Dealing with The Loss of My Mother – Vol. 421, Sept. 14, 2017
We were called in by the nurse at my mother’s nursing home to be close to my mother as it seemed her life was at its end. We knew that this was coming, having been to the funeral home just two days before to sign the contract for her cremation, which was her request.
Apparently, my mother had stopped eating for all practical purposes, having dropped 40 pounds, becoming very weak as a result. She was wheelchair bound due to a broken hip and never regaining her ability to walk. That was back in January, a month before her 84th birthday.
Surrounded by her youngest three grown daughters and the spouses of the youngest two, as she lay unresponsive, barely breathing the guitar being played as songs of her favorite Western and folk singers were sung by her fourth daughter and her husband.
I sat by my mom holding her hand, with my youngest sister stroking mom’s hair, as I texted my older sister who was in Florida, unable to be present for her own reasons.
Though I have been working in healthcare for the past 34 years, spending 6 of those years working in elder care, I had never been present as a person passes away. I had very mixed feelings about the whole situation, given that I was in a place I didn’t really want to be, yet, knew that I needed to be there, to know that I had done what was necessary both for myself and for my family.
Being a hypnotist and studying the unconscious mind, I am well aware that people who are anesthetized for surgery do sometimes hear what the surgical team are saying and I also know that the emotions are the last to leave. So, all this loving activity made for a particularly healing environment for my mother’s passing.
When I was very young, I had a very close relationship with my mother. She is the person who made sure that I received all the extra help I needed from: speech therapy when I never developed speech as most kids do, to helping me learn to read, write papers and making sure that I got my wish to attend college, against my father’s better judgment given my poor grades in high school. I did my mother proud doing extremely well in college. However, after my college years, my relationship with my mother was never to be the same. I could go as far as to say that one of the reasons I moved to California was to not have to deal with her needs any longer. This, because they had sidetracked my career more than once. And yet, as my youngest sister pointed out through a phone call to my mother, there had been a large change in my mother’s emotional stability for the better. She was a kinder and more caring person. Based on the loving actions and words of everyone at the nursing home, a place that was her home for the last 7 years of her life, I learned that her smile and appreciation for whatever was done on her behalf was always acknowledged. These people with whom she lived and did activities truly loved her spirit, continually saying how special she was and that they will miss her terribly. One woman was even on her phone with her mother as my youngest sister and I were on the way out of the nursing home for the last time, telling her mother that her best friend had just passed away. Apparently, this woman helped mom with her Bingo playing and crafts when she was too tired and falling asleep in her wheelchair to take part on her own.
As we go through life, our relationships with those who are our biological family may change. Sometimes we may feel super close as when my mom and I shared banana splits at Friendly’s while my youngest sister was at her flute lessons. And, then when the child grows up and no longer fits the idea the mother still holds, sometimes tensions arise. Yet, in the end, though I did not think that I would ever see my mother again, it so happened I was returning to Massachusetts to work with some clients that had wanted me to work with them in person. along a couple of new clients, that were referred to me.
It was on my way out to Massachusetts that I saw the email that stated that the nurse at the nursing home wanted to put mom under hospice care, to allow her some services she could not receive otherwise. Little did we know that two weeks later she would have decompensated to the point of her death.
I am glad that I was here for the last ten days of her life, doing what I know how to do with the medical and psychological background that I process. And, I am even more grateful that I was able to tell her the new area of specialization that I am getting into, pediatric oncology, dedicating that part of my practice to my brother’s death. A brother I really never knew, he passed away right before his 4th birthday from leukemia, while I was all of 2 months old. None the less, having had a non-cancerous brain tumor myself and visualizing it away, knowing the efficacy of helping patients with side-effects and the caregivers need for stress release, I am moving in this direction. It seems to be a natural move. I thanked God that I had the chance to tell my mother this myself, a few days before she passed away.
I wonder what personal business you may have with a parent or someone close to you that you could clear up before you end up losing them. Because the truth of the matter is that I got very lucky really. I hadn’t seen or talked to my mother in 7 years, and yet when the time came to finish our cycle of life, here I was, near enough to see her every day, get her needs taken care of as best I could, and let her know that there will a legacy to be created in honor of her lost son. Miracles can and do happen, so long as we allow them to be understood for the opportunities that they represent.
Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms For the Mind and Soul
Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms for the Mind and Soul is a book of essays based on the wisdom gained through those who have touched me through my own journey in life. Purchase an inspiring copy today from the Dawning Visions Hypnosis Store.Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms For the Mind and Soul
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