Sunday, March 24, 2013


The new word this week is "hospice." The nurses are going to find out what kind of help they can get to make sure Mom's not in pain.

The new medicine Mom is on to keep her subdued is working, and she's been in bed for days. She refuses to eat, not even smoothies. 

The end is near.

My heart breaks a little more each day, whether I spend any time thinking about her or not. Every day is time and space since we had an actual conversation and connected as mother and daughter. She's already gone. But her body lives, somehow, infuriatingly incompetent. Her mind and mannerisms and tender heart are national treasures, but she wastes away in a hot, stuffy nursing home.

Mom, I'm so sorry. I wish I could make this better. I wish I could relieve you from discomfort and confusion. I don't want to let you go, but I want you to be at peace. I love you. I want more than anything for you to know how much we all love you. I just wish it was enough to rescue you from this hell.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Now what

Mom's been in a nursing home for 17 months.

I just found out that the nurses have called my Dad 5 times in the last week because Mom's been having episodes where she repeats the same nonsense words over and over again and gets worked into a frenzy and screams. Dad said she becomes inconsolable.

How much worse can this get?

When will this misery end?

I want her to be free from suffering, but I don't want to say anymore goodbyes. We've lost her piece by piece until I'm sure there's nothing left. And then I get news like this and I'm grieving over something new.

If an animal was in this much distress, I'd put it out of its misery. Is that a terrible comparison? I feel like a monster for thinking it, but it just seems inhumane for Mom (or anyone trapped in a body overtaken by dementia) to be stuck in this debilitating state.

I've always believed that life is a gift from God and that only God is qualified to determine when it ends.

But "qualifications" are all mixed up for me. Nothing makes sense anymore. Bad things happen to good people. There's no fail safe against suffering. If comfort and peace could be earned, my mother certainly qualifies. From my perspective, Mom got overlooked in the blessing category.

I feel so alone.

I'm mad.

I'm abandoned.

I can only imagine the magnitude of those same feelings in Mom. God, if you're anywhere at all, let my mom know she is cherished. Not forgotten. The impact of her life far outweighs the damage done by Alzheimer's. Please let her know that, even in some small cavity of her brain. Let her soul be content in knowing.

May she be at peace. 
May she be free from suffering. 
May she be healed.