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I lost my Mom 4 days ago...


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I haven't posted for a while. I lost my Dad and then my 15 yr old chihuahua, Roxie, just 2 years ago and posted at that time. Mom passed away Friday 4/29/22, 4 days ago, at age 84. She had been going downhill over the past 8 months since have a blood clot in her lungs, and clots to the brain (vision affected, and cognitive changes) in August 2021. It is believed this may have been a result of having had covid 8 months prior. She survived the clots, but then she fell 3 times within 1 1/2 weeks in February 2022 and had a compression fracture in her back. She had tripped over her dog because of her bad eyesight. She was in the hospital for a week then had to go to a SNF for 5 weeks but she suffered there due to the horrific back pain. I moved her to a group home where she received wonderful care, and she had a Kyphoplasty (back surgery) which stabilized the compression fracture and relieved her pain. She was in the group home for 5 weeks. But she continued to go downhill during that time. She hardly ate, was never able to regain leg strength, and she seemed to give up. She was able to sit at the table in her wheelchair for Easter, but hardly ate. By the next weekend she started a more rapid decline. Not able to eat, lost ability to swallow pills, was bedridden, didn't communicate, and eventually it was clear that her brain was no longer functioning. She was just "breathing" and her heart still pumping. I was with her every day during the day, and the caretaker slept in her room on a recliner chair at night, and then Thursday night I stayed by her bedside all night. I didn't want to leave, I was afraid she would pass on without me there. At 7:40 am on Friday her breathing became rapid and shallow and she passed away. She never regained consciousness. I can't believe she is gone. We were so close, and I had spent nearly every day the past 9 months with her. Helping her, taking her to doctors appointments, bringing her food, watching tv, helping her with her pup, doing her shopping...

I had moved back to Arizona in 2014 to be closer to my parents knowing they were aging. I retired just 2 years ago from being a RN/NP. But even though you know the inevitable outcome, it is overwhelming when it happens. I know she was miserable the last 8 months, losing most of her eyesight, being weaker, sensing her mortality, and I am trying to take some comfort in knowing that she no longer has to endure that pain, misery, sadness, but I still don't want her to be gone. I dreaded the time when I would no longer have my parents. No one to love me unconditionally, no one to know the very essence of me from the time I was born. Till the end, she worried about me, gave me advice, was a sounding wall for my worries and fears. I feel lost and empty, and can't see what lies ahead. I am trying to believe that she is with my Dad, and all the pups she loved over the years that have already crossed the rainbow bridge, but I am missing her physical presence. Oh Mom.... I miss you and love you so much.... 

 

 

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Our deepest sympathy to you as you mourn the loss of your mother, my dear ~ and wishes for peace and comfort to your broken heart . . . ❤️

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I am so sorry, it sounds much like my sister who had severe disabilities and dementia, she also took falls a lot and with it broken bones, her dementia aided her poor judgement and she never sought treatment for her macular degeneration until I found out, 5 years later, and a year into going to eye doctors, they couldn't improve it.  She did get help for one eye with her cataract surgeries and new glasses.  Peggy passed 5 weeks ago, I kept her glasses, she loved them.

It's so hard losing those we love...I found it odd when my mom passed as my dad had been gone for years before her, that now we are the matriarchs of the family...time seems to pass all too quickly.  I too lost my beloved Arlie 2 2/3 years ago (dog) and we hold them forever in our hearts.

My heart goes out to you in all of these losses, I remember when your dog passed.  Sending you thoughts of comfort and peace, it's a process. :wub:

Multiple Losses

Parent Loss: Continuing Their Song

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I am so sorry about your sister Kay... I think we have had a similar path... I am thankful for your words, and am especially touched that you remember when I lost my Roxie 2 years ago. Too many losses... And now we are at the top of the list with our own mortality ever more evident. 

The memorial service will be in 2 1/2 weeks. My son is with me for a few days, but then I will be alone. I dread it... every minute alone magnified. The past 2 years I have spent so much of my time being with, and helping mom. I can't picture what I will do... I've had no real life of my own.  I don't regret the time spent with mom, in fact, I see it as a treasure.  I just don't have a plan for me.  I think I will need to "get away" for a bit, maybe a road trip. Everything and everyplace here is a trigger. So, we'll see. I have a therapist and I know she will help me with all of this. 

