On the way home Josh called to inform me that the hospice nurse decided to take my mom off her steroids completely and that Saturday might be the last day she would be able to communicate with us. Brett dropped me off and I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with her.
She was acting really strange all day. She slept most of the time but then she'd wake up only to be surprised that she was still here. She kept talking to people that weren't there. When she looked at me it was as if she was looking through me. It was really strange. It made me scared. I cried a lot this day. It was the first day that I wanted to leave.
I said the family prayer, told my dad I would take the early shift Sunday morning to help him, gave my mom a hug and told her I loved her. She said it back:) I left.
Sunday, July 27-I got a call at 5:30 in the morning. "She's gone!" That is all my dad said. I grabbed a few things and ran out the door.
When I got there she was still sitting in her wheel chair. The oxygen compressor was still going. But there was no life left in her. She was gone. The body sitting there was just a shell for my mom's spirit. My mom was somewhere else.
I took off her oxygen tube and we turned off the machine. We waited for everyone to arrive. It was weird. One minute tears, the next complete shock. Then anger, then fear. I felt all of those emotions in a 10 minute period.
After everyone got to the house the men lifted her out of her chair to lay her on the bed. She hadn't been able to lay down for over 3 months. We wanted to see her laying down. Finally at peace.
The hospice nurse came, cleaned her up and changed her clothes. The mortician got there at about 9:00 and prepared us to take her. We all said good-bye. It was an empty feeling to say good-bye to a body. It was not my mom. She wasn't there. I looked around the room as if I'd see her somewhere else because she definitely was not in that body. Then they took her away.
Immediately Jenn, Scott, and I cleaned up her room. My dad didn't want any evidence of cancer. No more pills, oxygen tubes, ice cups, foot lotions, head rests, wheel chairs. He wanted it out. So we changed their bed, cleaned the carpet, vacuumed the room and got it back to the way it was 3 months ago. It was our way of coping. Stay busy.
We went to sacrament meeting with dad. And the rest of the day was a blur. It was hard to go home that night. I didn't want it to be real. I wanted it all to go away.
Monday, July 28-It was exactly 3 months ago today that she was diagnosed. 3 months!!! What in the heck just happened to our family? This wasn't supposed to happen. I am way too young to lose a mom.
I woke up to 2 angels who dropped everything and drove all the way from Colorado to be here with me. Erica and Ashley came to my rescue. They stayed at my house and took care of everything at home so I could be with my family. They will never know how much this meant to me.
We began planning the funeral. Obviously we knew this day was coming so many of the plans had already been made. Dawn, Megan, Josh, Adam, and I chose the flowers for the funeral. We bought new temple clothes to bury her in because we divided her old temple clothes for each of us to have a piece. Then we met my dad, Ashley, Jenn, and Scott at the cemetery to pick out a headstone.
Is this really happening?
Tuesday, July 29-Jenn, Dawn, Ashley, Megan, and I met at the mortuary to dress my mom. Too personal to record here but I will say it was neat and I am glad I did it. I spent the whole day thinking about my talk and feeling so overwhelmed.
That night I got a blessing from Brett to help me find the words for my talk....no words came. I was up until 1:00 am and woke up at 5:00 am. Somehow it came together.
Wednesday, July 30-I helped Dawn set up for the viewing at the church. She put together old pictures of mom when she was a young girl, a teenager, a young mother, and a grandma. She gathered many of the blankets our mom made as well as all our baptism dresses. It was beautiful. It looked wonderful.
I came home to get ready and then went back to prepare for the viewing. It began at 6:00 and went until about 9:30. So many people came. The line was very long for most of the night. I was touched at how many of my friends came. I have felt so loved during this crappy time.
But I must say I didn't want to be there at all. I didn't want to socialize. I was numb and I wanted to be anywhere else but there.
My dad held up very well and was very touched by all their loved ones who showed their support.
Thursday, July 31-The funeral. Today was a very hard day. But we were busy so it went by fast. We had a viewing before the funeral. Then it came time to close the casket. Again, that isn't my mom but it is the last tangible part of her. It was hard to say good-bye.
This was the first time my kids were there. For the last 2 weeks they have been home with babysitters. I was wondering how they would handle seeing grandma. Tobe was so cute. He kept saying that she was asleep. He'd reach in and touch her hand. When I'd put him down he'd say, "I want to see Grandma again." But it came out, "I see Grandma again?" I kept saying, "Yes you will see Grandma again."
When they wheeled the casket out he said, "Bye Bye Grandma!" And waved good-bye.
The funeral program:
Song-"Each Life That Touches Ours For Good"
Prayer -Scott Allen
Obituary reading-Aaron Hall
Song-grandchildren and girls
"Teach Me to Walk in the Light"
"I Am a Child of God"
"Families Can Be Together Forever"
Song-Josh and Adam Dorius
"Keep My Kids Still"
written by Adam while in Peru
Song-"God Be With You til we Meet Again"
As you can see we all got the opportunity to talk. This was extremely hard for me. There are no words to describe how much I loved my mom.
Jenn, Dawn, Amanda, Ashley, and Megan
Megan is Josh's sweet wife. She is an angel. My mom adored her.
We put our LiveStrong bracelets on the casket. We're DONE with cancer. Cancer sucks!!!
Friday, August 1-Today was lonely. I felt empty all day. My sweet mother-in-law came to be with me and tend the kids during the funeral. She has been such a help. I was with her all day but I still felt alone. My mom left me with such a void. I don't think anyone will ever be able to fill the hole she left.
Saturday, August 2-Brett and I went to the temple. It was peaceful. I didn't expect to see my mom or feel her. I just wanted to feel peace and I did. I was calm for the first time in 3 months.
Now what?? I don't even know where to begin. I don't know how to heal. I don't know how to feel. I want to call my mom so bad and ask her what I do now. She would know. But she's not here. Everyone who has been through this has warned me that the hard times are still ahead so I want to be prepared when they come, but I don't know how.
The only way to describe how I feel is empty...