On this day six years ago – and it was a Monday then, too – my mom was brought by ambulance to our home to begin hospice. We weren’t sure how much time we had left with Mom. I wasn’t sure how we were going to make this work – Scott and I were still working full-time then and we planned on taking turns caring for Mom, but we hadn’t, exactly, figured out when we were going to sleep. We just threw ourselves into this and trusted that it would all work out. We didn’t want Mom to be brought from the hospital to an institution where she’d be surrounded by strangers. We wanted her here with us. It felt right.
Mom and I spent the day telling each other how much we loved each other. At one point she became very tired – too tired to talk – but I was greedy and asked her, once again, if she loved me. Her eyes fastened on me and the look she gave me was pure love- I still see that look in her eyes at times when I need to remember her love.
I went to bed at 9:00 to sleep for a few hours while Scott took the first shift. I’d just fallen asleep when Scott came up to the bedroom to tell me that Mom wanted to talk to me.
I came downstairs and saw Mom sitting up from the hospital bed with a grin on her face. She looked all excited, like she was going to a party or something. I explained to her that I was going to sleep for a little bit, but that I’d come down to be with her at midnight. I told her she wasn’t going to be alone. One of us was going to be with her all the time. She grinned and said, “Okay!”
When I came down at midnight, Moz was sleeping. I gave her some medication when I first came down and some more an hour and half later. I stretched out on the couch next to Mom’s hospital bed to rest a little. About 3:00 in the morning I had this beautiful dream of green fields and rolling hills and butterflies – my dream was full of joy. And I felt something brush by me – touch me – and I felt love and peace as this presence brushed by me.
I woke up then. Mom wasn’t struggling to breathe and I thought, “Oh, I don’t need to give her any medication.” I started to go back to sleep and then… I realized. I got up and felt her and she was starting to feel cool. I went upstairs and got Scott and told him I thought Moz had passed. But I wasn’t sure. There’s such a thin veil between this life and whatever comes after. Scott came down and felt her pulse and told me, “Moz is gone, Sweetie.”
We called hospice, and a nurse came out and talked us through what happened next. I’ll be forever grateful to Hospice of the Northwest for their help through this process.
Moz’s passing was one of the most holy and beautiful things I’ve ever experienced. I’m so grateful that we brought her into our home that last day.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell
(Pictured below: Mom and Einstein.)