Yesterday afternoon, Mom died. Five months and two days from the day she had the stroke. She developed pneumonia the week before. In the middle of the afternoon, her doctor called to say the regular antibiotics weren't working. He wanted to confirm with me that we didn't want to try more aggressive treatments. I agreed that continuing would be against the spirit of Mom's living will, so we decided to continue with the current treatment, keep her comfortable, and wait. I left work right away to visit her, and spent an hour holding her hand. She was beyond sleeping at that point. I went home to start letting family know what we decided and that the end might come soon. Less than two hours after I got home, I received the call from her doctor.
I'm not sure how I am at this point. Right now I have the distraction of a long to-do list, as I did when she first had the stroke. I spent most of last night on the phone, letting people know what happened. Today I meet with the funeral home to decide what to do next. I've long had general instructions from Mom on what she would prefer, but there are still a lot of decisions to be made.
I've been saying goodbye to Mom for a long time now. I know she didn't want to continue suffering from this stroke. I could only pray for God's mercy, and accept whatever form that mercy took. There's still grief, like I'm starting over, near the beginning. Maybe taking a slightly different path of grief. But there's also relief. For her and for me.