Like the headstone epitaph said, “I expected this, but not so soon.”
The decades-long process of physical and mental deterioration we call “aging” ended for Mom on Friday at approximately 12:30 pm. She passed peacefully in her sleep at home. My oldest son and I were with her. A local hospice made the last few weeks before the end easier for Mom and myself.
The woman who gave me life and raised me has been gone for a long time. The person who passed on last Friday was but a pale shadow of her. There will be no viewing. Mom would not want people to see her the way she looked at the end. Let them remember her as they last saw her. She was about 84 or 85 years old in the picture above.
I thought we had a few months left but the past couple of weeks her decline began to accelerate. Last Wednesday she stopped eating and drinking.
There will be a memorial service but no graveside ceremony. We are having her remains cremated. I plan to drive up to Yosemite and spread her ashes in the pool at the base of Yosemite Falls. That is where the Merced River begins. Her remains will eventually come home.
I had so many people offering me support on Friday I almost lost it. I nearly replied to the inquiry, “Is there anything I can do for you?” with “Yes, please LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!” I did not want or need company. I needed solitude. I stayed home with the cats all weekend.
Thank you all in advance for your kind words and condolences. I will be busy this week, taking care of the things that must be done. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be okay. Stoicism is a family trait.
My sister says that Mom is in the arms of Jesus now. I don’t think so. I figure Mom’s ghost will hang around and haunt me for a while. I’ll wake up one night to find Mom hovering over my bed. “Where did you put the newspaper? I haven’t done the crossword yet!“