May 10, 2013 - 5:21 am
I know no one really has all "the answers," but it never hurts to see if anyone can relate and provide some advice.
We brought Mom home on hospice last week. She went in the hospital late last month for the NINTH time in the past 8 months, and there is nothing more that can medically be done. They did offer to try some other treatment, but they said it would at most prolog her life just a bit. She decided to forego that and go o hospice. Just a short note about us. I am the "baby" of the family - yougest of four. Though I wasn't "spoiled," I was certainly a "mama's boy" growing up and we have always been extremely close. My sister set up a room at her house for Mom to move into last week with a hospital bed, oxygen, etc. The hospices nurses and home health visit every day.
I was there last weekend. Sunday night, before I had to head back (I live two hours away), I laid on the bed beside Mom. I'm a grown man, but it was just like being a child again. She held me, stroked my hair, kissed my forehead, and we talked for about an hour and a half. I know, a grown man in his 40s, that sounds ridiculous I guess. But we, not just me, I think really needed that. I think we both knew we were saying goodbye.
My sister asked if I am going back fro Mother's Day. She knows about that night and actually suggested that - given that Mom is not eating and barely drinking, sleeping a lot now - I should leave it at that. I hate to say it, but that's what I want to do. But at the same time, I feel very selfish if I do that. I feel like I should be there with her, holding her hand if possible, as she passes.
Also, when Dad passed, I certainly grieved a lot but not nearly as bad as I am with Mom. I well up with tears at the thought of her, and I feel like (I know this sounds stupid) that I somehow was "unfair" in my grief for Dad. Like I said, I know that sounds stupid, but it's how I feel. Just a lot of guilt wrapped up in all of this.
Finally, and this is the part that REALLY kicks the guilt in, there are times that I think we all wish the process would move faster. I love my mother very, very much. And yes I want the suffering to stop quickly. But it's not just that. It's also the emotional toll it's taking. But I step back and think wait, what does that say about me? I want her to hurry up because of that? REALLY!? But I don't mean it that way. I would much rather she would miraculously get up and start recovering, which isn't going to happen. I don't know, it's difficult to explain.
And to top all of this off, I myself have to go in for more testing next week that could possibly be not so good news. I have not and do not intend to tell Mom about this. That serves no good purpose. If there is anything beyond all of this, I hope she forgives me and understands.