Thursday, May 21, 2015

The end of an era - Days 121-140 of project 365 conclude in sadness.

My mother died this morning. Early. At 12:39 am. Sunday night, my mother had a massive stroke.

The center scan shows one layer depicting the size of the bleed. It was huge.
I got the call at about 9:30 PM, we were settling into bed and we had to rush to the hospital. She was unresponsive, and had vomited over herself.  A vein burst and filled the right ventricle. That slice that is shown shows only the upper layers. It was massive. The doctors said it was rare to see a bleed this large. The pressure had paralyzed half of her body. Her eyes would not open. She could still clutch my hand and respond that first night and next day, but that did not last.  By Tuesday, she was only able to communicate the pain in her head from the pressure. They then sedated her, and per her wishes, they transitioned her to comfort care where she languished until this morning. I'm glad it wasn't like Daddy, who lingered for a long time.

So now she's gone. My sister Anna flew out immediately and has been here through most of it. We've been leaning on each other. Neither of us really expected it to be as hard as it is. But as a friend told me recently; "Losing her means you will never have a chance to have that warm mother/daughter connection you crave." It is an insightful thing to say. She is right.

All these past twenty days, I've taken photos for the project 365 thing I'm doing here. And it was so jarring how the twenty days concluded with such stark and stirring photos. So I'm going to share them all here today. Along with a note I wrote my mother this morning after I found out she had passed away.





125/365 - Alex is Skyping with his aunties


127/365 - my first new dress in a long time

128/365 - the Coos Bay Manour B&B - Topsails & Tea 2015

129/365 - Wisteria

130/365 - My favourite picture of all so far.


132/365 - someone stole mom's toe socks


134/365 - Nootka roses blooming

135/365 Hat shapes

136/365 Bath time


138/365 - Monday Morning.

139/365 - Tuesday - My child clutches my sister's and husband's hand

140/365 - Wednesday - Anna tends to mom
Dear Mom,

Things were prickly between us. No doubt.  But your leaving us brings back the good things. I guess that’s the positive aspect of death; you remember all the wonderful memories you have with that person; and the negative that you dwell on while people are living seem to fade into the background.

I think about the day that the Vice Principal of Brussels American School bruised my arm, and how infuriated you were, and how you stamped into the school and ripped that woman a new asshole.  I am thinking about the glorious moments when you stood beside me when I needed you to, and how you were always there for me, even when we were locking horns; even if the intent was not always selfless.

Mom. You were my mom. That never changes; and you are gone. And with you are the vain hopes of you ever becoming the mom I needed you to be. Gone is the chance to understand that demon inside you that made you sometimes resent us. Gone are the moments of laughter and gone are the moments of conflict. 

I hope, in whatever way it is, that you finally find peace with yourself, and with that demon that tormented you for your entire life. I hope that you know that in spite it all, that I… we all love you and that all is forgiven.  We let you leave us with open hearts. Be at peace and know that you were loved and you were not alone in death.  We were there. All of us in one way or another.  And most importantly, Alex was there with his ‘joyful noises’ as you called them, filling the hollow and sterile room of the hospital with his laughter and his beauty. I know you loved him above all else. He was there with you too.

Mom. I love you. Even though sometimes I despised you. I think there was a fine line between the two, and that the resentment was fueled by how much I wanted to love you. I will miss you. I’ll miss those moments where your face glowed with laughter, and you were the glimpses of the mom we all hoped you could be. 

Be at peace.



Thread-Head said...

I am so sorry for your loss. As a reader for quite a few years, it is no secret that your relationship with your mother was complex and challenging. You have expressed yourself beautifully at her passing, and I sincerely hope that you feel every bit of the peace that resonates in your words.

ista said...

My condolences for you and your family. When the relationship is complicated so is the grief, and the loss is also that of possibilities for change. Hugs.


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