There is no title for this

My mother is dying.

It could be argued — and has been argued — that we’re all dying, from the moment we are born.  That is our lot in life:  to live and to die.  (And, apparently, to get all philosophical when your mind and body are exhausted.)

Earlier this evening I sat on the window seat outside of my mother’s hospice room and looked down the hallway.  It didn’t seem like a particularly long hall all the times I walked up and down it but there it was, suddenly larger and longer than life, stretching out into forever.

Someone brought a vase of sunflowers this morning.  During the hours I spent in the room sitting with Mom I would look up and see those bright, beautiful, happy flowers sitting in the window.

I wish Mom could see them.

She can’t, though, so I told her about them.  I told her about the trees outside the window and the leaves dancing in the wind.

I told her — many times — that I love her.

Her body is doing the things the body does when it is beginning to shut down.  I read about this sort of stuff when I was researching.  That’s what I do when I don’t know what else to do.  I research.  I read.  I absorb information.  There’s comfort in it.  No, not comfort.  Control.  Or the illusion of control, because I suspect that’s what knowledge is sometimes — an illusion.

(A sunflower from our crop of sunflowers at home, taken a day or two before we left.)

I might take my camera with me tomorrow when I go back to hospice, to capture the sunflowers and the long hallway.  Seems like there is some kind of connection between the two.  I don’t know what it might be.  It hasn’t clicked yet.

M and I are going back home sometime tomorrow.  I don’t know how much longer Mom will hold on, but we have to go back to take care of some things.  We left in the midst of stuff on Friday night.  Life is messy that way, never quite organized to suit every occasion.

Well, the exhaustion just hit me over the head and knocked my thoughts — philosophical or otherwise — right out of my head.  The only thing my head wants to do right now is relax on a pillow as I shut my eyes and try to get some sleep.

Oh, but there is one last thing.  Something my father said.  “We don’t want to lose you but it’s breaking our hearts to see you in so much pain.”

22 Comments on “There is no title for this”

  1. Mike B says:

    May you be free.
    May you be peaceful.
    May you be happy.
    May you be safe.
    May you awaken to the light of your true nature.

    May your Mum be free.
    May your Mum be peaceful.
    May your Mum be happy.
    May your Mum be safe.
    May your Mum awaken to the light of her true nature.

    May your family be free.
    May your family be peaceful.
    May your family be happy.
    May your family be safe.
    May your family awaken to the light of their true nature.

  2. Hugs, to you and your family:

  3. Anna Surface says:

    Robin, my thoughts are with you….. Bless you, your sweet mom, and family.

  4. Brian says:


  5. Chris says:

    May your shared memories help her drift to a more comfortable place, where she and you can find peace. She will always dwell within you. Mom’s do that.

    Share your love and views for now, hold her close, for now.

    much love from us in OH

  6. jenna says:

    I hope your drive is going uneventfully as I type this. If there’s anything I can do, tomorrow, next week, 6 months from now, whenever, do be sure and let me know.

  7. Corina says:

    I don’t know how I would react in your situation.

    I know I would want to be there and say the things I never said and the ones I said many times.

    I hope that you are able to take some comfort in knowing that you were there and you did get to see her and tell her all those things.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care of yourself. Don’t forget that part of it. And by all means, if people want to take care of you, let them.

  8. Bo Mackison says:

    I sure understand the philosophical approach, the research approach, whatever helps you and your family at this stressful time. Best thoughts to you.

  9. Debbie says:

    I’ve just come home from saying goodbye to your mom. We were in NC all weekend so I didn’t get your dad’s message until late tonight. As soon as I spoke with him I drove right to the hospital. My mom & my daughter with me.
    I am so sorry I missed being able to hug you in person.
    May God grant you strength through this most difficult time.
    You are not alone.

  10. The circle of life…just came from Corina’s place where I saw the news of her impending grandparent status and was joyed by the thought of the new life. Now I am here feeling your pain and sadness at the ending of one. I am so sorry. Sounds like your father summed it up quite well.

  11. Norm says:

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers, Robin.

  12. Marcie says:

    I’m sorry. There really are no other words.

  13. Erik and Jen says:

    Hugs to you, M and your family during this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Xo.

  14. Robin says:

    Thank you to everyone for your hugs, thoughts, and prayers. They (and you!) are all much appreciated.

    MikeB: Thank you for the metta (did I get that right?) meditation. It was calming and did bring some measure of peace with it.

  15. fox says:

    Robin, I am so very sorry! I can only imagine how you are feeling right now. I was very near where you are right now about this same time last year with my Mother-In-Law. I wish you peace in the now and tomorrow.

  16. Stevo says:

    Thinking of you and yours, Robin. All the best in this difficult time.

  17. […] ever seen.  Well, anyhow.  If you’re interested, you can read about the sunflowers here.  You will also find sunflowers representing my grief at the time in the next few posts following […]

  18. Kel says:

    looking back, I wonder if you did photograph the long hall and sunflowers
    and if the connection between the two clicked

  19. Christine Grote says:

    I wish I had known you then, but I don’t think I would have been much comfort as I was still reeling from my sister’s death.

    What you write is also reflected in my memoir about my sister.

    • Robin says:

      The timing was probably better this way, Christine. I’m not sure either of us would have been able to comfort the other at that point in time.

      It’s good to know you now. 😀

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