Tuesday, September 27, 2011

on holy ground



'Walking with loved ones as they approach death is a sacred time. Your hands, your touch, your care are instruments of God's presence. Your voice allows your loved one to trust so he or she can move into a new relationship with God. You are standing on holy ground.'



my mother is dying. yesterday we met with hospice as all her family gathered one by one around her. we had to discuss those things i never wanted to before. my sister my stepdad and i. we took decisions on her behalf, she can't see or speak anymore.

they came, the aunties and grandchildren, the cousins and friends. each saying in his or her own way, goodbye. my sister and i sat each on the side of her bed, holding her hands and made promises to her, those things a mother would want, need to hear. we'll take care of each other, she'd never have to worry.

hospice told us maybe a week more, maybe tonight. i foolishly thought i'd been prepared, this has been a long grief filled road. but now, holding my mothers wisp of a hand, i know i've a ways to go.

x lori

this is the hardest thing for me to write about. but it's too much a part of my life (it is my life) to not be open about here. i began this blog for my mom, 3 years ago, when alzheimer's was taking her farther and farther away from us. my stepdad would bring up my blog on their computer and set her in front of it, and she would read. after a time she would not be able to read anymore, but just look at the photos. for a long time now, she hasn't looked at all. somehow i know she would be okay with me writing this. she always felt that everything i did was brilliant. just like a mother tends to do.

57 comments:

  1. Oh Lori, I am sitting here crying for you, for me, for our loved ones. Sometimes this life is so hard, but I want you to know that I am here. I am thinking of you and your family and sending all my warmest thoughts and prayers your way. Dear friend, take care and know you are not alone.
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so sorry. I will be thinking of you & your family.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You can never be prepared for this, Lori. Not with your mother. It brings you back to your childhood, to everything that was good and bad in your entangled lives. It is truly sacred ground that you are walking. And good to accept this time and all your emotions. I am with you, holding you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. dear lori,

    my love and prayers are with you and your family at this time - as you say, a sacred time. i wish your dear mom peace and that she knows she is surrounded by love. i wish the same for you, my friend.

    with love always - as dear geli says, i am holding you too♡

    amanda

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lori, I wish I could give you a great big hug. This is so sad and I'll be thinking of you at this so sad time. I hope knowing that you have the support and love of many people will help you even if just a little xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. ah Lori - it truly is holy ground, and how wonderful to have all the family around her. i wish you all the strength to cope at this time, and the power of love to sustain you xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lori dear ~ I heard you calling. For that reason I checked in and understand now why. You hit a chord when you said you started your blog for your mother. I think I sort of did that too - for my father - who probably doesn't read mine anymore either.

    Parents seem to pass over after a long illness when they know all their children will be OK. I pray that this transition time for you and your mother is blessed. I believe that it will be. Your hand is being held.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lori, I am so very sorry. I am walking this road, too, and it is simply heartbreaking. You are in my thoughts and prayers, my friend. Much love to you during this hard, hard time. xoxo Pam

    ReplyDelete
  9. Keeping you in my thoughts & prayers Lori at this difficult time ♥
    Deb

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am so sorry. Know that I am sending you much love, Lori. Peace be with you. xo

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh Lori, I am so so sorry! I will be praying for you and your family. My mom died in 1998 and I still miss her and think of her at some point every day. I know that your mom felt your presence and was comforted, I hope you were too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ah, dear, sweet Lori...I feel your pain and sadness. My beloved Mum has been gone for 29 years.....and my Father for 18... I once told you that when you lose a parent, you *join* a club that no one wants to join....but one day, we all become members.

    It is not easy, but I know your Mum feels your love and strength...she may not be able to see or speak....but she hears and feels, the sweetness of a voice, the gentle touch of a hand...being surrounded by those she adores will help her move into the next phase....

    Believe it....I do with all my heart.

    Always here for you,

    Sending love and strength,

    ♥ Robin ♥

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm there with you, Lori and can truly say I know what you're going through and feeling. I believe you know that my father is dying as well. May we both be able to lean on God during such a difficult time. Thinking of you. Hugs

    ReplyDelete
  14. *hugs*

    I'm so sorry for all this grief Lori. I hope you are... coping. I hope you get to spend time with her now over the next few days...

    keep us posted we'll be thinking of you, and keeping your family in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beautiful Lori it is so very sad that this is such a big part of life... to love deeply and then have to part ways.

