Have you ever thought about the fact that every year we pass the anniversary of our death without knowing it? That, my friend, is a mortality awakening!
I thought about that fact one day recently and wondered to myself if that day could be THE day. The day when my soul will leave my earthly body and go to my heavenly home forever. Though I find peace in that thought, I also find a bit of fear. I am not fearful of dying, I am fearful of how I will die. I would prefer I just go to sleep one day and avoid any kind of painful experience or illness. But, we do not actually get to choose how we die, now do we?
Ever since November 19, 2009, I have had strange thoughts about death. You see, that date is when my mom went to her heavenly home in the middle of the night. That was her 80th trip to the date November 19th, but she never knew that would be her last time there.
Mom had Alzheimer's and was residing in assisted living for Alzheimer's patients when she fell and hit her head for the last time. She was taken to the ER and subsequently placed in ICU. Due to the trauma she experienced to her head when she fell, she had brain hemorrhage, from which she never actually recovered. She was eventually removed from ICU and from there was placed in a nursing home. She remained in the nursing until her death.
From the time Mom was placed in the assisted living facility she cried to go home. We were told that most probably she was crying to go to her childhood home, as is the case for most Alzheimer's patients. But one day Dad went and got Mom out of the facility and drove her around. In fact, he drove her to the home they had shared for several years. Mom did not respond, had no reaction that she recognized that she was at her home. So sad since she had cried so many times to go home.
It was a rather strange circumstance when, on November 19, 2009, we had put into place all the necessary arrangements to in fact take her home one last time. Although we knew she most probably wouldn't know that she was home, I think we thought it would give us some degree of peace. On the night of November 18th, I stayed at the nursing home with her. Although difficult, I was trying to sleep in a chair that made a small bed beside Mom's bed. I would wake up every now and then, check on Mom, go to the bathroom, and then settle back down in the small bed and try to sleep. Evidently I did go to sleep at some point as I was awaken by a couple of nurses who were telling me they needed to turn Mom and I would need to leave the room. I left the room and was standing in the hall when one of the nurses came running out and down the hall. In a few seconds later she came back carry some linens. She went back into the room and was in there for several minutes before she came back out and told me my dear, sweet mom had passed away.
The thought of Mom dying wasn't a problem for me as I knew where she had gone. Oh, I knew I was going to miss her a lot. But, her passing meant that in that moment she was made whole and was out of any kind of pain or distress she was experiencing here on earth. What was a problem, and continues to be to some extent, is the fact that she left without me being there, holding her hand when she drew her last breath. I was asleep and not there when she needed me the most.
Well, Mom didn't get to go back home and that was disappointing for us. But, she died peacefully where she was. She went in her sleep just like she always wanted to do.
Today is a day that we have all lived each year that we have been alive. Unfortunately, it will also be the date that many people will never live again. As a matter of fact, and I don't think it will be, it could be my last August 28th. Furthermore, it could be your last August 28th. Who knows when we will draw our last breath? But one thing is for sure, there is a date that has our name written on it. A date unknown to us, but a date for which we are steadily moving toward. A date we get closer to day after day after day.
Until the next time...