Losing Mom

My 96 year old mother died last Saturday. At her age I guess it shouldn’t have been a big surprise, but she’d just fought hard through a broken leg and rehab and we were looking forward to doing a few things once she could move a bit more. She was tough and I really thought she’d have another year or two.

Suddenly she was very ill– an undiagnosed issue that had been growing for a while. After nearly 2 weeks of ups and downs from “she’ll be home tomorrow” to “do you want to prolong life or go into hospice” back to “she can come home soon”, to a downhill slide to death sooner than anyone thought.

I’m not only in shock about her, but the house I’ve shared with her since 1998 is on a reverse mortgage and I have to be out in 3 months. So I’ve been frantically going through things, organizing several rooms for an appraiser/real estate firm to look at the good stuff. etc and will be moving to the condo I inherited in Florida. I’m also a bit uneasy about that as I don’t really know people down there and have lived here in Lexington longer than any other place in my life.

The hardest part was watching my mother cope with the prognosis. She wanted to live and started off wanting the long, complicated surgery that would have been required. It was a huge disappointment to her to be told that she was too frail and wouldn’t be cleared to have it. As we rode the roller coaster of opinions from her coming home with me required to do more stuff than I could possibly do for probably some months to her staying in hospice where she’d probably die soon, etc. her distress was palpable. Until it wasn’t and she reconciled with the idea that death would come soon.

After a long, close and sometimes tumultuous relationship in which there was always a little stiffness, we finally said, “I love you” every day and sat for hours at hospital then hospice holding hands. Those moments of finally just settling into the love were priceless.

It’s weird now to be in her house but not able to go tell her things. Weird to watch some of the TV shows we liked to watch together without any commentary from her. To watch the ones she loved the most — and was most looking forward to seeing this summer — and realize she doesn’t get to find out how Bosch or Sweet Magnolias latest seasons ended and won’t know the acts on America’s Got Talent. Other moments I’m kind of relieved as the caretaker duties falling on me have been growing in recent years and it’s a huge weight gone.

Throughout all the increasing caretaker duties, sudden prognosis and now this whirlwind move, I’ve been so incredibly grateful for all the years of emotional work, meditation, yoga, etc. The calm space I’ve come to occupy has kept me from being anywhere close to the level of panic I once would have been in. Not that there’s no panic 🙂 but only at scattered moments. Synchronistically, Deva and Miten are offering a 7 day Gayatri event coinciding with this exact week so I’ve been tuning in to chant and feel the big group energy every day, which really helps. Thank God for my spiritual path.

9 thoughts on “Losing Mom

  1. My condolences Leigh, it is a sudden change for you in so many ways, especially those silences where before was that comfort of connecting and sharing so much. Your mom is in a very beautiful place now and her care could be no greater hands. And the greater part is your both being able to connect on such a level before her parting. That is a very powerful thing to go beyond those things we hold and allow our hearts to open in the need of that connection between two people. The recent times seem to be suddenly moving us into another way of being, facing even more of ourselves so we can share more of that love within us. I hope all goes well, and something wonderful is there for you in your move, waiting to be found to start something beautiful. Love, light and blessings for your journey ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

      • And thank you Leigh, for sharing something so profound in your life. And I know that recent closeness with your mom will give you heart and strength for this part of your journey. Something to build from and start something wonderful. A hug and lots of love for each step kind lady ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

  2. Much love to you Leigh as you navigate this next phase of your life. So sorry for your loss, and I’m sure you’ll grieve, but at the same time I think you’ll come to a new sense of freedom as things move forward. I admire so much your resilience, and your ability to take on the caretaker role with your mom. And to do it with love.
    Hugs
    Alison

    • Thanks Allison. I think you’re right as I already sense freedom. I’ve said in the past that I thought I would feel more free when my parents passed as they both had intense focus on me and relied on me a lot for some sort of salve to their emotional brokenness. I do already feel weight lifted and have so many prayers that on the other side they’ve found/are finding healing.

  3. I am sorry to hear about your loss, Leigh, and about all the upheaval with having to move so suddenly. I wish you much strength for this phase. It is wonderful that your spiritual path enables you to remain more at peace in these challenging circumstances.

  4. I know you have had a very rough two years Leigh with so much to ” unpack. ” It is beautiful what you shared with your mom in her last days and it is a testament to your inner strength, fueled by your path. Having to move so quickly seems like a huge burden and yet, it may be better for you to be in Florida and have the lovely condo to yourself. I hope you can take solace in knowing your mom lived a very long life and that your caretaking certainly played a role in her longevity. It is clear how much of your mom is reflected in your appearance. Strong, beautiful, resilient women, what a wonderful legacy your mother has created.

    much love,

    Linda ❤

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