Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Long Goodbye

Hands of love from MIH
The room is dimly lit. And by your side, in a soft chair fit for your diminutive height, is your devoted daughter.

The journey has been long – at ninety-nine years - longer than most. We’ve watched as bits of you slowly fell away, and you fell into yourself. Alzheimer’s is cruel that way; it robs the family of the familiar and imposes a long, painful, reluctant goodbye.

And painful it has been; your rage against your aging and loss of independence ever-present, simmering barely beneath the surface; your daughter braving smiles and brandishing hugs as you ask her where your daughter is…

Pound for pound you are the strongest and feistiest woman I’ve known. You like things done your way, and you have always been a lady who knows exactly what she wants. And you have been fighting to live.

And now, as the time for final farewells draws nearer, you surrender to peace. The rigid line of your jaw relaxes, and your eyes finally close and your body relaxes into deep slumber.

And in a soft chair, fit for your diminutive height, sits your devoted daughter, by your side, to usher you lovingly to your eternity.

Much love to my dear MIH.

3 comments:

  1. Oh Lyn I'm so sorry. You've expressed this bittersweet time of saying goodbye so beautifully. That's a lovely photo to have of your mom's hand in yours. When my mom was in hospice I looked at her long, delicate artist's fingers and really wanted to take a similar photo but she was always sooooo phobic about cameras I didn't dare take mine out, even though at that point she probably would not have noticed. Blessings to you, your mom and your family during this transitional time.

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  2. Uma, thank you for your kind words. My mom passed away almost 15 years ago - in similar circumstances, however this post was about what my mother-in-law (I substitute "heart" for law -- MIH)is going through at the moment with her mom. I am merely the bystander this time around, and watching it unfold reminded me of what my family experienced when we helped our mother cross over. Those hands are of my MIH and her mother. xxoo

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  3. Ohhh, so sorry to have misunderstood that Lyn. You write with such empathy and love I was sure it was you going through this yourself, though after a point I guess we develop that level of empathy only after having been there ourselves...

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