Are we ever prepared for goodbye?

Eleven days ago I received the call I’d been expecting for a very long time.

“Come to the nursing home. Now.”

I asked no questions. I simply got in the car and drove.  I’ve gotten a few calls like this over the last few years. My hubby’s even gotten used to me dropping everything and rushing out the house. Each time, I’ve come home, crisis averted, and carried on with everyday life.

This time, life did not carry on. I didn’t even make it to the nursing home before finding out this very sad fact. I found out in my car, while driving there.

“I’m sorry, love,” the nurse said simply. “Your mum’s just passed away.”

It shouldn’t have been a surprise. I should have known it was coming.

I did know. And I thought I was prepared. Turns out, I wasn’t. I guess, no matter how much warning you have, you can never be prepared for the death of a parent.

My mother has been ill for three years. For the last year, she’s been very, very sick. Still no matter how bad it got during this time, she fought. She fought like a damn trooper. She hung on with everything she had. No matter how many crises she faced (and there were a lot), she simply took another breath and carried on fighting. There is not another person I know who could have, or would have, fought so hard.

I assumed she’d fight through this night as well.

But there comes a time when there’s no point fighting anymore. When dying is a better option than living. And for my very brave mother, who’d fought so hard and so long, living was no longer the better option. This time, she didn’t face a crisis. She simply chose the better option.

It didn’t take long. After three years of fighting, it took just a few minutes and she slipped away.

She’s in a better place now. Doesn’t stop the heart ache or heart break that’s left behind.

Maybe I’ll stop being sad…some day.

Be free, ma.

Be happy, be heard, and soar.

You can now.

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33 thoughts on “Are we ever prepared for goodbye?

  1. I had no idea Jess! I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure your mom knew how much you loved her, it sounds like she was very special!

  2. I’m sorry to here this 😦 ((((hugs)))) You are right she is in a better place where she can watch over you all the time now.

    KittyKelly

  3. That was beautiful. Your mom has found her peace. She had a fighting spirit, and knowing how much you loved her gave her strength. My heart goes out to you. There will never be a time when don’t miss her, but one day, you will find comfort in the peace she found. My thoughts are with you…

  4. I cried for you and your mum when I heard the news and I’m wiping away the tears now. You have both been so strong for so long. When my Grandmother passed it was like she did the same as your mum, just let go and went on her own terms. I have always gained a small comfort from the fact that she was ready to go, and she did. Hugs Jess, to you and your family.

    Cait ❤

  5. I so want to say something smart and meaningful now, to thank you all for your thoughts.
    But every time I read a comment, I start to cry and can’t put a decent sentence together.

  6. Hugs, and prayers for you and your family, Jess. No matter how long we might have to “prepare,” nothing can truly have us ready to say goodbye. What a lovely legacy your mother has left in you and your children. May you be able to find comfort in all the sweet memories, but maybe not yet today.

  7. Jess, Mum & I both send you our love during this time of grief. The love and memories infuse your life and each time you look in the mirror that little glint in your eye is the reminder that she is still a part of you.

    Preparation for death is smoke and mirrors…the reality is that we should feel so that we can embed that person a little deeper inside us to call upon them now that they are gone physically.

    Warm fuzzies, Huggles and love

    Lisa & Cathy

  8. so sorry to hear of your loss 😦
    nothing anyone can say will make the pain you feel right now go away. Just know though that you are loved, and in our thoughts and prayers.
    Love Cath

  9. I’m sorry for the pain of your loss. I’ve held the hands of those departing a couple of times and it never gets easier to lose someone who’s been in your life as long as you’ve been alive. There is no way to prepare yourself other than telling them you love them and telling them all those things you couldn’t say until you know the end is coming.

    May you have peace in your heart and remember the love you shared and know she’s always going to be in your heart. They say the pain goes away with age, but the truth is you get used to the loss and work your way through it until you can recall the good times and find she’s still there with you.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for support. There are many of us who love you and would be glad to listen to you and even cry with you over your loss. Stay close to your family, and those who love you and resist the urge to keep it inside. They loved her as well.

    We will keep you in our prayers.

  10. I cannot thank you you all enough for the love and the warm wishes you’ve expressed over this awful time.
    Thank you!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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