My Mother is Gone

On December 5, 2014 at 2:45 am my mother died in a hospital bed with me by her side holding her hand. It was spooky. Thank goodness I had been through this before. Not with some one close to me but with a hospice patient that I was in charge of one night. She just lay there, motionless. The morphine wasn't creating a reaction any more. She was just lifeless. Her mouth made the O that Dr.s refer to as the Ozone. It's when the muscles around your mouth contract because there's no life in you any more. It's weird. It kind of reminded me of the carol singer statues that you always see at Christmas time... only they are singing.I remember being really tired, exhausted. I received a call from my Maine brother that the nursing home was taking her to the hospital and that I should meet them there. Actually that was a convoluted conversation with my brother but I've shortened it. I got to the hospital ER at 6:00 pm after fighting my way through 128 traffic. They wouldn't let me in to see her right away so I had to wait. I went down to the cafeteria which was no small hike. Thankfully I ate cause it ended up being one long night.Finally, at 6:40, I got in to see her. She was intubated and looking very uncomfortable even though she was completely unconscious. I bantered with the Dr. about why she was intubated, "brother's orders." Whoa, I knew right then that the hardest part of the night was going to be dealing with my brother. Unfortunately he was the medical proxy. He wanted her in ICU. Well then the ICU Dr. came down and gave me a load of nothing about what would happen to her in ICU. He didn't want to put her there, I didn't want her there and neither did the ER Dr. The only person who wanted her there was my brother and he wouldn't even come down from Maine to see her even though I told him that she was going to die that night. He wouldn't come down to see her. He just wanted to bark unreasonable orders to the Dr.s. This is a man who has micro managed our mother for over 20 years. Thank goodness there are women in the world to take care of the real matters.About 8:45 pm my daughter showed up after work. After taking care of an LOL who was almost as comatose as my mother. She was a Saint. She sat down next to my mother, her grandmother, and held her hand for hours. My niece was there and my ex sister-in-law. They were all witnessing the ridiculous conversation between my brother and me. Finally, my brother threw up his hands and said "go ahead, you deal with it". He had one last long conversation with the Dr. and then it was up to me. I immediately said "pull the plug and up the morphine". There was no chance of her coming out of this or the hospital alive. Palliative care was what she needed. Now it was a slow wait. I called all of the relatives closest to her to have them say good bye. I put my cell phone on speaker so she could hear with what ever muster she had. Everyone had a chance to say good bye.Then I asked my niece to pull up Psalm 23 on her cell phone... thank goodness for cell phones. I read it to her, my daughter was holding her hand, my niece and her mother were all watching and listening. It is such a beautiful poem. Every word in that psalm is relevant to death and dying. It really is one of the miracles in the Bible.Now it's about 11:00. We were all tired and had been waiting for a private room to open up. They wanted to put her in it so she could die peacefully and quietly. At midnight it was ready. Everybody said their last good byes and I stayed. I wanted to put a sheet over face while we were rolling her out into the hallway. I thought a person who is dying shouldn't be similar to a person being wheeled around in a wheel chair. I can't quite remember what happened but I think I didn't end up putting a sheet over her face. She looked like she had a little life left in her. I don't know, I can't remember. We arrived to the room. They got her all comfortable and hooked up to the morphine drip. I pulled open the chair bed that was available in her room. The nurse brought me a sheet and a pillow. I lay down to try to rest a bit not knowing at all how long this would last.The ER Dr. did tell me that a lot of people finally die between the hours of 3 and 4. I think he was trying to be comforting by giving me an "about" time. That actually does make sense though. Between the hours of 3 and 4 is when morning twilight begins. It's the time when all nocturnal animals begin to retreat to their day time hideaways. It's when vampires and werewolves need to hide because day light is minutes away. The atmosphere is vulnerable at this time making it easier for spirits to pass from one realm to another. She is now with Grammy and Grampa Harris and her brother. Her other brother is in CA and will most likely be next unless my aunt has an accident of sorts. She is with her grandparents if they haven't already returned for another round of fun on earth. Some spirits never want to return, can't say that I blame them. It's hard down here on earth.

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