^^ That’s my mom
Her name was Nora and she died 7 years ago today due to complications from severe early onset dementia. She was diagnosed at age 55 and was 61 when she died, my sister and I by her side.
This time last week, literally, Juniper and I were holding my mom’s hands as she left her physical body and peacefully and softly entered another plane. Another place. She passed away at 7:26 p.m.
I had put my iPhone on her pillow and played her playlist (ironically called my “on-the-go playlist”) and Prince’s When Doves Cry came on. I looked at Juniper with what I imagine was a stricken look on my face. The Sunday before we had first arrived at my mom’s following a call from the nursing home that they thought she would pass either that night or in the morning. We had a wonderful, magical wake with the whole family there. I will write more about that night another time, but at one point we were listening to music and I had said, “I bet she’ll go when it’s When DOves Cry.” So to hear it again, when my mom was so obviously close to leaving, was eerie, to say the least.
It is so hard to let go of someone, even when you want them to go. Even when you know they won’t ever get better, when they would hate to still be around in the state they are in, when you have “prepared” yourself for the very moment for what feels like a very long time. And yet, when the breath slows – or stops – your first impulse is always “No! Breathe!” And then, at least for me, I had to consciously say “Yes, yes, you go. It’s OK. We will be OK. You will be OK. We love you and will miss you, but we will remember you forever. It’s OK to go.” Which is literally what I did last Sunday.
I stroked her hair, and Juniper held her hand and stroked her arm and we all listened to Bob Marley sing Three Little Birds to remind us that every little thing IS going to be alright. Then Bonnie Raitt sang Nick of Time. Mom loved Bonnie Raitt and she and Joe saw her a few times, if I remember correctly. This song always made me teary anyways…
Mom’s breath was so gentle, so soft, it never really paused nor was there a dramatic intake or sigh. It seemed to me just a sweet, soft stop. She finally just let go.
And then Imagine there’s no heaven it’s easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky…
I love you mom.
posted 7:26 pm, August 29, 2010 totally by coincidence. or nora intervention.
Please join me in raising a glass in her honor today.