Saying goodbye

I said goodbye to my mother today.  Just 8 days ago she was having a terrific day, although of course “a terrific day” is all relative when a person has stage 4 cancer.

This photo is from 2 years ago, when she was 70 years young. She looks nothing like this today. Today she is skeletal-thin and frail. 

She went into the hospital on Friday night after being cared for nearly ’round-the-clock by my younger brother & SIL since Wednesday morning. Mom was in a great deal of pain — something she always insisted she had very little of, although we suspected she was just good at repressing it.
This morning my brother called from the hospital, told me the current situation (no more machines, just oxygen and a morphine drip), and then gave me about a minute to talk to Mom on the phone. She was so weak that one minute was her limit for talking. She was so weak it was difficult to understand her — the weakness prevents her from forming words clearly and she sounds like a stroke patient — but she did try to talk.

I told her I loved her and that I take comfort in knowing she will soon be with her mom and dad and ~M~ (her husband who died 13 years ago). I said I was sorry I couldn’t be there with her now (although honestly?  I’m a little bit relieved that I’m not there.  It would be so very hard. I’m obviously a big chicken) and that I loved her very much (true).  And then she told me that she loved me.  I’m glad I could understand those words.

So that is that. I’ve been given a gift, that one last time to say “I love you.”  So many people don’t have that opportunity. I”m grateful to have been given that gift.

Now I wait for the phone call that tells me she has passed from this life.

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19 responses to “Saying goodbye

  1. I’m sending you lots of love.

  2. I’m sorry to hear this news, though thank goodness she won’t suffer too much longer. Hang in there….

  3. Big hugs to you, Karen.

  4. With love to you – I am glad that this very sad time has a such a strong sense of peace , acceptance and love in it for you and your mother

  5. A big bear hug, Karen.

  6. (((((Karen)))) I am so thankful that I had this opportunity to stop by tonight. I am so sorry. I pray that she will not suffer long and that peace surrounds her…and you and all her other loved ones.

  7. My thoughts are with you.

  8. A big ((HUG)) from me! You will be in my thoughts these days and I hope she can go to the Lord soon and doesn´t have to suffer too long!

  9. My thoughts are with you. Hugs from here.

  10. It is a gift :-) Hugs to you, Karen…even though we know it’ll happen someday, it doesn’t make it any easier.

  11. Karen, I am glad you got the chance to say what needed to be said. It will make the next few days a little bit easier. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  12. oh man, i am so, so sorry. i’m so glad you got to speak though, and your family will be in my thoughts over these next few days.

  13. I send you all the aloha and sunshine i can my friend. Nothing will make this any easier for you but you did get to say goodbye at least. Be strong.

  14. I will be thinking of you and your mother this week…love transcends all. Molly

  15. So sorry. I am glad you the chance to say goodbye. I am also glad that you are fortunate enough to have a brother who is shouldering the really nasty part. I am praying for peace for your mom.

  16. Oh my dear. I am so glad you were able to talk with her, and so sorry you will be experiencing her loss.

    I love your honesty – it is so hard to be there. You’re family seems very close and supportive – this will be such a comfort for you all.

  17. I’m so so sorry Karen. My thoughts are with you and your mother. Sending love.

  18. Sending you good thoughts to add to the many you already have. I hope they help comfort you.

  19. Oh Karen, you, your mother and your family is in my heart and in my prayers.