Angel and Angela. Angel and Angela. Angela. I’m still in denial about my friend Angel’s death, the first stage of grief according to Kubler-Ross. She recently passed away from cancer, her third bout. We graduated from high school in 1976. And after that, every time I’d run into someone from the our Philadelphia neighborhood, they would always ask, “How’s Angel?” No matter how much time had … Continue reading Grieving A Lifelong Friendship.
The anniversary of my dad’s death is coming up – April 15, 1997.Our family has a history of symmetry. On my parent’s wedding anniversary, September 20, 1962, my Grandmother passed away. Their wedding photo came crashing down from the wall. They never put it up again. Francis reminded me that my grandfather died on December 3, 1971. Five years later, my dad had a heart … Continue reading Part IV Journal of Saying Goodbye to Mom. Soaking up the final moments.
April 3, 2018, Tuesday As I was driving home from visiting Mom (it’s a two hour drive if I don’t stop for a bathroom break and there’s no traffic!) it occurred to me that the end of life mirrors the beginning of life. Life is a parabola. We start out as helpless babies, growing, learning, doing, becoming. We crest – our career, our marriage, our … Continue reading Part VII The End of Life Mirrors the Beginning of Life. My Journey while Mom is in hospice.
Saturday, April 14, 2018 A beautiful sunny day. One of the rare ones we’ve had of late. I spend the weekend at Mom’s facility, wanting as much time with her as I can.Most of the time, Mom sleeps. But each time I sit on the edge of her bed, she rouses and looks up at me. This time she reaches her arm around my neck … Continue reading Saying Goodbye to Mom in Hospice Part VI – Mom’s Hanging on!
Friday, April 13, 2018 I am at the supermarket getting food to hold me over for the weekend while I visit Mom in Lancaster PA. This amazing grocery store is right down the road from her facility. I need quick things I can pop in the microwave. Food that is simple and not messy. I drop fresh pulled pork and homemade pork and beans into … Continue reading Meanderings – A trip to the grocery store Part V – Sharing my journey while Mom is in hospice
How much time? How much time is left to hear my mom say my name? To see her eyes light up when she sees me?Have a appreciated her enough? Was I able to overcome her weakness and humanity and love her enough? Accept her?How many more hugs? Kisses? How many more times will her eyes look at me? The brown eyes, so much like mine, now … Continue reading Saying goodbye – Part III How much time? My journal while my mom is in hospice care.
Easter Sunday.2018 Easter is my favorite holiday. Usually spring has arrived bringing warm weather and blooming flowers. Mom was born in spring and she told me her mother used to buy an egg-shaped cake for her birthday. When we celebrated Mom’s birthday or Easter together, which sometimes coincided, I would buy one of those cakes for her. This year I enjoy a joyful celebration Mass … Continue reading Saying Goodbye to Mom in hospice- Part II
Mom- I know you don’t feel too good about yourself but you should! You have every reason to! To name a few: Your laughter brought joy to the women you worked with You are excellent with handicapped or ill people; you always know how to handle them How many mouths have smiled from one of your baked goods? You are fun to have at a … Continue reading A Letter to Mom
Protect your children from other people’s advice. A well-maning relative may say, “You’re the man of the family now,” to a 7-year-old who is not qualified to fill that role. Consider taking them out of school temporarily. Some teachers expect “business as usual” when your child may not be up to it. After dealing with a death, your child may feel his/her peers are immature or … Continue reading For Children Dealing with Death
Don’t expect too much from yourself. The first holidays after a loss are especially difficult. It is normal to feel sad during the holidays when other families are all together. Many people advise going away for the holidays if there has been a recent death. A vacation trip works for some, while others want to be near emotional support. Ideally close friends or relatives should open up … Continue reading Surviving the Holidays when Grieving