So, I haven't written this past week, mostly because of the passing of my memere. She was to move into a new apartment on Friday, March 4th, which she did. Unfortunately, she was only there for about 6 hours. My Aunt Elaine, memere's daughter, spent the night with her that first night to ease the transition. Luckily, she was there and noticed something was not right.
I find it so strange how God has a hand in things. If memere had moved on Thursday, or Saturday for that matter, we would not have had the chance to have the great week that we had with her until she passed away on March 12th at the age of 85. I'm very sad to say that I didn't visit her as often as I would like. Maybe had I spent more time with her it wouldn't seem to be so great that we had that last week because I would now be missing my regular visits with her. But life gets in our way sometimes and we don't always make time out of our busy schedules for visiting with the people who mean so much to us. No excuses for that and it really upsets me that I only visited her at her house two times in the past year and a half. I did see her at family gatherings and parties, but that's not the same thing. You never get to have a good conversation with someone at your 1 year old's birthday party!
At any rate, when I say we had a great week with her, that probably sounds selfish. In recent years, she had become very confused, repeating herself often, and losing track of conversations pretty easily. She would repeat a line of conversation that she had started just a few minutes earlier. Any time we got into this circular conversation during a visit, I would smile and nod, acting as though I had never heard the story. That last week we had with her, she seemed so "with it." She wasn't repeating herself, rather, she was cracking jokes and making funny comments at almost every turn. My Uncle Don walked into her room, she looked at him and said, "you look good, you have a nice shape" which sent us all into a fit of laughter. She was remembering our names, birthdays and bits and pieces of the details of our lives that we didn't know she remembered. It was like the memere I had known from YEARS ago was back.
I think that's what made it all seem so impossible that she wasn't doing well. We saw such a spark in her, such a desire to live a long life. But if you looked at her monitor during the visit, you could tell things weren't right. She'd go from a normal heart rate in the low 100s and shoot up to 177. They used medication to bring her heart rate down to have her blood pressure drop, then have to use medication to bring her blood pressure back up, starting the cycle over again. I saw the monitor register AFIB a few times, which I knew wasn't good. I do know that she was pleased with her care, as well as her doctors and nurses. I did know that she was granted the sacrament the Anointing of the Sick and I am glad that she was able to see a priest before she passed.
I joke with my husband how our parish priest has made wakes and funerals a bit more difficult than they used to be. However, I think that the point this priest has made is an important one. He often says that he has a hard time during the eulogy when a loved one says that they know the person who passed is in heaven smiling down on them. Unfortunately, we do not know that and cannot judge as God would judge a person's life. Our parish priest points out that if we say this, we may pray asking the person who has passed to intercede to God on our behalf and maybe talk TO them, but not pray FOR them. We need to remember to pray for those who have gone to eternal rest, not just talk to them. We can only guess where they are on their journey in the afterlife, but we can be sure to pray for their souls, that God will take them into His kingdom.
The song that always gets me choked up continues to ring in my ears, "May the choir of angels come to greet you, may they bring you to paradise. May the Lord enfold you in His mercy, may He bring you eternal life." I am still mourning my memere and will talk to her from time to time, but I will be sure to continue to pray FOR my memere. Love you so much and I will miss you!