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On Death and Dying- Hospice and Heaven

My mother is dying, words I still find hard to believe. I’ve known this for over a year now, but the reality of these words did not quite sink in until a few weeks ago when the doctor finally gave us the prognosis of 6 months to a year. Since those words were spoken a steady and seemingly rapid decline has left my mother bedridden. My siblings and I share care for my mother 24/7. My part is small it seems at times, with a job that doesn’t have the option of working remotly. I sleep here on the couch. I change diapers, make food, trim toe nails, change bandages, check blood sugar, and do shopping. I don’t sleep as much as I would like and I miss my own bed as well as my husband. I sometimes feel self pity and wonder why I don’t go home and let Mom just call me if she needs me. But then I think of the countless nights my mother cared for me. I think of the legacy I am leaving for my children of familial loyalty. I think about her dying all alone because I wanted some comfort. I know this time with my mother is short. I know that one day I will sleep in, go to work without having changed a diaper or made someone else breakfast, and the reality of what I have lost will be so great I will be overcome with emotion. I will one day wish so deeply to have even 5 more minutes with her, even if those minutes were changing a diaper, just to hear her voice and see her face. I know this. I believe this. I grieve this even now while my mother is still here. And yet somehow my selfishness rears it’s head and leads me towards resentment or self pity. Lord, remind me why I am here. Fill me with the grace to go on another day. The strength to let my mother die with dignity in her own home surrounded by her family. Help me to cherish even these difficult times.

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