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How do you say good-bye?

I went home for a few days. But I got call to return to the hospital. My mother is dying and not expected to live. Her breathing has stopped twice this week with the nurses working hard to bring her back. My brother and I (who resolved our differences) had to make the decision to put her on a ventilator or sign a do not resituation. In the beginning, he wanted the ventilator until he saw firsthand what the nurses had to do to bring her back. He signed the paperwork yesterday.

We decided to let her go naturally. I arrived after a 4.5 hour drive. The best time I ever drove. I took a different route. Anyway, I was worried if she would recognize me and if I would get to say goodbye. But how do you say goodbye to person who helped make you who you are?

My mom wasn't the hugging type but I knew she loved me. She worked two jobs and went to a technical college to get a good paying job to support my brother and I. She is my hero. She didn't graduate from high school but she is the smartest woman I know. And even though, she has admitted that she doesn't get me, she loves me.

When I arrived last night, I woke her up to say hi. She looked at me, smiled and said "Hi, Jackie! You look tired." She has had a brave fight. She was diagnosed almost five years ago and given six months to live. I think she has earned the right to rest and see her loved ones again. But there is a part of me that is scared and sad because soon I won't have my mommy.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. This must be so hard. My thoughts are with you. Enjoy your last moments with her as best you can.

  2. Your mom sounds so brave. I know she loves you so much. You have every right to feel scared and sad, even with the peace of letting her go naturally. I'll be thinking of you.

  3. This is the rough time when you have to be brave honey.. you know I am here to support you and your mother is very lucky to have a daughter like you!

    It's okay to be scared, but think about how strong your mother has been these past five years :)

  4. Awww, Sg, be strong girl, you've given each other so much love.

  5. You are so lucky to have had a mom who so clearly loves you. Use every last minute with her to just be with her, hold her, hug her, cover her with love. I was able to be with my father when he took his last breaths and while he went too early, I wouldn't change it for the world - why? He brought me into this world, I got to hold his hand as he left this world. You are nearing a new chapter, and all I can say as someone who's lost a parent is, she will always be with you and when you feel like you are breaking, remember you are breaking open, not apart. Much love.

  6. I'm sorry about what you're going through right now. We were very fortunate that my mother was alert and able to communicate her final wishes to us. The nurses kept her free of pain, and that was all.

    And now it may be my 85yo father-in-law's time, although the hospital thinks there's no reason he shouldn't just come off the breathing tube and go home. Sigh.


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