />
Thank you.

I am sorry for your loss.

my husband died from cancer 2 yrs ago I was able to keep him at home that meant alot to him and me. it's never easy,but since his death I went to help my father in law leave the world, cancer again, but you know all we can do is be there with them at the end, hopefully you would have said all that you wanted before death. no shoulda ,coulda ,wouldas