That Day We Always Knew Was Coming…

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” 
Robert Frost

I’m feeling achy and sad inside today. Late on Monday afternoon, we sent Ben’s elderly mum to hospital. She’s in her nineties and has always been stubbornly independent. And she’s been able to stay at home on her own with help which is just the way she wanted it.

But she’s been in increasing pain from a degenerated hip. Her vision is failing. She’s moved into dementia. Bit by bit we’ve watched as she’s stopped driving, stopped shopping, stopped cooking. We’ve all worried over her, and what to do for her, and what might happen when she moved into that place of no longer coping.

Now, over the past few days she’s not been eating, not drinking water, and all she’s done is cry from pain no matter what we’ve done or with what home doctors have prescribed. So off she went in the back of an ambulance – with a small bag packed with nighties, a hairbrush and toothbrush, a dressing gown, her house keys.

We met with hospital staff yesterday and we realised we’d reached that time we’d always known was coming. She won’t be able to go home to her own home. The hospital will do their best to manage her pain, and to find the best options for her. But when she leaves hospital it will be to go into care.

So last night after we left her in her hospital bed, Ben and I went over to her house to take the perishables from the fridge, water the pot plants and put out the bins for her.

We didn’t think we’d cry, but of course we did. It’s hard to believe that she left in her pyjamas with that tiny bag, and now she won’t be coming back to her home and all the memories and everything she loves.

The only thing that matters to all of us is that she is safe, well cared-for and most importantly that she is not in pain. So she’s in the right place, and this is the right time, but oh, I didn’t think it would be so terribly hard, so terribly sad, or that we would be this emotional.

Maybe it’s better like this. No big dramas, no long-winded goodbyes. No big scenes about putting her into a place she said she’d rather die than have to end up in. She’s happy to stay in hospital or ‘medical places’ until they can get her pain under control. It was a blessing to say goodbye to her yesterday and see her face a little less drawn, and watch her burrow down under the covers and go to sleep in clean sheets, a hot meal in her tummy and kind nurses checking in on her.

Still, we’re struggling with it. Still, we’re wishing there was another way.

Love cracks you open, doesn’t it? But isn’t it fiercely, beautifully worth it to feel it all so deeply.

Biggest hugs to you, my lovelies, from your slightly broken-hearted friend,

Nicole ❤ xx

 

25 thoughts on “That Day We Always Knew Was Coming…

  1. My dear friend. I too know this feeling. When my Bunk had to be moved from his independent living situation to a nursing home it was heartbreaking. He had been fiercely independent and very sensible about his decisions. The end bit he couldn’t make those decisions and Mum had to make them for him so he was safe and cared for. The decision you and Ben have made is the right one but it is so hard and you will be crying for her lost independence, the grief you have for her not being able to stay in her own home and the thought that she mightn’t be with you for much longer. Your post today has brought me to tears too – I cry for Bens Mum and I cry for you and Ben having to make these decisions. Sending love to you all this morning. Rainbows from my heart to yours. 🌈💞❌

  2. Oh sweet Nicole, I’ve felt the same with my grandmother. It was really hard, like taking a child to school and just go there to visit…

    I wish you all the best and that she is no longer in pain,

    Sara xxx

  3. Nicole I am with you completely. My dad turned 88 on June 10th and that was the day he could no,longer find the strength to get out of bed. He was taken to the hospital and they suggest a care home for rehab. My dad, the marathon runner. So difficult to fathom that perhaps he is just running out of energy. My thoughts and prayer to you lovely one. Hang in there. Bless.

  4. It is never easy and all we want is for them to be ok – I have done this 3 times now and think of them every day and hope I did my best for them which I am sure you are doing – all my love and strength I send to you all 😘😘😘😘😘

  5. Sending love to you and Ben. His mum and your family are in my thoughts.This time is never easy. (but you know that better than anyone).

  6. Hi Nicole and Ben , I cry with you for sadness and happiness for your Mother in laws safety and comfort not to mention the companionship of the staff coming and going in her room. I had to make the difficult decision in November last year after Mum had a small stroke and wasn’t looking after herself . The harshness of reality in my face .After hospital rehab for 8 weeks Mum went into Aged Care close to our home. It is the biggest and best decision made. She is safe , warm ,medication,meals, showers, visits from adorable staff and although Mum does not involve herself in any activities- she hears all the singing and people from beautiful room. It’s a blessing . I love seeing her she is a delight. Much love Nicole and Ben 💕💕💕

  7. Dearest Nicole,

    Deeply feeling that sadness that is breezing by, when you see a very independent person finally “give in” to being taken care of by an unexpected help. Reminds me of my hero , my grand-dad. But then these wise folk know what they are doing even when it means to allow being taken care of by experts , whom they will familiarise with over the days. Wishing you and your family joy in your togetherness.

    Lots of love and hugs

  8. Dearest Nicole, my heart is filled with sadness to know you must travel down this difficult path in life’s journey and I will be keeping you, Ben, your family and Ben’s mum in my daily prayers. I walked this same path with my own mother and it was a difficult time in which your lovely blog was discovered and gave me great strength to endure. I pray you find the same comfort in knowing so many care for you and your family-bless you all💕

  9. Oh sweet Nicole,

    Please know that I hold your family in my prayers and send blessings your way. I’m so sorry you have to face this and know just what you are going through.
    Blessings for you and for Ben and all of you during this incredibly difficult time.
    With love,
    Anne

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