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Losing a Parent: Are You Ever Prepared?

by Kay Lynn

My mother’s health has been declining for several years and list of chronic conditions kept getting longer.  But modern medicine and the fact she was younger than the average life expectancy of American women lulled me into thinking she had many years to come.

Over the past few years she’s been hospitalized at least annually and always made it through each crisis.  It seemed like there was a new medication, diagnosis or ongoing treatment each time.

I thought last week’s hospitalization would be the same.  But it wasn’t.

Within 24 hours the prognosis went from going home  the next day to a “Do Not Resuscitate” wristband being placed on mom.  The doctor advised my sister to let the two of us that live on the West coast know our mom was extremely ill.

I think that was code for hurry up and get here.  I’m writing this on the way to see mom for probably the last time.  She’s already unresponsive and I’m so sad that I may never hear her voice again.

Saturday, my Mom told me she would be late sending my birthday card.  She was thinking about me (and I’m sure all my siblings) despite her illness.  I’m thinking about you too Mom.

Editor’s Note: My mom passed away last night after a two week hospital stay.  This post was written April 4th on my way to see her.  She did rally enough that we were able to speak again.  She was very loved and will be missed and remembered by her husband, four children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Derek April 14, 2012 at 5:59 am

I’m sorry to hear that Kay Lynn. I can’t imagine losing a parent – get’s me choked up just thinking about it.

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Michelle April 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

I’m so sorry. It is really hard losing a parent. Everyone always tells me about me dad “Well you had 5 months to prepare for his passing.”

If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here.

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Melissa@Mom's Plans April 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I am so sorry to hear about this. I lost my dad when I was young; I can’t imagine losing my mom. I am sure it feels like part of you is missing now. I am glad that she did rally and you did get to speak to her again.

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Jackie @ freeismylife April 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Kay Lynn, I am so sorry for your lost. And to answer your question, no, you are never prepared. I will kept you and your family in my prayers…

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petra April 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I’m glad that you got to talk with your mom one more time. Sending my most sincere condolences to you and your family.

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Paul @ The Frugal Toad April 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I am so sorry to hear of your loss Kay. You and your family will be in our thoughts.

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Andi April 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my father 12 years ago, and I still go to call him sometimes, and I feel his absence often. I use those times to remember the happy memories and lean on friends and family when I need. If there’s anything we can do, now, or 10 years from now, please let us know.

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Shilpan April 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I am very sorry to hear about your mom’s death. I love my mother more than anyone in this world. So, I can imagine your pain. May God bless you with peace.

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Sam April 14, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I’m so sorry KL :(. I am dreading this day.

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Ming April 15, 2012 at 9:59 am

Losing a parent is something you are truly never prepared for, especially if you have had a long and loving relationship. My deepest condolences for your loss. You are fortunate to have fond memories and she will live on in them until you die.

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krantcents April 15, 2012 at 11:43 am

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my mom 7 years ago and it is never easy no matter they’re age..

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Melissa April 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I am very sorry. I lost my mother two years ago and I miss her everyday. I wouldn’t wish losing a mother on my worst enemy. It’s very difficult. Again, I’m sorry. Prayers going your way.

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Little House April 16, 2012 at 6:50 am

I’m so sorry to hear that, Kay. My thoughts are with you.

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Susan April 16, 2012 at 7:41 am

Kay Lyn,

I am so sorry. I feel your pain. My mom has dementia and I feel like I have lost so much of her already to this disease. Two of my good friends’ mothers are going through cancer. Yesterday I lost my kitty girl. Loss sucks. It makes life seem so meaningless without the people or even our furry family members we love. And mom’s are just the best…I am so thankful for my mom…she helped me achieve the success I have today. I love my dad too but if it was left up to him to raise me I’d have been better off with my dogs and I wouldnt be nearly the person I am today. Just know that your mom is only gone from your sight…it doesnt all end here…hugs,
Susan

I love this little poem…it warms my heart and helps keep things in perspective:
________________________________________________________________
The “definitive version,” as published by The Times and The Sunday Times in Frye’s obituary, 5 November 2004:[2]

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

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Squirrelers April 16, 2012 at 8:08 am

So sorry to read this, Kay Lynn. My condolences.

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Frugal Portland April 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Sincere condolences. I hope you are able to surround yourself with love and hugs.

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Roger the Amateur Financier April 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I’m so very, very sorry to hear about your lose. You have all my thoughts, prayers, and sympathy.

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Patty at A Day in My NYC April 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I am so very truly sorry for your loss. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. xoxo

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Newlyweds on a Budget April 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I am really really sorry Kay Lynn, I can’t even begin to imagine. Warm wishes to you and your family.

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Jerry April 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I’m so, so sorry. God bless you and your family.

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