Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. Mark Twain

If we know but don’t acknowledge we don’t accept the inevitability of what is coming, but it is still coming.

Tuesday morning my husband got a video call from his cousins in England. Their mother, his aunt at age 84 is not expected to live she’s had dementia for thirteen years. When I called Mom she didn’t sound right and other’s noticed it too, has she had a minor stroke, and if she has what do you do for her at age 98?

Everyone has to face the loss of their parents unless it is the parent that faces the loss of the child, which of course is worse. Loss is part of life and thinking we won’t face loss, hardship, disappointment, setbacks, and failures is perhaps why some people have so much trouble dealing with the realities of life. They don’t think they should have to deal with those realities.

We deal with them a lot less now than in years gone by when almost every family would have suffered the loss of a child. Many men suffered the loss of their wives in childbirth, and many women suffered the loss of their husbands in war, accidents, and misadventures.

I called my sister and she ran over to check on Mom, she said, “Mom looks fine.” Later she confided in me that Mom is declining which we all understand and so does Mom

  Mom said, “Did I say something wrong?”

“Did I say something wrong,” has been rolling over in my mind. I think it means, she was trying to hide her decline and it’s been noticed. How do we let Mom live out her life the way she wants to without too much of an intrusion but also without looking like or actually being neglected?

I’ve spoken to an agency called Nurse Next Door and they may be able to fill in the gaps that the family can’t so Mom can live in her home for as long as she wants. Perhaps right till the end. We all fear losing autonomy and decisions over our life being taken from us. Her friend was moved into a nursing home when she was still quite capable and only lived a couple of months. Mom thought she died of a broken heart more than anything else. She had to sell her home and give away all her treasured items.

The art of living well and the art of dying well are one. Epicurus

I have an aunt that has chosen to go into a home and she is happy and even says the food is good. Choice has a lot to do with this, choosing to go into a home is one thing, and being forced into one is another.

The end of life for some like Dad was swift, he died of a massive heart attack, the first day he couldn’t get dressed by himself. It was hard on Mom who was there when it happened and my brother who came over soon after and tried to resuscitate him, but for Dad, it was what he wanted, swift and he died all at once.

We hope Mom can have as much good life as she can, and that she still has good life ahead of her. We also hope she will have very little time when she is incapacitated or almost so. When we visited her in July her walking was much slower than last year, little declines are adding up.

Navigating the next months or years will be a balance between what Mom needs and what she wants. It is still her life, and she gets to make the choices she is still capable of making as long as she can. We need to support her and make the best of the time we still have with her.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. Kahlil Gibran

That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet. Emily Dickinson

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. Norman Cousins

Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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2 thoughts on “The circle of life comes full circle whether we are prepared for it or not.

  1. Well said. So glad all is well. She is an amazing tribute to a life well lived by one who honors her vessel . Laurie

  2. Belinda, so Beautifully Written, hope your Mom will enjoy her remaining time in her forever home free from any ailments…..God Bless her and you and your Wonderful Family

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