The First Day Without Her

I have been meaning to update my blog for a while now. If you follow me on social media, then you already know, but I wanted to give an update for those who don’t.

My mom passed away about three months ago, on April 4, 2020, after a ten-year battle with Alzheimer’s. She had been on hospice for nine months and she was bed-bound for the last two months or so.

I struggled with maintaining this blog during the last few months of her life and the first few months after her death. I have written many posts on my social media documenting the entire journey and I would like to share some of them on my blog in the coming weeks. I will continue documenting and sharing my grief journey and my life after Alzheimer’s, so I hope you’ll follow along.

Below is a piece I wrote on April 5, 2020, the day after my mom passed.

“I woke up this morning knowing that the world is a different place now, a place without my mom in it. Today is the first day I woke up knowing she’s not here.

I have always wondered how this day would feel and I guess it’s about what I expected.

Sad.

Broken.

Empty.

Lost.

Heavy heart and heavy soul to match.

At 7:01am yesterday morning, I was sitting on my couch in the family room of our new house, which we just moved into the day before. I was drinking coffee when my phone rang suddenly and I saw it was my dad. I immediately jumped up from the couch as I answered it, knowing it wasn’t good.

‘I went to check Mom this morning and she’s cold.’

Those were the words that have forever changed my life. A one minute phone call that had the power to forever divide my life into the before and after. Sixty seconds was all it took.

As much as we knew this was coming, no one expected it so soon. I last saw my mom on Thursday. I checked for all the signs of active dying, all the things I knew to look for, and I saw none. Nothing to indicate the end was so near.

I told my mom that we were moving into our new house the next day (Friday) and that would be the first night we slept there. I sent my dad a video Friday afternoon of our pups running around their new backyard for the first time. He showed the video to my mom Friday night.

She passed early Saturday morning.

She waited for us to move in.

She passed at a time she knew everyone would be sleeping, on a day she knew everyone would be home.

She passed alone, with my dad sleeping in the bed next to hers, with no one to bear witness to her final breaths.

Her final act of love for her family.

That’s my mom. Always putting her family first. Always taking care of us. Even in her dying breath.

During my last visit on Thursday, I told my mom, as I always did, that we would all be very sad and miss her very much when she was gone, but we would all be ok. We would all take care of each other and that my dad has four girls to take care of him now. Her job was done and she had done it so well. It was ok for her to rest now.

The last thing I said to her was, “I love you so much, Mom. I’ll see ya later, alligator. After a while, crocodile.”

I kissed her forehead.

I squeezed her hand.

And I left the room.”

April 4, 2020: The Final Goodbye

9 thoughts on “The First Day Without Her

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find some comfort and peace in knowing you were a devoted daughter who did all she could to care for your Mom right to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My heart goes out to you and your family Lauren. My Dear Dad has been living with alzheimers for 18 years.
    I am broken, but deal with this the best I can. It is definitely “the long goodbye”. I am new here, and your stories have helped me tremendously.

    Thank you, and take good care of yourself. You certainly deserve it.

    Marcy

    Liked by 1 person

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