This Mother Was Stunningly Brilliant and Died Beautifully As A Result

I just read an article that should go viral. It probably won’t because it’s about death and I’ve noticed a common thread in my posts about death — people don’t love reading them! But that’s because death has such a bad reputation. Read this article and maybe, just maybe it’ll start to change your view. This man’s mother died a “good death,” due in part to her loving choices.

This is going to sound strange but the day my father died was simultaneously one of the saddest and most beautiful days of my life. He died in my home, as he requested. He knew it was coming; he had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer only 7 weeks earlier. My husband and I were home, as were my three little girls. We had watched a movie the day before and the next day my dad was conscious but a bit restless. My husband and I took turns sitting with him and listening to his thoughts about his life. It was pretty surreal and within a few hours, he fell asleep but remained restless. We sat by his side because we worried he’d get out of bed and fall. He was sleeping but struggling a bit to breathe. We comforted him and let him know he didn’t have to fight so hard, it was okay to let go. When he did let go and die, essentially in his sleep, he was peaceful and serene, almost smiling.

I was grateful to be able to accompany my father on the journey of his last days. Metaphorically and almost literally, I held his hand until we both had to let go. I believe he knew I was there the whole time at the end and I felt comforted by his presence too. He had helped my throughout my life and it seemed fitting and coming full circle for me to be able to help him when he needed it. I was unspeakably sad but it felt natural, like this was the way death should be — a moment of beauty, a moment of love, a moment of the most poignant communication.

You can help your aging parents have that same kind of good death. But only if you take proactive measures to make that happen. It starts with communication. Click here for a previous post to help you get that ball rolling. The good death awaits.

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8 thoughts on “This Mother Was Stunningly Brilliant and Died Beautifully As A Result

  1. Your father’s death sounds so similar to my stepdad’s although his was in a hospice. He too had only been diagnosed with lung cancer 6 weeks earlier. On the day he died, things progressed rapidly and as many of the family got to his bedside as possible. WE managed to also get the chaplain to give him the last rites and all the family said the Lord’s Prayer together despite most of us not being overly religious (my stepdad was though). He died with us all around him peacefully. This too was a ‘good death.’

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  2. Lovely. I think if more people experienced what we did, they’d see death differently. I know I do as a result. Not saying I’d like to die tomorrow but I’m not as afraid of death as I once was. Your stepdad got a gift not everyone receives. Your family was so smart and compassionate.

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  3. I think about this more than I should. I’ve seen it done well, peacefully and with closure, and I’ve seen long agonizing hospitalizations and traumatic “medicine”. I had a scare with breast cancer a few years ago, and it completely changed my outlook. I lost a lot of that fear, and appreciate the second chance given when the diagnosis was wrong. Celebrate every day. 💕

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  4. I think about it a lot as well. More than I should? Probably. I’m sorry you had to be scared but I guess the bonus is your reduction of fear. That’s a good thing and even better is your ability to celebrate the gift of each day. I try. Most days I succeed, some days BS creeps in but I can bounce back eventually.

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  5. I think just from the fact that your father looked peaceful says it all.. He died surrounded by loved ones.. You made him feel at ease and have dignity.. A lot of people don’t get that at the end of life.

    According to my mother, my grandfather didn’t look happy in the coffin… More of a vexed look! We don’t know if he thought his time was too soon or he had major discomfort (He was in a coma and had a stroke that finished him!). It disturbed my mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you may be right. I’m sorry your mom has that vexed look in her mind as the last look on your grandfather’s face. I can totally understand why it disturbed her. The only thing I could say about that is that his facial expression (unlike my dad’s who hadn’t yet been to the funeral home/mortician) may have been one created by the person who got him ready for burial and meant nothing at all. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it.

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