Ma – A repost – In memory of My Ma

If we had blinked our eyes, we would have missed it.

For three days we watched every breath she took.

For three days her laboured breathing kept us awake at night.

One night we all slept there.  Me in the recliner right next to her, Karen on the sofa bed, Joe on the couch, Billy on the floor.  When the sun rose, Karen and I changed places.

When Ma finally woke that morning we knew there was something different.  Her breathing was different.  Her gaze was different.  Her pain gone.  She was no longer restless. She slept peacefully.  She was there…but she wasn’t.  She was just waiting.

That evening her breathing had slowed and become quiet. Finally,  She calmly took her last breaths.  It was as if a window opened and she left on the breeze.  She looked like a sleeping child in her bed.  Curled up on her side holding her rosary and her beloved medal.   If we had blinked our eyes, we would have missed it.

It was heartbreaking to see her Grandson check for her pulse.

It was heartbreaking to see her Son-In-Law check again.

It was heartbreaking when Her other Grandson rushed in…..afraid of what he would find.

It was heartbreaking to look in my Sister’s eyes and know that it was over.  What we waited for…peace for Ma.  It was over.  I wished for celestial music or fireworks some proof that she was okay.  We all sat with Her for a long while, it seemed.  But it wasn’t long enough.  But she had “gone to the place that’s the best”…. and the happiest biggest family reunion ever.   And yes, she let us know she made it.

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9 responses

  1. Thank you for sharing your mother’s last moments. You wrote so movingly about her last days; “But she had “gone to the place that’s the best”…. and the happiest biggest family reunion ever. And yes, she let us know she made it.” I’m so glad she let you know that she had made it.
    I couldn’t help but cry when I read your post. You wrote of a scene hauntingly like my mother’s last breaths, tho, she was in a hospital bed. She was only semi-conscious for the last few days of her life. We read to her, talked to her, told her it was ok to let go. Gradually, her breathing become less and less; longer periods between breaths. We gently touched her, telling her that it was alright; she could go now. Then she stopped; she, like your mother, was finally at peace. She left lightly, quietly, and we felt relief at the ending of her pain and sorrow more than grief at her passing. We knew she was back with my father, and that all would be well with her world again. And, then, life goes on.

  2. Pingback: A Repost – Ma « Mo is blogging…I think

  3. This was an incredibly beautiful and heartfelt post, Mo. I’m glad you ma is at peace and I will do my best to pray for you and your family in the day and months ahead as you all move forward in the grieving process.

    I felt like I knew you mom from your posts about here. I think if I had met her, she and I would have been great friends. Thank you for letting me be part of her life and yours, right up to the end.

    Sending you hugs and much love my friend.

  4. I don’t know you, but stumbled across this post through NaBloPoMo and find myself in tears. My family went through such a startlingly similar scene with my Grandmother a few years ago (who also far outlived her doctor’s predictions for her condition as well). It is heart wrenching to let those we love deepest go. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  5. Maureen, you were all exactly were you needed to be as the moments were unfolding. And you are so right…..we are here for a lifetime and in the blink of an eye and we are transcended to something indescribable. Thanks for sharing that experience of letting go and letting God. Love ya!!!

  6. Oh Mo, I am so sorry for your loss, but so happy that she found peace after so much struggle. My deepest love and condolences to you and your family. *hugs*

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