It is with a heavy heart that I write this post.
I was called up to Taree on Wednesday as my mother had slipped into unconsciousness. Because I didn’t think I might make it on time, as it’s a 4 hour drive and flights are not frequent, one of the palliative care nurses held the phone to mum’s ear so I could ask her to hold on, and if she couldn’t do that, at least I had the opportunity to tell her I loved her and how glad I was she was my mum. That gave me such relief and I can’t begin to explain it.
Luckily, mum held on for me, and she also hung on for one of my brother’s who arrived 8 hours after me. So along with dad, we spent the night by mum’s side. She was breathing heavily and could not talk, move, or open her eyes.
During the time we spent we were also able to hold the phone to mum’s ear for our other brother, her sisters and grandchildren, so everyone had a chance to say they loved her and their goodbyes. I am sure mum would have been comforted by this.
At one stage during the evening, Kev, and his partner left to go buy some supplies; because in true Irish style we thought we should have a toast to mum. So we did, we had a few beers and some nibbles and spent time chatting about our family. Our nurses encouraged this, because they said mum would still be able to hear us, and it would comfort her and make her feel it was a family get together.
The four of us ‘camped’ in mum’s room all night. Mayu and I managed to share the single trundle bed they supplied and dad and Kev slept in the chairs. I laugh when I recall at 4.00 a.m. the nurses coming in to give mum more morphine, and found Kev asleep on the floor. I then gave him the bed and I took the chair. The night was exhausting both physically and emotionally.
By the morning, around 7.20 a.m. I noticed that mum’s pallor had changed, and without speaking with each other, the four of us surrounded her, held her and gave her words of encouragement to move on to a better place. Despite how sad it was, all we cared about was making her transition as safe for her as we could; we wanted her to know she was surrounded by love and she was not leaving alone.
At the end, a miracle happened; after 3 days of not being able to communicate or open her eyes in any way, she opened them. She stared at each one of us for a while as to acknowledge we were with her, but at the same time, I felt she was also looking beyond us. I truly believe mum was escorted out of this dimension by us and escorted into her new one but those loved ones already passed, including our late brother, Gary.
Mum passed at 7.30 a.m. on the 10th July, 2015.
In loving memory of Sylvia Anne Doran
1944 – 2015