June 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm #82457leighangParticipant
I am so so sorry for the loss of your mother. I lost mine, too, about a week after you did. You are right – nothing can prepare you for the loss of your mother; even when you’ve begun to pray for an end to her suffering. I’m glad she could do it on her terms, when she was ready and was where she wanted to be.
Many prayers for you and your family – the weeks and month’s ahead will be difficult for us, but our mothers made us who we are and will continue to be there in spirit.
Hugs to you ~ LeighanMay 30, 2014 at 6:18 pm #82456gavinModerator
I am so very sorry to hear about your mum, please accept my sincere condolences. I know that words can’t help ease the pain right now and having lost my dad to this cancer I so know the pain that you feel right now. Please know that you did everything that you could for your mum and I know how much she would have appreciated you being there by her side throughout. My thoughts are with you and your family right now.
GavinMay 30, 2014 at 4:28 pm #82455darlaParticipant
You have my deepest sympathy on the loss of your dear mother. Nothing can ease the pain and sadness but try to take some comfort in knowing that she is no longer suffering or in pain and has moved on to a better place. Keep her with you forever in your heart and memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad and trying time.
Love & Hugs,
DarlaMay 30, 2014 at 3:30 pm #82454lainyParticipant
Dear Caroline, you are the most awesome daughter and I am positive that Mom already has a chair of honor at Teddy’s restaurant and sure that she gave him a kiss for me. I am so extremely proud to have met you and Mom but wish it could have been a different way. I know she will never be far from you, and in time, your loving Memories will help the loss.
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain,
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die. By Mary Elizabeth Frye
For everything beautiful that you see
will bring a memory of me.May 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm #82453scheitrumcParticipant
Our thoughts are with you and your family at this time.
Thank you for allowing us to become part of your family through your beautiful posts. You have an amazing gift of being able to express yourself so well in your words and in your tribute to your mother.
All our love,
Carl and LynnMay 30, 2014 at 9:13 am #82452middlesister1Moderator
I am so sorry for your loss. As others have mentioned, the vast amount of love your mother received and gave to her family was so evident in all your posts. I’m glad she made it out to CA for the end of her journey.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family,
CatherineMay 30, 2014 at 7:48 am #82451
I can’t reiterate how thankful I am to you for all your support this past week. I couldn’t have gone through the process without you. The idea of my mom checking out Teddy’s Italian restaurant when she’s done visiting with her parents makes me smile & brings me comfort. Thank you.
CarolineMay 30, 2014 at 7:43 am #82450
After fighting cc bravely for the past eight months, my mom passed away on Thursday afternoon. A devout Catholic, she probably chose the day of the Ascension of the Lord during this Easter season as the day to go. She was surrounded by her loving husband, son, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and me, her daughter during her last days, and we sent her off with so much love and gratitude for everything she’s given us.
Her funeral mass will be next Wednesday at her old church. I can’t believe she is gone. I am sad, of course, but I also feel so honored and grateful to call myself her daughter. She was amazing right up until the end. To all the sons and daughters who lost their beloved mother or father to this disease, my deepest sympathy. What people have been telling me is true; nothing prepares you for the loss of a mother.
CarolineMay 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm #82449lainyParticipant
Dearest Caroline, this is one of the most beautiful letters I have seen on this site as one nears the end of the Journey. You give me too much kudos as you have done and are doing an awesome job. With every smile from your Mom you know she is comfortable and happy and who could ask for more than that. You are a wonderful daughter and from your emails and posts I know you will be just fine….after all you truly are your Mother’s daughter. I am right beside you and your amazing family.May 27, 2014 at 2:55 pm #82448
I am so sorry to hear about your mom’s pain. I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how you and your mom were doing after the clinical trial. I’m praying for her comfort and your strength and peace.
CarolineMay 27, 2014 at 2:53 pm #82447
My mom now spends most of the day sleeping with no food and little fluid. But the days since my last post were such a blessing. A week after getting to LA, my mom felt good enough to suggest an outing to Santa Monica so that she could see the ocean and walk by the beach. We walked for good 40 minutes before she started feeling tired. Every day, she woke up amazed that she was still feeling good. Her appetite was excellent, and she ate everything we gave her with great relish. Each and every day was such a gift.
