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This was one of the last words my mother spoke to me.
“Hate, hate hate,” she said in the angriest voice she could muster for a frail little women on her deathbed. I knew it was directed towards me – she was very frustrated about things and she didn’t like the answers she got from the people caring for her (and me) a day prior.
In the few months that have passed since her death, I have learned that society is not tolerant with people in mourning – they hate how I react when I get the in your face memories or flashbacks or whatever you want to call them.
I hate having to hold back tears in front of people, even my husband, whom I expected to be more understanding than he seems to be.
I hate that I realized everything about my mother – how much she really loved me, how important I was to her – too late.
“Hate, hate, hate.” I sure hope she didn’t leave this world hating me. That was the last thing I would have wanted.
I hate being alone – with no close relatives to understand – to hug me – to become my pseudo- Mom, a confidant in times of pain and hurt.
Hate is a strong emotion.
I hate hate.

My Memorial Card for My Mom


After much deliberation and a whole heck of a lot more tears, I drafted these words for her memorium card:
God sent your guardian angels to guide you home, to abide in heaven with them, whole and complete, free of pain and suffering.
Feel the love and peace as you walk through Heaven’s gardens with the loved ones that have gone before you.
Those of us on Earth will see your smile in the wildflowers, feel your love in the rays of the sun and see your happiness in the twinkling of the stars.

Then the followidsc_4913ng came to mind – a favorite verse from the Bible that was made into an upbeat and beautiful song over 30 years ago – so I added this verse at the end.

For you will go out with joy. And be led forth with peace;  The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,  And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  Isaiah 55:12


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A few weeks back, someone told me that no mater your age when your last parent dies,you are orphaned. Damn skippy, they were right. The sense of abandonment, the “what did I do to make this happen?” thoughts, and the sadness of being left with a simple box of belongings that represented a life. A life that gave you life, and (hopefully), nurtured and cared for you. All of that is in that box.

The US gives use 2 or 3 days off of work to grieve and get over it, then pack all of your feelings in that box and continue your 9-5 life. Two years later when you have that nervous breakdown, everyone will wonder why.

There is something to bs said for ritual, and our ancestors worldwide seemed to grasp that need for recognition of a loss before life continued as usual. (if I wasn’t so caught up in my grief, I would have done the proper thing and provided a list of scholarly references we detailing such rituals here.) I thought I was done grieving – having pre-grieved 3 times prior with the close calls she had. I grieved after her stroke – it stole her psyche – the part of Mom that made her “Mom.”

I had said what I needed to say, and it was all OK. Then I got that phone call at 835a on February 21, and every bad thing I was angry or resentful about just melted away, leaving the memories of laughs, and how we clung to each other in our struggles to stay sane while being held captive by my father.

What I would give for a chance to hold the good memories close, and to make her last years here much better.

Suicide, a DNR and a Dilemma

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Hey, wanna solve a mystery?
Say, for example, you know someone that is sick and dying (could be 6 weeks, could be 6 years).

This person is old enough to die without raising suspicion, so to do so would not be unusual (dying that is). But there is no active disease process present to cause death – just the disintegration of the mind, the necessity to wear diapers and the inability to swallow appropriately to eat.

This person has been in a rehab/nursing facility for about 8 yes.

A DNR is in place and this was the disabled person’s choice since 1999, when the stroke occurred. (whaszza DNR? look it up!!!!)

About a week ago, this individual decided to stop eating (nigh a tiny piece of dark chocolate with raspberry), stop drinking fluids. Two days later, medicines are refused; held in the mouth and then spit out, or forcibly knocked out of the nurses’ hand (how ruuudddde!)

OK. Here is the hard part. Do we (me and the medical team) honor the DNR verbatim  (no “heroic intervention: comfort measures only) and allow the patient to basically off themselves via starvation?

Do we force nutrition by installing a central or PIC and an NG tube (there’s another abbreviation for you to Google)?

Or do we start an IV for a route through which we can safely administer meds?

Does an IV violate the terms of the DNR??? Does the feeding tube? The DNR states no heroic measures – is a feeding tube a heroic measure – as it would ease  discomfort from malnutrition.