Many people have written to me about the post regarding my mom. I decided to respond in a separate post since people read at different places, and some of the comments were private and not online.
First of all… thank you for taking time to read, share in those thoughts, and to write. Many of you have written about your own loved ones and I can tell you that when the time comes, it’s often obvious what to do. It may not be what you want to do, but you know what to do.
It is an honor to attend the dying. I am not certain I did well at it, but I did the best I could. I am so thankful for nurses and doctors and aides who help those of us less knowledgable through the process.
My mother’s neurologist was incredible. My family was amazing. The large circle of friends who surrounded us gave us comfort.
I will remain forever grateful that my brothers and I agreed to not take any extraordinary measures for my mom, and that we have no regrets. She would not have wanted a feeding tube or anything of that nature, and neither did we.
The medical staff was surprised that we could let go, but we had all had great experiences with Mama, and had expressed our love for each other many times.
As I told a nurse the last afternoon my mother was alive when she asked if we wanted to let her come out from the morphine… “No… we want her to be comfortable. No one has anything they need to say and no one has anything they need to hear. Keep her comfortable.” Thankfully we are all at peace with that even four years later.
We were blessed to have her as a mother. It would have dishonored her to keep her “alive” in only the most technical sense, longer than was meant to be. She taught us better.