She lies on the bed, frail and small, o so small! Hair grey with snowy white patches, eyes closed, seemingly not aware that we entered the room. Then she opens her eyes and smiles, happy to see us but not really connecting with us.
Where has she gone? my once active, hardworking, always in control of situations mother?
It is heartbreaking to see her like this, but she seems to be content, already in another dimension of life where I can’t join her. She eats and drinks very little, sleeps a lot, but mostly just lies with her eyes closed. She has been diagnosed with cancer in an advanced stage, after my father passed away two months ago. She has probably been sick for a long time but didn’t allow anyone to know before she hadn’t fullfilled her self assigned task of caring for my father.
“Let go and let her be” this is the advice given to us by a caring doctor whose insight and compassion gave me a whole new perspective.
“Respect her choices” was the next piece of advice. If she doesn’t want treatment, it is her choice. If she doesn’t want to eat let her be. She explained old people often do not want to eat and even if we force them to, the body is unable to process the food and will not absorb the nutrients, therefore do not force her to eat.
“Remember we are body, soul and spirit. Maybe she is already in the spiritual realm and communing with God if she doesn’t talk to you. Respect her silence.”
“Keep her as comfortable as possible” There are many ways to treat the symptoms, but don’t sedate her so much that she is not aware of her surroundings we were told.
The long and the short of all this is, we are not allowed to force our choices and wishes on her. If she makes a choice not to fight her illness because she wants to die and be with her loved ones who went ahead of her so be it.
Now I have to make peace with the situation and allow her to choose and let God determine the time for her to go. She can be with us for any amount of time that He chooses, as we know He is the one who holds life and death in his hands.
In the meantime, I will join my mother as much as possible as she waits in the departure lounge for the call to board and take off to heaven and I will try to make this time as meaningful as possible for us all.
After all we all are in the departure lounge of this life.
Am I ready to depart I ask myself? Are you?
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.