Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Final Goodbye

Greetings from the World of a Geriatric Caregiver
No. 4 in a series
June 12, 2008

A Final Goodbye

What a precious gift I have been afforded on this brilliant, warm southern summer morn... quiet and reflective moments of solitude in which to pay a final tribute to one of God's unique creations...my mother. Peaceful and grateful, rather than sad, describes my feelings as I attempt to mentally make the physical plans for her eventual graveside farewell.

Mom entered our household four months ago, due to her decreasing fraility of both mind and body. She could no longer live alone safely and had, for months, rejected vehemently any mention of moving to a facility. At the point she came to live out her last days here she was incapable of making that decision, thus it was made on her behalf and in her best interest. And so we began the process of not having Mom come to live with us, but rather...to die with us.

Just as any new parent learns, the arrival of another life in your mundane, routine existence can be quite an adjustment for everyone in the household. Fortunately, in our case, these changes..often mimicking a rollercoaster, psyche ward or kindergarten, both daily and nightly, have made our own family more cohesive...rather than broken... a fact for which I am eternally grateful. Numerous times during these days I have mentally viewed my own future on this planet and been amazed at how rapidly a lifetime flees.

I have come to the realization that Mom's presence in our home has been a special blessing in my life. While caring for her every need I have been granted the opportunity to recall the numerous deeds of parental care she lovingly bestowed upon me as a child, and thus, feel fortunate to guide and assist her through this final and difficult time in her own life. Perhaps, in this manner , I am presently fulfilling my grief process and preparing to accept the times of quietness, calmness, loneliness and loss I shall experience when her physical self has moved along on her own individual, unique and predestined journey to the home of her heavenly Father.

As Mother rests peacefully this morning I am planning her last tribute...just words, music, thoughts that those gathering will hear for those very few short moments at her gravesite, as they deal with their own private thoughts of life and death. Only my heart and soul knows the entirety of the feelings , deeds and actions we have experienced together along this path way. Yes, these days have afforded me an opportunity to say good bye to Mom throughout our precious hours together. The final ceremony has already been completed in both my mind and heart.

Jane-Ann Heitmueller
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God's Gift

She spoke so easily of death,
as though a friend approaching.
No fear or sadness in her tone.
No sense of doom enroaching.
An outstretched hand
offered in love,
such blissful radiation.
A wonderment of peace, joy, rest.
God's gift...
mans' transformation!
***
Jane-Ann Heitmueller

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