Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The End Is Near, Day Eleven of Hospice

I was planning to go ahead and sleep in my own bed tonight, since my body clearly longs for good and deep sleep.  But my brother emailed and said that mother was clearly getting worse.  I made a snap decision to go ahead and come back here for the night and probably several days to follow.  I also prevailed upon my long-suffering and night-owl husband to drive me here.

Our night nurse is here and before she had come, the hospice nurse had come and administered the first dose ever of morphine along with some more lorazepam.  Even with that, Mother is very restless and I am concerned about what she is experiencing. She is also not conscious, not able to respond to me or to others.

Her breathing is sporadic. She stops for 30 seconds and then will start again.  Larry said she's been doing that all day.  Kidneys very much shutting down.  All the normal process of the body saying goodbye.  

So, I sit here and ponder the mystery of death.  The body at this point is essentially a mass of barely living tissue that stills needs proper care.  I'm watching the night nurse and Larry, my brother, move her and shift her around to ease some of the pressure on her backside, where the flesh is getting too tender and starting to show signs of impending of bedsores. Those we very much want to avoid. She's been rolled from side to side, shifted around in the bed, pull sheets changed, and her eyes stay half closed, her countenance unresponsive.

Where is she?  What is she thinking?  Where is that quick functioning brain of hers?  How is the Spirit of God caring for her at this moment?  Where is her soul?  How does it stay intact as the body shuts down?

So many questions. So few answers. Keith and I are just talking with the nurse now.  Larry has headed to bed.  I need to, but just can't leave her right now.

So, I shall sit here, and just be.  That's all I can do.  Just be.  And remember to breathe.


Anonymous said...

Aunt Christy,

Your words brought tears to my eyes, since everything you wrote is all that has been going through my mind. What exactly is Grandma experiencing? I find myself being extra emotional during this time, blaming it first on my pregnancy and being due in 4 weeks. But, I feel as though I need to hear about Grandma, and your thoughts and interpretations are strange to me that as one life is drawing to a close, another is about to come into this world. Love you. ~Shannon

Vicki Attaway said...


It seems as though your mother is in the midst of the "transfer" and well on her way to the "transformation." It will remain a mystery to us all until each of us undergoes the same process by and by. It is your mother's deeply personal journey, but I bet she would tell us about it if she could. But her dialogue is now only with God, and who better could she be spending time with?

Sincerely, Vicki

charlotte g said...

I find much symmetry between birth and death, both acts of creation of a new life. For the dying, focus turns more and more to the ephemeral as one by one, the ties to the body are loosened. It is her last, great work. You can help, you can ease, but it is her work to do. I believe her spirit is very busy now, as she bonds ever more closely to the Holy Spirit. I was pregnant with my second son when my mother died, after many years with Alzheimer's. I believed this then, and I believe it now. You pass through deep sorrow. But my dear friend, I truly believe there is also beauty. God is so very close at this time.

Dana Norton said...

Christy, your mom has now walked into the place where you can no longer go with her. You can now only and listen for the presence of you watch her go. After walking the journey not only with church folks but with my dad, I am convinced that this is the time where the struggle is to break free of this earthly longer to hang on to it. Blessings and peace on all of you as you face your grief and sadness in your own personal loss of your mom.