    You have written this piece so gently and just as it is.

    I'm a little lost for words here. I know this pain as I live without parents.

    Big love to you and everyone involved at this time.
    I know your mother must be beautiful inside and out... as you are.

    Thinking of you with love
    xoxo Robyn

    ReplyDelete
  16. oh lori... this has me teary eyed for you and everyone that has to say goodbye to a loved one - to let go. but, your mom? that must be extraordinary. my mom is here right now with me and so of course i'm very close to that source of undying love. i don't think it's going to be easy, nor should it be. i hope you feel a lot of love and support from your family and friends around you and of course you are in my thoughts from afar. big hugs to you dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
  17. oh Lori - you are so lucky to be there with your mom, and with your family. you will all never forget this time, and the love that surrounds you all. It's a sacred place all right and a blessing to be able to be there, saying goodbye in your own way. but my heart hurts for you - cause no matter what..it's your mom.
    I wish you all peace and much much love

    ReplyDelete
  18. my beloved friend, i am sorry. losing a parent, whatever the circumstance, is in some ways losing your childhood and too, being afraid of forgetting. i held vigil with my father as you are doing now. you will never regret your witnessing and your love.
    your Mother cannot really leave you because she dwells within you as you. the angels will welcome her, lori. even renee will be there.

    love always
    kj

    ReplyDelete
  19. peace be with you lori. the rest is all taken care of. believe. x

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sweet Lori, hang in there. Thinking of you and your family. Celebrate your mom's life and make what precious time you have with her special. Just be. You don't have to do anything but be. Be there. Be together. Be sad. Be aware. Be humble. Be thankful. Thank you for sharing your life with me/us. My heart goes out to you - xo - Susan

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am feeling for you so much Lori and understand your emotions right now. A fortnight ago I thought I would be saying goodbye to my Mum, but things have improved for her and so that time is not just yet. I believe that nothing prepares us for the death of a loved one, no matter the age or circumstance.
    My heart goes out to you with much love .
    Sally
    xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  22. Lori,
    I have sat at that bedside of my beloved mother, saying a long goodbye. The disease made it easier to wish peace upon here, but the pain I felt rivaled that of childbirth. I am sending you loving thoughts Lori, and the biggest hug ever. So generous of you to share your mom and this difficult period with us.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm so sorry Lori, may her journey be a peaceful one.
    Blessings to you and your family.

    With love, Rochelle

    ReplyDelete
  24. i'm so sorry to read this Lori. i hope you and your family can all find some solace in one another this week.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Dear Lori,

    I saw this post late last night and felt at a loss for the right words. This morning I realized there are no right words, really.
    Losing my mother was one of the hardest things in my life. I'm so glad I held her hand during her last breath. I know she felt my presence, just as your mother feels her family around her.
    We are never, ever ready for this moment. I know you will let her go with grace and your true blessings.
    May you find comfort in your memories, and eventually, peace in your heart.

    Wishing her a peaceful transition into her next phase where she will be unburdened by disease.

    Lots of love~
    xoxo
    Lo♥

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Lori,
    My thoughts are with you...may all of the love within you and your family give you strength, comfort and peace to carry you through this very difficult time.
    xo, Nan

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh Lori, I am so sorry to hear this. I don't think we can ever be prepared for a loss like this. My heart and prayers and love go out to you and your family. This is a beautiful post and your mom would love it. And remember she will never be gone, only invisable for a time.
    Love you, big hugs.xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lori~ I dont doubt your Mamma has always been so proud of you. She must have been amazing, as I do believe you are. Your Blog has always touched me so. Your photos and words are brilliant and bring me joy.
    As a Hospice volunteer, I understand somewhat of what you are going through. However, I have not lost a parent, so I am sure it will be different for me when that time comes. Alzheimer's is in our family, and my father is starting to show signs. Since his diagnose of dementia he has been angry and frightened. It has been a difficult road we are traveling.
    Love & prayers sent your way. Strength, comfort, and peace.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I haven't visited you often...but today, my heart and thoughts are with you...your mother will be loved forever, just on a different plane now...

