So much has happened in the time that I’ve been away.
My sweet Mum was taken via ambulance and admitted to hospital on July 14, 2016, due to vomiting and diarrhoea. Her fever was high, and her breathing was short and laboured. Mum was moved from emergency intake to a unit the following day. The doctors did all they could to address her vomiting and diarrhoea by changing her feeding tube routine, but the best results were when her feeds were dramatically reduced to 1 canister of “formula” per day. I had been reducing her feeds, as well, because I felt in my gut that she was having trouble tolerating the intake, and her body was not processing properly what she was getting. I knew this was an early stage of ultimately losing her, and that made it proper to explore what our next steps would be. It was not an easy choice to make, but it was both medically responsible and ethically sound to proceed with Mum’s well-being and comfort as our priority. I discussed hospice placement with Mum’s attending physician, and she began the process.
Mum was transferred to a hospice in the late afternoon of July 26, 2016, and had received her last feed of 150 ml earlier that morning. While in hospice Mum got water flushes via her feeding tube, as well as sips of water by mouth.
Mum lasted until August 11, 2016, when she passed away peacefully at 01:00. She had my big brother and sister-in-law by her side when she took her last breaths, as I had recently returned home with my niece to grab a few things, rest a bit, then return to let my bother and SIL sleep. It was the night nurse who called at 01:01 to let me know Mum had passed, and we all (myself, my niece, my mister, my kids, and some very dear friends) returned immediately to the hospice.
We stood around Mum and listened to music. We kissed her goodbye. We cried. We hugged. We cried.
Right around 03:00 on August 11, 2016, we watched as two men from the funeral home took Mum away.
On August 12, 2016, we (my brother, SIL, niece, and I) went to the funeral home to make arrangements for Mum’s cremation.
On August 13, 2016, I returned to the funeral home with my mister to identify Mum’s body and spend an hour with her to say goodbye. The picture below is from that day.
This is a terribly painful post to write. Grief is a surreal place, caught somewhere between hearts bursting with love and breaking from loss.