Jul. 15th, 2007

Hey all...

Just wanted to update you on what's been happening. Some of you know my mom hasn't been well since she moved out to my sister's in November. She's been having progressively worse episodes of angina and other cardiac issues, and it reached a critical point in the last two weeks. She had 3 episodes of hospitalization in the last week and a half, and was basically told there wasn't anything that could be done to help, as her cardiac situation was so poor, any diagnostics or actual surgical procedures could throw her into a massive heart attack.

And this was mostly from her life spent smoking like a chimney. It finally damaged her systems enough she couldn't come back from it. The doctor told every time she lit up (she was still smoking up to the time of her last hospitalization) it would give her more and more pain.

She was sent home this past Wednesday and wasn't even 1/2 mile from the hospital before the pains hit again. Hospice was set up for her and we were only making her comfortable. Over the past 3 days, she had been on morphine almost constantly (2 ml every 15 minutes for almost a day and a half, which would drop a horse in its tracks, but it only made it bearable for her), and she finally lapsed into unconsciousness Friday afternoon. She never woke up again, and passed away peacefully, and without pain, last night at 8:15.

My sister and I were at her side when she died, and while incredibly saddened (mom was our bestest bestest friend, and we loved her so very much) we are also very relieved because she was in a lot of pain. When the morphine and Fentanyl finally kicked in for good, she was unconscious, but not in any pain at all. One thing that completely astounded us on Friday night, was that she spontaneously woke up for a moment, and recited the Act of Contrition (we're Catholic) and asked for last rites. This from a woman who hadn't gone to church in 30 years. The priest was able to be there to give her the last anointing and Holy Communion, and it seemed after that, she became incredibly calm and filled with peace. She knew she had come home to die, and was accepting of it, but this was the final piece of the puzzle for her.

The funeral is on Thursday.

We are all doing fairly well, we've shared good memories and happy remembrances of her. Most of the family was able to see her before she passed, so that was a very good thing as well. I feel a little lost right now - alone, even in a house full of people here at home - but I know this is to be expected. The relief I feel is amazing, it hurt us to see her suffering, and it was so very difficult on my sister and brother-in-law (with whom mom lived with since November).

I'm going to miss you mom, and will always hold my beautiful memories of you in the deepest, most cherished part of my heart. You were the most wonderful mom in the world and I thank God for every precious day with you.



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