    ReplyDelete
  30. My thoughts are with you, Lori. Wishing you peace and beautiful memories to carry you through this difficult time.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh Lori I am sorry for your loss.
    My mother has a kind of Alzheimer also. It feels like I have already lost my Mom.
    I know it is a hard journey losing her in this way. And when you think you will feel relieved I know that you won't . You will miss her that's what will happen.
    When I lost my Dad the feeling of missing remained and a gratefulness for having him around such a long time and for having such a great dad. I hope you will feel that too about your Mom.
    But what can I say .......no words can take away your pain now.
    I am sending you a big virtual hug♥
    Lots of love and light.
    >M<

    ReplyDelete
  32. dear lori.... i am sending my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family at this difficult time...i lost my mother to pancreatic cancer august 10, 2006...i understand...

    sending love,
    kary

    ReplyDelete
  33. Oh, Lori...I'm so sorry. My love, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you love and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm sitting here crying for you. Feel my arms around you, hugging you during such a difficult time. I'm here if you need ANYTHING, Lori. I mean that. Love and hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Dear Lori. I am so sorry to hear about your mother, I am sending you a lot of comforting thoughts, and I think we never will be prepared to say goodbye to ones mother.

    ReplyDelete
  37. just read your above post announcing gently the parting of your much loved Mother... too sad Lori... big love xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  38. Dear Lori,
    I am sending you love and light, I have just seen your posts now. My thoughts are with you dear friend.
    Love
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh Lori, I'm so sorry...I don't know what to say...my thoughts are with you. From reading your blog I know that you have a big warm family that will help and support you. Now is when you need them most...

    lots of love Debby

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh my dear Lori.
    Just a year ago I was losing my own mother to that terrible insidious disease. my heart is with you today, as you stand on that shore. My tears too. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  41. Dear friend Lori,
    I am so sorry for reading this , and tears in my eyes...
    I´m praying for your Mom and sending you lots of love and comfort at this difficult , hard time.

    Mina

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Lori,
    I came here from kj's. I am very sorry for your loss.
    I love the picture VanDyke painted with his words in your latest post,
    and hope they bring you comfort.
    Indeed there are people shouting "here she comes!"

    Thinking of you, and praying for peace in your heart.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dear Lori, I'm so sorry! You are in my thoughts and I send you love and strength! You wrote so beautifully!
    xxx Teje

    ReplyDelete
  44. Oh Lori, I'm so, so, sorry. I don't think we can ever be truly prepared for this. My heart and prayers are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Lori, I am very sorry for you with the loss of your mother. I don't know how your relationship was while she was alive, but it reminds me that I need to really cherish my own mother more and my children. We will pray that God gives you a time of healing and comfort and new joy again.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thinking of you all Lori...
    xo
    Andrea

    ReplyDelete
  47. Tears and love and prayers to you all.
    Xoxoxo mim

    ReplyDelete
  48. Sweet Lori, I will be remembering you in my prayers. It has been a summer of loss of "mothers". Almost everyone near to me has had their mother pass on. I am still very thankful that my mother is well and near to me and I cherish every moment that we have together. It has been a bit frightening to say the least knowing that the day will come for me too and when I ponder it....well.....I simply cannot breathe! I pray for you to be comforted at this time and in the many difficult days ahead! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Lori, I just wanted to let you know I've been thinking of you and keeping you in prayer.

    ReplyDelete
  50. My dear friend,

    I just returned to Maine from work in Florida and I sat down to check on friends.

    Your words made me cry. The beautiful photo of you and your sweet Mom with her "wisp of a hand," touched me deeply. My Mom passed away a few years ago and I always think of her as still being here.

    I send a heart full of understanding and love to you,

    S

    ReplyDelete
  51. My heart and love go to you and your family. May your mother be at peace and be filled with happiness for the life she lived and the life that she will now continue. I pray that you find the serenity and comfort you need as you move forward in your own life.
    much love to you Lori
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  52. Oh, Lori. I'm so sorry. I wish I had known sooner. I am heartbroken for you and send you a thousand embraces. If you feel a warmth on your skin, that is me. I love the passage by Henry Van Dyke and the thought that there are others waiting to greet the ones who leave us. And they, in turn, will wait to greet us.

    Over the summer, I've had several things happen that might be explained by coincidence or sheer luck. But a part of me believes that it is my husband, looking out for us and sending his love. I believe your mother will continue to watch after you too.

    Blessings and love to you and your family.
    xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  53. I'm sorry to hear of your great loss. My thoughts with you & family.

    ReplyDelete

xoxo lori