Posted by: Kathy | November 12, 2009

What Was She Thinking?

My mom and I never talked about the fact that she was dying. We always held on to hope that some how, some way, she’d be one of the few who beat pancreatic cancer. But as the weeks went by and my mom became sicker, I could see that she wasn’t going to beat this.

I often wondered, but never asked, how she felt about dying. I was too scared to ask her. And I didn’t want to face the possibility of losing my mom. So we didn’t talk about it. But I often wonder what my mom thought about. How did she feel about having pancreatic cancer? How did she feel about the very real possibility of dying? I know she was scared. I know she didn’t want to leave the kids. But we never really talked about it.

I often ask myself if I should have talked to her about it. I wanted to, even thought about what to say and how to start the conversation. But by the time I was “ready” to talk about it, my mom was really in no shape to talk. She seemed to be confused much of the time and she slept a lot. In the moments when she was here, when she was ok, I didn’t want to bring up anything negative or sad. I just wanted to share the time we had left together.

But to this day I often wonder what she thought about as she laid in bed each night. She was getting weaker. She was in more pain. She knew the chemotherapy wasn’t really working anymore. What did she think of as she closed her eyes each night? I do much of my thinking at night, when I supposed to be sleeping, when it’s dark and quiet and there are no distractions to whatever thoughts are in my head. My last post was written on my cell phone in the darkness of night. I couldn’t sleep. There were too many thoughts, too much pain, and I needed to get it out.

That last night is especially troubling and I’ve blogged about it before. It was a difficult night for my mom. She couldn’t lay down. All night she sat in a stuffed chair by the bed, and all night I lay there next to her listening to her breathing. Did she sleep at all? Was she really there? She was very “fidgety”, and her hands and arms seemed to move without her will. She kept knocking her blankets off, and I’d put them back on because I was worried that she would be cold. What was she thinking about during that final night? Was she scared of what was coming? Did she know that in less than a day, she wouldn’t be with us anymore?

I know my mom was strong in her faith and in her belief in God. I believe my mom was at peace when she died. I don’t think my mom would have left if she weren’t at peace or if she felt something still needed to be done. It’s obvious that she waited, as she held on until Matt got his black belt. I know how much my mom believed in Matt and how proud she was of him. I don’t think I’ve ever really said it before, but thank you Mom for holding on like you did and for waiting to hear of Matt’s greatest achievement to date before letting go. I love you.

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