And that was that!
I joked with my brother that the horrid thoughts put in our heads of our Mom's condition would be funny if we showed up to find her sitting up in bed saying "Why are you here?"
Sure enough my brother was the first to arrive and she was sitting up saying "why are you here?"
Till the very end she would not believe that she was dying and she totally had all her wits about her too. No hallucinations, no gibberish, she recognized everyone who walked in, even nurses from last year.
She knew what was going on around her but was NOT willing to let go. In fact at one point she said she needed clothes. She said "When I'm having good days at the Hospice Center, I want to be able to go out to lunch with my friends"
Her last food/drink was two sips of a Starbucks Frap. That was all she asked we bring her in the days that we were there and THAT made me smile.
Even when she was completely unresponsive and they removed the mask that was prolonging her pain she held on for hours. She was NOT going to die.
But then she did. With one giant cough/breath, she was gone. I remember saying "she is done"
And that was that!! A huge sigh of relief came over me with a cloud lifted as her spirit lives on and her body no longer hurts. I had been up with her the night before while she begged for air and someone to help her. The hours that followed were some of the hardest of my life.
Her dying almost seemed easy at that point. The funeral arrangements were a piece of cake comparatively and the burial was like a party when compared to that night that I can't erase from my head.
When she was "done", we had to wait for the doctor to come make it official. That seemed like hours upon hours but I know it wasn't that long. My brother and I then had to take turns calling/writing people including her husband, family and friends.
A task that neither of us were thrilled about but had to be done.
Have to say, I've never watched a human take their last breath but I'm so thankful that my Bro and I could be there to help her end the struggle, advocate for her, not let her be alone and keep her comfy to go with dignity.
And the people, OH MY KALE the people that we encountered. The goodness of people. From some of the nurses and doctors to the hospice social workers and all our family and friends. Whomever says all goodness is gone in this world are people who just won't look for goodness.
I have never been surrounded with so many kind words, loving thoughts, warming prayers or giant hugs. And seeing so many people come out during horrible snowy weather was the ultimate way to honor her memory.
We played Motown music for her service that was piped through the entire funeral home. I imagined her bum shaking to the toons. It was classic.
At the grave site we threw snowballs at her, the grandchildren dropped in some pictures they drew, we shoveled some dirt and built a snowman.
I'm thinking her husbands family and the funeral people thought we lost our minds but we couldn't have been any more clear at that moment and it couldn't have been any more perfect.
She was wearing her favorite Betty Boop shirt at her request and none of us dressed up or anything. Just the way she would have wanted it.
Back at the hotel after the funeral, all the kids made snow angels in their bathing suits and jumped in the hot tub, then my brother and I did a CrossFit WOD for her.
A perfect end to the life of a perfect Grandma.
She took a ride on the Angel train on Thursday, funeral arrangements on Friday and funeral Saturday, back home on Sunday.
And that was that! Now we move on as life without her physical presence will be very different. But life with her looking over us will be very comforting!!!