The weekend.

4 years ago

Mom was tired out.

She couldn’t eat.

Everything tasted like metal. 

She could only tolerate water.


She slept a lot.

I didn’t go see her as often.

She was too tired. 

She was proud.

She called it ‘the yucks’.


She thought she was getting a cold.

It developed further.

She went to her Doctor.

He prescribed an antibiotic. 

He instructed Mom to go to the hospital if she got worse.

She got worse. 


She called me early Friday morning. 

I had trouble understanding her.

She was short of breath.


I called an ambulance.

Mom was scared.

She was admitted.


Early the next day Mom left a message.

She had moved to a ‘pretty room’.


Pretty room?


Mom had been moved into a quiet room.

She was now palliative.  

There was nothing else they could do.


Mom had been on top of her illness all along.

She wanted to be told everything. 

We were not going to leave her out.

She had a right to know. 

It was her life that was ending.

It was important to us to be honest.  

They cautioned us.

They said she wouldn’t understand.


I wanted to tell her. 


Mom’s concentration and cognition were already ill affected.

I needed to get her attention before I told her.

I sat on her bed.


Deep breath.



Hi honey.

Mom, I have to tell you something.


Mom, is it hard to concentrate?

I don’t know.

It’s because your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen.


I need you to try really hard to concentrate on what I am saying.

Mom, there is nothing more the doctors can do for you.

(She stared at me.)

Mom, you are going to die soon.


Well, that sucks.

(We laughed, simply for emotional release.  It was awful.)



Listen to me.

Ok. I am listening.

You are dying Mom.  There isn’t anything more the doctors can do.

(She stared at me)

(I started to cry.  She squeezed my hand.)

Well, the clinic didn’t think that.

That’s right, but, the Doctor called them.

Does Connie know?

(Mom’s favourite nurse)

(Then she remembered...)

No, she has gone to England already.


Her eyes left mine. 

She didn’t cry. 

I tried hard to stop crying. 


The room grew silent.

Mom looked at all of us. 

We were all uncomfortable.


We were all defeated. 

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