She lingered for a week and a half in a hospice situation in the family home and towards the end was as close to comatose as one dare hope before death, I guess. She died while I sat beside her. Her breathing had been labored for about a day and a half before that point and I even had to explain to my three-year old that morning that the sound he heard when waking up was "Mom-mom snoring." He took it in stride. He even suggested that maybe she needed a drink of water (she had been very thirsty when she was conscious). He was aware of some of what was going on. Her hospital bed, after all, was in the center of the Den, so my son saw and interacted with her as much as possible before we started to shield him from different aspects of things.
She was on significant amounts of morphine at the end (after we straightened out the whole mess of the Doctor sending her home on Memorial Day without any painkillers, then the trip back to the ER, and the nearly day-long fiasco to get the prescription filled--yes, it was only available at 2 pharmacies in the entire county neither one of which was a major chain, and no one had alerted us to this in advance, of course), so she didn't feel any pain. But she also wasn't "herself" at the end.
Having been a witness to a loved one's downhill journey and death, I'm not sure if I'd choose hospice for myself... But it was good she was surrounded by family and friends at the end.
My brother and I handled most of the service odds and ends (program cover, flowers) and I initiated a "celebration of life" where people who adored her came and shared stories of her life. It was really, really hard. Lots of tears and hugs, but many people thanked me, saying they needed to do something like that as closure.
The service was nice. The pastor (not one I knew before) wasn't the best I've ever seen or heard. But a family friend (a Father) spoke and things improved. Then my brother spoke. He was amazing and inspirational. My Mother is surely proud of him.
Me? I'm still struggling with denial. I've had to stop myself several times from picking up the phone and calling Mom. I got so used to giving her a daily update on the sheep and other farm and grandson-related things that I have to stop myself whenever I see something she'd "get a kick out of."
My godmother called me yesterday morning to give the good tidings that she has a new grandbaby. She said she would have usually called my mom, but she couldn't, so she called me instead. I felt so bad--my mom was her best friend for decades and I could only ever pass as just who I am, not my Mom. I know what a void I feel, losing my mother at 64, but I still can't imagine what my godmother's going through.
But I'm pushing forward. I did a story for a contest that was due a few days ago. I ran through several options of stuff that "sort of" hit their wish list and I went through a couple false starts as options didn't please me (for this contest) and got set aside for pursuit of something else. I finally submitted "A Monstrous Love," a short story based loosely on legends of the lindwyrm. I had a rough outline in mind and then, as things started going, I just went where the story led me. I think I wrapped up all my "loose ends" and essentially hit the editors' wishes. I guess we'll find out...
I also made a list of upcoming queries I need to send out, bought 5 baby Naragansett turkeys, reserved some Scottish Highland cattle (I am totally enamoured with our red heifer and our white bull), planted my nearly forgotten seedlings, transferred some chickens... There's still so much to do.
But I am writing. Will I hit my self-imposed July 4th deadline for sending out Hollow Hearts and Hollow Hills? Considering my speed of typing--No. Not a chance with the "hunt and peck" method. ;-) Will I keep plugging away at it and get it done and sent out soon? Yes.
Keep going forward. Live, LOVE, and certainly--yes, certainly--LEARN.