Thank you Kay and Marty for responding to my post. You are amazing women! 

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I can tell I'd love your mom, what a beautiful smile!  Will be thinking of you as you have your mom's memorial.  I haven't gotten my family to respond about WHEN to hold my sister's!  One sister getting ready to go on 2 1/2 month trip to France and has had medical emergencies, other blind, brother working + trying to establish executor of estate (she didn't have her records in order, ugh!).  Summer not a good time as threat of fires/evacuations, can't leave my dog alone during those times.  So up in the air.

You have done so much, I hope you can take some times for YOU and get away for a breather soon.  :wub:  Well done, dear child, you've been a great daughter (she must have done a great job!).

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Thank you for the recommended resources Marty. They were perfect. 

Kay, I wish you didn't have to deal with these family struggles... I understand your frustration... It's amazing the differences between siblings... I am the oldest, the retired nurse practitioner, the one that needs to make sure everything is in order, "perfect." My sister is not the same. We are also having differences of opinions, but I am trying to keep focused on what I think my mother would have liked. Mom and I were so much alike, this is my last chance to create something she would have liked. 

Strange how people come into your life when you least expect it. Yesterday I went to a "clothing store" to look for a black dress. The dressing room attendant asked me how I was doing, I guess I gave her a lackluster answer, as she questioned my response (in a kind manner). Well, I started crying and told her my mother had just passed away and I was there to find a black dress. She immediately came around her counter, gave me a big hug and comforting words... Then asked, did your mother like colors? Well, as it happens, my Mom LOVED colors and did not like black clothes... The attendant said, black is old fashioned, wear something colorful, that's what your mother would have liked. She was so right! She hugged me again and provided additional comforting words. She shared that her sister was at that moment in Hospice, and that her mother had already passed away. That they both loved wearing colorful clothing....   She changed my whole experience at the store and was just the person I needed at just the right time! I emailed the corporate offices to advise of this beautiful employee. 

Here is another picture of mom on her last day before retirement. I love how she happy she looks! She had the most beautiful blue eyes... which she passed down to me. 🥰

 

 

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Wow, did you get the right clerk!  I love that and hope you found something colorful!  This picture reflects her personality!  What a beautiful mom!

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  • 1 month later...

Well it's unbelievable but here I am posting again about yet another loss. Yesterday I put my Mom (and Dad's) dog to sleep. Koz was a 16 yr old shih tzu that came to live with me 4 months ago when my mother had to go into a skilled nursing center. Mom passed away just 8 weeks ago on 4/29/22 and I am greatly mourning her loss. I have been so conflicted about what to do with Koz. He was blind, nearly deaf, and walked with a significant limp. He also had very large neck lymph nodes and the Vet said he most likely had lymphoma. He put him on prednisone to try to shrink the nodes (they were really big), but they didn't get any smaller. He was having more and more difficulty getting around, and pretty much just ate and then wanted to lay outside on the turf all day. But here in Arizona it is too hot to do that. He had no quality of life. Today it dawned on me that I never saw him wag his tail in happiness anymore. I think being blind and deaf must have been so isolating and he really no longer wanted to be held/snuggled with. He was still eating, and this was what I kept hanging on to, but really he just seemed miserable. The prednisone probably artificially increased his appetite. 

I didn't want to have to be the one to make this decision as I have had unrelenting guilt, regret, and pain since I put my own Roxie to sleep 2 years ago. You know that horrible realization that one minute they are with us, alive, warm, soft, and then they are gone. I've never gotten over it, and never will. 

Within the past 3 years I've lost my Mom, Dad, my biological father Pop, Roxie, Meishka (mom and dad's girl Shih Tzu), and now Koz. It is just too much loss in too short a time. If I didn't have my Zoe (7 yr old dog), I don't think I'd still be here.. 

I've cried almost constantly the last 3 days, and multiple times a day the past 8 weeks. It doesn't take anything for the tears to flow. My heart is just so broken. Life will never be the same. I miss being able to talk with my mom more than anything in the world. We were sooo close, and I always knew she was there for me. I was never prepared for dealing with so much loss. 

