Where Were You When Your Mother Died?

I met your mom a few short weeks ago. She said she had just moved from a hoity-toity place that she really liked but she needed even more care.
 
Your mom asked me how many children I had. When I told her I was single and did not have any children, she said,”I’m sorry.” I  asked why she said that, and she replied, “Because I think you’ve missed a lot.”

I saw the photo collage on her door with your pictures and your kids’ pictures. Lots of faces on there.

Where were you when your mom was wheeled into the nursing home dining room wearing her purse  awkwardly around her neck?  (Old habits die hard.)

Where were you the last night I saw her when she cried out in pain as the nurse very gently rolled her to the dinner table? Where were you a few minutes later as she begged me to get  her a glass of water?

I  really wanted to  help her.  I could see how much pain she was in. I always said hi to her because she was one of the ladies who knew where she was and still had her mind. But I couldn’t get her  any water because  I didn’t know her medical condition.

Your mother was bleeding onto her terrycloth bib. It was so very sad to hear her helpless pleas fall on deaf ears. The  aides weres busy with other residents.  The nurse was off to another task.  I tried to get someone to respond. I think it was a weekend evening — you never know what to expect on on those shifts.

A couple of days ago I noticed your Mom’s nameplate was taken down. I checked the resident list and her name was gone. Your picture hung on the door for a few more days. I see the door is still closed today…I guess you haven’t had a chance to empty the room yet. Probably busy making  funeral plans.

Your mother must have loved you very much. I’m sure she was proud of you.  I saw your name in her obituary. Apparently she was pretty sick when you moved her there last month.

Where were you when your mother died?

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2 Responses to “Where Were You When Your Mother Died?”

  1. GibGrl

    wow, ouch that hurt. Of course every one’s situation is different and no one can be available all the time. I wonder though, isn’t it best, for some to not be there when someone dies. I saw one parent go and not the other. In some ways I was lucky I think. Hard to say but we are never ready.

  2. intuitivelyobvious

    My point wasn’t that they needed to be there the exact moment their mother passed away. But their mother was so proud of having kids, feeling sorry for people who don’t have kids, yet where were her children when she was suffering in pain? Being a parent doesn’t guarantee your kids are going to be there for your old age. Pictures on the door are no substitute or comfort when you are in pain and alone in a nursing home dining room with aides to busy to answer your pleas for help.

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