The End of an Era… The longest of my life and the beginning of mourning.

It has been 9 days, 16 hours and 12 minutes since she took her last breathe. I had a thought in the back of my head that once we took her off life support, mom would just come back. She’d wake up and say “what are you guys doing here wasting your time; the gutters need to be cleaned”. We’d all laugh, tell mom we knew she would make it and joke how she really scared us while we drank coffee. She’d complain that her throat hurt but we’d never tell her about all the tubes she had in (knowing she’d be upset about that.)

But that’s not how it happened. When they took the tubes out, I stood on the outside of the curtain. I didn’t want to miss a thing. I needed to be there for everything. I heard some horrible noises of choking and gargling that I’ll never get out of my head. Then the nurse rushed out from behind the curtain, told me to get the rest of the family, it’s not looking too great. I ran to the waiting room, and as I opened the door, my sister was there. You could see the tears filling up in her eyes as I yelled “everyone needs to come; the nurse said we should all go in as soon as possible”.

Everyone rushed in to hold mom’s hand, foot or anything they could grasp. The look on my dad’s face is the one thing that would make me break. I could barely hold my body up. It’s heart breaking to see that look, and wonder if he’s thinking about their first kiss, their wedding day or even when each one of their babies came into the world.

We all stood there crying, turning red and gasping for tissues, sleeves or each other. My mom was free of all tubes except her IV. They kept that in so they could give her shots of Morphine for any pain. Her breathing was all over the place. It was like a heavy snore. The nurses would come in and suction her mouth out. It was horrible to see your mom or ANYONE for that matter, so incapacitated.

For the first 2 hours, we all sat in the room, unbearable as the noise and thought of losing our mother was it was harder to not be in the room. We all wanted to be there. Maybe we all thought there was a chance she would come back, or we all just wanted her to know she had a very special place in our hearts and we loved her deeply.

After the first 2 hours, we took turns having a few in the room at a time. After 5pm, Lauren came giving me some break from it all. We talked, watched some TV & played with silly puddy. Most of the guests left around 10pm. I went in with mom around 11pm and sat with her (as did Denise). Dad had left around 11:30pm & so did Brian. I came out of the room around 11:45pm to see if any of my other brothers wanted to leave… Mom was hanging on strong (at least that’s what I thought). Shortly after, my sister came out to the waiting room as the nurses were planning to turn mom. Not long after did a nurse come out and tell us our mom was very close to passing. Frantically we rushed in. Doryan called the house. Dad JUST got home and was coming back to the hospital bringing Damien (Dawn wasn’t able to go through it).

I wonder if my mom knew we were all there in the final 30 minutes. It was the HARDEST thing I ever had to endure. Watching her heart beat go from 150 all day drop to 120, 110, 100, 90, 80 and then hit 50. I quietly pleaded with my mom to wait for dad to get there so he could be with her too, and her heart beat went up to 100. I took that as my sign that mom knew I was there and wanted dad to be there. Five minutes later, Dad, Doryan and Damien walk in. Dad goes to mom left hand side and holds her hand. My mom is turning a shade darker and you could tell it was coming. The breathing came much shallower. The sadness in the room was over bearing. Her heart beat drops slowly and I prayed for it to either happen faster or for it to turn back. It slowly went down to 20, and then she stopped breathing but her heart beat continued. We watched the monitor and everything hit 0 and blanked. I gasped and sobbed. Mom had passed. My heart sank so low I could have died a long with her. Maybe a piece of me has. The nurses came and shut everything off. We all said our very last “I love you” and walked out. I sat in the room for another 2 minutes talking to my mom, kissing her forehead and telling her that she would be always be in my heart. Everyone already walked to the waiting room, I followed behind.

It was 12:44am when mom passed. We sat in the waiting room for 15 minutes waiting for the head nurse to come talk to dad. Once the nurse came in she went over logistics for my mother’s body to be transferred; basically giving him the “rules”. She asked if anyone wanted the flowers. No one did. Those flowers represented the days we spent in her room, hoping and praying for her to come back. I couldn’t bare to have them in my apartment. The nurse also asked if anyone wanted to go in one more time to see her. I needed to. I needed to know that this wasn’t a joke, that is was over and my mom had left me. I needed to see her, to tell her I loved her for that one last time.

All of us siblings and my father parted ways. We went home to our perspective homes to sleep or pretend to sleep as the next day we needed to make funeral arrangements.

It has been 9 days, 16 hours and 12 minutes since she took her last breathe. Seems like yesterday.

The End of an Era… The longest of my life and the beginning of mourning.


Joined February 2008

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