My MIL passed away today after a long and painful battle with cancer. She celebrated her 69th birthday last Saturday and had a final rally on Sunday morning before slipping into what they term ‘unresponsiveness’. She had remained unresponsive and started to show the other signs of actively dying (erratic heart beat, erratic BP’s, fevers, rapid breathing, apnic periods, shallow breathing and then the crackeling). We had 24 hour nursing care for the last week and that was tremendously helpful to us. I can’t speak highly enough of Hospice of the Valley. They have been a truly amazing organization. Anyway, at about 12:35 this afternoon, her nurse Lori came out and said that she has only been taking 1 breath a minute so its time to go say goodbye. So Sean, Hannah and I went in and gave her a kiss and said I love you and she passed at 12:40 with all of us in the room with her.
About a week and a half ago, MIL was sitting at the table staring off into space and Sean went and put his arm around her. He asked her, ‘mom whatcha doin’? She said ‘I am trying to go (as she pointed up)’. This startled Sean and he asked her, ‘trying to go where’? She said ‘up, they are talking to me now’. Sean asked her, ‘up to Heaven’? She said yes. That began the long process of MIL’s final days. We called everyone we needed to call, we called Hospice who sent out the Chaplain. We called FIL to ask for prayers that MIL would pass quickly. We called MIL’s brother and sister. We called SIL to let her know what was happening. The next day we had a visit from one of her hospice nurses who took a urine sample to get a U/A done because MIL was not peeing at all. There were two things it could be, a UTI or Renal Failure. The u/a came back negative of any infection, which left us with Renal Failure. So her body is slowly shutting itself down. SIL decided she needed to come out and say her goodbyes in person and I decided that would be a good time for me to take Hannah to SoCal to see FIL and SMIL and head to my happy place. I rented a car and my mom came with us. We left Friday morning and drove over to SoCal. We went to the beach and played in the sand, we collected shells and rocks and just watched the water. We decided to come home on Sunday so we loaded up and left Sunday morning after breakfast and that got us home right around the time the Cardinals were winning the NFC championship game. Things were extremely tense between me and SIL, but hopefully that can be worked on after MIL passes. I know neither of us are in a place right now to work on that. Anyway, SIL left yesterday morning and she told MIL that its ok to go. That she will be ok. Sean had already told MIL this and we thought that MIL was just holding on til SIL told her the same. So today mil’s nurse came and we were talking to her about having Hannah say its ok to go. She said obviously its up to us, but if mil is fixated on her right now that might be what is holding her here. so this afternoon i had a talk with hannah about what is happening to mil and what will happen when her body dies. she understood (or seemed to as much as any 4 year old can) and I asked her if she would want to tell gma marilyn that when god comes for her, its ok to go that she will be ok. she said she wanted to do that. so sean took her into mils room and hannah said to her’ gma i know you are hurting right now and i want you to know that when god comes for you its ok to go with him we will all be ok and we love you’. to which mil replied ‘ i love you too and i want you to know that i will always be looking out for you up in heaven’.
my baby is 4 and she should not have to be dealing with such grown up emotions and stuff. i feel so guilty. i know people say not to feel guilty that this will teach her so many things that will be so important to her later in life, but I cannot help but feel guilty over her loss of innocence. 4 months ago she was the happiest healthiest most obedient happy go lucky kid and now this. I agonize every day over the decisions we have made that brought us to this point. will it all be ok in the end? I don’t know. will my daughter be a better more compassionate human being because of what we are all going through right now? I don’t know. anyway. there aren’t any more people that we can think of that it would be important for her to get the ok from to go to God so we are hoping now that she will go peacefully in her sleep in the next few days so that she is no longer in pain, no longer confused and for us that we may get on with the process of grieving her loss and then rebuilding our family.
Today is a day of new beginnings, the beginning of another new year…2009. A time to start fresh. So I am going to do that. I need to start taking time for me. Things are so crazy in our house with GMA/MIL/Hannah and everything else on top of that!
There are not many things I can change at this point, for various reasons, but the one thing I can change is my attitude. I can choose to take the situation that I am in and say ok, what am I going to learn from this? How am I going to grow from this? I can also choose to not let so many things get to me. I know that will be easier said than done, but I am going to make the effort from today forward.
Just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year! May this year bring health and happiness to each of you!