Sunday, February 10, 2008


Our mother Audra passed on 2-08-08.

I arrived in Michigan late Friday.

Stopped by younger sister Martha's on the way to have her go with me, but she was still in her pj's and had just woken up..she said she would go on Saturday instead, as she had been with Mom the night before and she was stable then.

Mom had last rights earlier Friday (priest, minister?) before I got there.

Younger brother Bob was waiting at the door when I arrived at the rest home and said Mom had taken a turn for the worst.

I held Mom's face in my hands, stroked her hair, put cream on her one exposed arm. She was on her side and you could hear the water in her throat as she was unable to swallow. I thought how cruel it was that she was drowning in fluids, but they had tried to drain it and she bit down so hard that they were afraid she would break the plastic. They had put patches behind her ears to dry the fluids. The oxygen had been removed. She was only at 80% and should have been at 90%. After about a half hour of that, Mom seemed to go into a sleep and emitted a quiet groan on each exhale. A hospice nurse stepped in with a stethoscope saying she was only taking one breath every 30 sec.and that the end was very close. Then there were no breaths and Mom was gone. Mom's face still had not a wrinkle on it and her dark eyebrows framed her beautiful eyes.

I don't know what I expected, but I had heard from a family friend that there was a cloud of vapor that came out of someone they had been with at death. Maybe I thought I would see or sense something resembling the soul leaving.
My sister in law Pat was with me while my younger brother Bob went to get younger sister Martha...they arrived just before Mom's last breaths. Pat is a Catholic...she opened the window slightly for the soul to leave the room and she said a rosary at the end of the bed.

I talked to Mom telling her it was ok to let go as she was fighting it so hard. I told her that all of her kids would be ok and that Dad had missed her and wants to be with her again...that she would see her sister and others. I kissed her and told her we all loved her and what a wonderful servant of God she had been on this earth. I rocked her as she struggled to calm her and after she seemed to be asleep, the song Silent Night for some reason started to come out of my mouth through tears.

Older brother John has called from his home in the south and Martha is pretty much staying home and resting...she has chemo on Monday.

Younger brother Bob and I went to the funeral home to make the final arrangements. We took a light mint colored wool dress. The funeral director asked if we had undergarments and we laughed as it had not occurred to us that they would send her from the home naked...they had bathed her and sent her in simple nightgown .
Brother Bob and I went to Walmart and bought her underclothing of a white and lace camisole, half slip and panties. At the checkout some woman behind me said that it was such a lovely set...I would have shocked her if I told her where they were going.
The funeral is on Valentine's Day, at Girrbach funeral home, a half a block from our family home at 1 p.m. My younger brother Bob and his wife Pat are having an after funeral gathering of friends and family at his home afterward.

I haven't cried much since Mom passed, but I don't know if it has really hit me and am sure it will over and over through the years.
We have so many beautiful memories of a Mom who treated us all as only children. She will give me strength the rest of my life. She was the true definition of the word Mom.
I have thanked God over and over for the wonderful parents we were given.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home