Then last Thursday, she started spending more time in bed (the night before, she surprised us by wanting to take an after dinner stroll outside, and the entire family had an impromptu outing around my brother’s neighborhood). My best friend lives in LA, and she was supposed to come over with dinner (she had been coming by almost every day with food since we came to LA). I thought my mom would sleep through my friend’s visit, but right before she came, my mom woke up and went out to the living room to wait for my friend. When my friend came, my mom was funny, lively, and gracious. My friend and I took pictures with her and even took her for a quick “walk” around the living room. After about 30 minutes of that, my mom got tired and allowed my friend and me to take her to bed. Since then, my mom’s had less and less energy. She took one bite of the extravagant lobster dish that my friend brought. That was her last solid food.
I have been guided through this process by the angel of this site, Lainy. I couldn’t be doing any of what I’m doing without her support and guidance. On Friday, she asked if my mom could be waiting for someone. I said it could very well be my husband, who was still in Atlanta (and sort of in denial that my mom was not going to get better). So my husband flew out on Saturday, getting here that night. Before he came, when we told her he was coming, my mom would ask when he was coming whenever she woke up. At one point, she said, “He was just here. He was right there, wearing a blue t-shirt.” I asked my husband what he was wearing that day, and he said a white t-shirt earlier but that he had changed to a blue shirt (but not a t-shirt) for the flight. This confirmed to me that my mom is in the process of passing to another world, not confined to the physical and explicable. And when my husband finally came, my mom was beaming. She told him she missed him and had been wanting to see him. That was perhaps her most sustained lucid moment since Thursday.
She does have fleeting moments of clarity though. Yesterday, she wanted to sit up when my brother and I were changing her position to prevent bed sores. She sat up and told me thank you after giving me the most beautiful smile. She also told us on another occasion that she was ready to accept everything. And I’ve been talking to her constantly, thanks to Lainy’s advice. I’ve been telling her that she’ll always be in our hearts and with us in spirit. I told her that she is our leader and that the leader always goes into the unknown first to explore. I told her we would certainly see each other again and asked her to be with us always. In response to all this, she’s been nodding and sometimes smiling (she smiles every time I tell her she’s going to see her mom & dad).
Because of all this, I am amazed by my mom each and every day. But I think it’s getting to be harder and harder for her, so I’m praying for her to finish this process soon. I’ve seen the dying process compared to the birthing process, and I think the simile is perfectly apt. We’re all well wishers and witnesses to her passing to a new life.
There are other factors involved in this process that has made it easier and more difficult at times, particularly concerning our experience with different hospices (we’re on our third hospice; we had one in NJ which was wonderful, then had to switch from the first one in LA because they were egregiously incompetent). I will write another post on that some other time, as I think it’ll be helpful for others in a similar situation.
Thank you everyone for your loving thoughts. I’m so grateful for this site and its bringing Lainy into my life (I’m writing this update post because she suggested it). Please continue to pray for my mom.
CarolineMay 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm #82446yellow77roseParticipant
I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I will pray she has a peaceful journey. It must give you comfort that she is so happy being back in California.
My mom was admitted to MGH today. They are doing some tests but the cancer may have spread to her bones and lungs. She is so weak, in pain and unhappy. I wish I could trade places with her.
Thinking of you.
BethMay 19, 2014 at 11:38 pm #82445lisacraineParticipant
Your Mom sounds amazing and so do you! Thank you for sharing such an inspirational journey. Praying for peace and comfort.
LisaMay 19, 2014 at 12:50 am #82444RandiParticipant
I agree with Kris, so sad and inspiring at the same time. Your mother sounds incredible as do you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom. I can see you are using the time left to really connect and that is such a blessing.
-Randi-May 18, 2014 at 12:08 am #82443kris00jParticipant
Caroline, such a sad and inspiring post all in one. I’m sorry you have to go through this, but am happy your mom is happy in LA and spending time with family.
I am sure this is not easy by any means… But I want to add that I hope I have as much strength and grace as your mom when my time comes.
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