On Wednesday, December 21st 2011 I received a frantic phone call around 6:30 P.M. It was from my mother’s friend and partner Ellen telling me in a panic that my mom was in the hospital, and that she had coded. The voicemail ended, and the hardest week and a half of my entire life began.
On Christmas Day my brother, Ellen, and I made the decision to transfer mom to the Hospice unit at the hospital and by Wednesday, December 28th 2011 – one week after she was first admitted to the hospital – she was dead.
I began writing about our experience with Hospice on the day we admitted her. I began publishing an ongoing chronicle about my experience there and the aftermath of my mom’s passing. My relationship with my mother was dysfunctional and toxic; making the grieving process very difficult. The chronicle of my experiences – which is still ongoing – is called In Her Time of Dying. Here, you can read from the beginning.
- The Beginning
- In Her Time of Dying
- In Her Time of Dying: Reflections on the Day
- In Her Time of Dying: A Change
- In Her Time of Dying: Aftermath
- In Her Time of Dying: Grief and Other Things
- In Her Time of Dying: Urn Shopping 101
- In Her Time of Dying: Dear Grief
- In Her Time of Dying: Places
- In Her Time of Dying: Ashes to Ashes
- In Her Time of Dying: One Month
- In Her Time of Dying: Music
- In Her Time of Dying: Mother’s Day
- In Her Time of Dying: What Is and What Will Never Be
I hope that through my writing and experience, I can bring comfort to someone who might be going through a similar time in their lives.. Or someone who already has. Something that opening my heart and pouring my feelings onto my blog has taught me is that I am not alone. There are other people out there with negative relationships with their mothers; there are other people out there with complicated grief.
One of the biggest things I’ve taken from this is that Hospice is an amazing service. As sad, final, and draining as putting someone in Hospice is, the service they provide is beyond valuable. They not only treated my mother with compassion and care as she was dying, but they treated us, her family, with it as well. If you’re thinking of Hospice for yourself, a loved one, or know someone who might be, do not hesitate. Have the conversation sooner rather than later. You will be glad that you did.