Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rob's Mom: Part 2: Seeing Mom for the Last Time



Yesterday I blogged how my (Rob) mom had a severe stroke. This is the second part in the week's events to help us remember what happened. It's important to remember the week's events to ensure there is no regrets or thoughts that anything could've been done differently. All too often, people feel guilt over the passing of a loved one, and there's no need to do that. Our loved ones choose to pass in private often, when no one else is around.

ARRIVAL IN NEW ENGLAND
We arrived at Mom's house after an 8 hr drive
In yesterday's blog, I explained that my (Rob) mom had a severe stroke on Sunday, December 22, 2013.  She was  transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where doctors noted she would never be able to move or speak again, and live motionless, and be fed with a feeding tube. Anyone who knew my fiercely independent, Italian, stubborn mother knows that she would never want that.
DECISION MADE -  On Tuesday, December 24, my 2 brothers and I made the decision to take mom off the ventilator. She then breathed on her on, remaining motionless for the week as my brothers kept watch in the hospital. Meanwhile, the doctors told us that it was a matter of a day or two before she passed, so my brothers contacted the Funeral Home to prepare for arrangements.

CHANGING THE PLAN /WORKING ON MEMORIES - Tom and I were originally flying up Dec. 31 to share the holidays with everyone, but when my mom had the stroke, I canceled all the tickets, hotel and car reservations (although one hotel refused to refund the pre-payment for some reason). We planned to drive up at the end of the week as the doctors said she would hold on. That gave us time to write and refine the obituary (I wrote it, Tom refined and Doug and Steve edited). I also put together electronic photos of Mom from everyone. It took 2 days to make a video before we left. I scoured the Internet and finally found a program that enabled me to create a video (free of charge), that I saved (and the funeral home ran later); and I posted to You Tube in 2 versions: one with the Fleetwood Mac song "Everywhere" that mom loved, and another with the instrumental theme from the film "Somewhere in Time" - which Tom picked out.
1958: Dad, my brother Steve, and Mom

SEEING MOM FOR THE LAST TIME
Tom's folks watched our dog Franklin, and onn Saturday, Dec. 28th we took the other 2 dogs, Dolly and Tyler, with us to Massachusetts. We stayed in my mom's house.
  We went to the hospital to see mom. She looked awful, of course. She was gaunt, laying with her mouth open, eyes closed, and hair flattened against her head. Both Tom and I whispered that we were now there, and all her kids were around her, so it was okay to go. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to say. 

DAD AND OTHERS "ARRIVE"  It's true that the spirits of our loved ones surround us when it's our time to go. Spirits are those that have crossed over, while ghosts are Earthbound entities. They are the same, except for their location. While in the hospital room I developed the headache I get whenever there's a ghost or a spirit in the room. I looked around, and there were in fact, many spirits in the room. My dad walked over to me, and stood between both Tom and I. Tom looked at me and said "your dad is between us, isn't he?" I told him "yes." My 2 uncles, my aunt, and my mother's parents' spirits were in the room among others. I knew they were there to calm her fears because Mom always said she was afraid of dying.

Visiting Maine with Mom: LtoR: Jeff, Jeff's dad, my mom, Jeff's mom, Rob
OTHERS IN THE HOSPITAL- After telling mom that it was okay to cross over, Tom and I went down to the hospital cafeteria for a cup of coffee and tea. As we walked into the older part of the hospital, it was there that I saw the ghost of an elderly man hunched over in a wheelchair, with stringy white hair and dark circles under his eyes. He died in the hospital, but didn't cross over. I also saw a ghost of a woman on a gurney in one of the hallways. She also died in the hospital but didn't cross over. Both of them resisted crossing over and got stuck on Earth, so I encouraged them to move on. There were, in fact a good number of ghosts walking the hallways, which was not surprising.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next