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My dear, I'm so very sorry for all your losses, and I hope you'll take time to mourn each and every one of them. I hope it brings you comfort to know that we are thinking of you, and sending wishes for comfort and peace to your broken heart. ❤️ 

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I am so sorry!  You have had way too many losses in such a short time!  My heat goes out to you.  We hold you in our thoughts and prayers, for all you age going through...I, too, am so glad you have your Zoe and pray for your comfort and peace.

I'm sure it was very hard for Koz, being away from your mom and going through all of these physical infirmities.  I went through the cancer journey with my Arlie, it was hard, and believe me, I think you did the right thing for sure.  I had my Lucky put to sleep when I realized she was in a lot of pain and I hadn't seen her smile for two years.  Sometimes it's hard to know "when" but with all you've described, it was time.  :(  
 

I lost my husband 17 years ago, suddenly, unexpectedly, way too young, and I went through all the what-ifs too, and also with my animals that have passed.  Death is very hard for us to process, it's traumatic to our brains.

Comfort for Grieving Animal Lovers
A Dangerous Villain: Guilt
http://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml
http://www.griefhealing.com/article-loss-and-the-burden-of-guilt.htm
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2019/08/pet-loss-when-guilt-overshadows-grief.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2017/07/pet-loss-when-guilt-goes-unresolved.html

I hope this short video brings you some comfort and peace.

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  • 3 months later...

It's been 5 months since I lost Mom, and it is still so hard... Not a day goes by that I don't cry multiple times. The disbelief is still very strong and I ache to be able to sit with her and just talk. She was my go to person and sounding board. We would talk about my grown children/her grandchildren and their lives, our beloved dogs, family, really just anything and everything. She would always have an opinion, an answer, and she loved us all so much. I miss this love - hearing it in her words and actions, feeling it with a hug, or a smile, a nod or an action.

It is never the same when you don't have your parent's input anymore, be it good or bad. I miss it all. She would tell me that I am too sensitive about things, and I probably am, but that's okay, as it's who I am. But she loved me so unconditionally and would have done anything for me. I don't think that there is anyone who can love you this way except for your parents. And not everyone is lucky enough to have this, but I was, and I miss it so much. When it seems like life is falling apart around me, the loss of my Mom (and Dad) is even more profound. As my children are going through struggles, I no longer have Mom and Dad to talk to about it. I may be "old" myself, but it doesn't change the magnitude of the loss. We were such a closely connected family, even when we lived miles apart.

I guess I am writing here again today because I am at a "low" in the tidal wave of the grief process. Other family members and friends seem to have moved along, and I am stuck. I know that it is still early in the process, and that it is okay to feel the way that I do. But it is a lonely journey and nothing makes it better right now. I tried "going away" for a bit - stayed with my son out of state for 2 months. I think that gave me some distraction time, but now I am back at home and it's all I can think about. I think I am going to try to write down all my thoughts and remembrances about Mom (like her favorite things, foods, sayings), really anything that is "Mom." Like others, I am afraid that I will forget these things.. and that breaks my heart even more...  

Thanks for listening...

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In my situation it is my older sister I lost, 3/28/22, she may have had dementia and been disabled (I took care of her) but she'd been in my life ALL MY LIFE!  My mom had mental issues so even though I was there for her, I can't say she was for me at all.  But my sisters, we were very cohesive.  Now half of them are gone.  My little sister lives her own life, always busy, my brother clings to his wife's family to the exclusion of his own, and my one other sister is disabled and lives half the state away.

But I get what you are saying so much about your mom...mine has been gone since 2014 but it's my sister's death that truly hit me.  She was my best friend.  It's weird how they are there day after day and then suddenly not.

II am sorry you're in a "low"....I know how that is.  I have my sister's wedding picture on top of my entertainment center with her glasses folded in front of it...I shared that with the eye doctor when I went in this week...they were her favorite pair ever, it just feels with them there like she's coming back.  And her pictures of Polly, her dog.  I knew she wouldn't want them thrown away.

22 hours ago, Dogmom said:

I am afraid that I will forget these things.. and that breaks my heart even more...

You won't.  I haven't forgotten anything about my husband, and it's been nearly 17 1/2 years he's been gone!  Nor my mom or dad, it's been 40 1/2 he's been gone and 8 since my mom has.  You may not think of them as often, but it's still there in the recesses of your mind...ready to tap into.

 

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