There are Definitely Worse Ways to Go

My Mom got to enjoy a beautiful Mother’s Day. She went to Church, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and enjoyed a nice lunch with my Dad, brother and sister-in-law. Then she went to the grocery store to pick up a few items, and, as is their custom, my parents took a nap on Sunday afternoon- my Mom in her big easy chair and my Dad in his reclining bed.

During her nap the Doctors think she experienced a moment of atrial fibrillation- just a simple irregular heartbeat that she had been tested for but never confirmed- and that abnormal rhythm may have caused some clotted blood to form in her heart and then get pumped into her brain, causing a massive stroke. It was as if her lights had been blinked out.

For a while yesterday morning she was partially aware of her surroundings in the hospital. Should could move one of her arms and could open her eyes and look around as best she could with partial paralysis. She understood that her family was with her, despite her inability to speak. As the doctors were explaining to us that her symptoms would render her permanently disabled, I could see a sadness or sorrow wash across her face. Her greatest fear in life was that she would end up like her own mother- disabled and speechless from a stroke, and the idea briefly dawned on her that this was to be her fate as well.

I think it was at that moment that she prayed for the Lord to take her- and she has been in a deep coma ever since. She is not on any life sustaining medical devices, or monitoring services in the quiet hospice area of the hospital. As I write this, her breathing is becoming more and more strained as the swelling in her brain pushes against the critical functions of her brainstem. Over all, it is probably not a bad way to leave the world. At one moment you are having a very Happy Mother’s Day and the next its like the snap of the fingers and lights out.

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