That time when my mother couldn’t speak

January 28, 2018

in random

There is a hole in me from missing my mother and it goes that every stream of my consciousness diverts in that direction.

Everything reminds me of her. 

My mom passed away from an auto-immune disease that was, in the end, not fully diagnosed. She died from suffocation as we watched and waited helplessly.

When I went home and stayed in the hospital with her last January, she was still able to remove the oxygen mask a few seconds at a time to speak. By March however the decision was between eating and speaking as she refused the feeding tube. 

I still wonder every single day what went through her mind as she laid there those few months, fully conscious as her body attacked her lungs. What was she trying to say as my brother and I rushed to her bedside after they allowed us in the ICU? What was in her silent scream and stare as she struggled to get up with her wrists and legs bound and an intubation tube strapped to her head? 

When she was still able to talk, she’d made us promise that she would not be intubated. I’d never seen my mother so angry before. I’d never seen her angry. 

A few days before the doctors moved her into ICU, I laid my head down on the bed by her side. She smoothed my hair and felt the tremble from my soundless cry. She gestured to the oxygen mask for me to remove it. 

“It’s ok. I’ve led a happy life.”

I would give up anything to remember that as the last thing she said to me.

 

 

 

 

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dufmanno January 29, 2018 at 6:25 am

I want to give you a hug, even though my hugs aren’t therapeutic enough to help. My husband keeps reminding me that coping with parents passing is something you can’t even conceive of until it happens, because you default to the “they will be there forever “ mindset until they aren’t. I can’t even imagine the internal strength it takes to deal with life changes of this magnitude. You’re my hero. *hug*

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Absence Alternatives January 29, 2018 at 7:51 am

I’ve been living with this demon called guilt and regret (though for what I do not know – it’s so sudden that none of us could have seen it coming; it’s not preventable; it just was) every day, and finally I needed to write it down before I was driven insane. Your words and hugs mean and help a lot. xo

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