It is done. We lost our lovely Dianne 1 week ago on Thursday, 5/16, at 10:15am. Her passing was peaceful – far more so than we dared to hope for with a COPD patient. She’d had a rough Tuesday night and difficult Wednesday morning but as her day progressed, she gradually slipped into a semi-comatose state by evening, with that rattling sort of breathing that means we’re nearing the end. We settled her in bed and made her as comfortable as possible and settled in to keep watch. Around midnight, I headed off to bed with the intention of taking over in the morning and letting my husband get some rest. Once my daughter was off to school (my son saw the writing on the wall, so to speak, and refused to leave), I got settled into place and sent Mike off to get some rest.
Mostly I hung out bedside and got a bit of work done on my laptop. Every so often, I’d get up to ensure she was comfortable. I noticed at one point that she was warm and a bit sweaty so took off her socks and bathed her face a bit. I kept watch on the color of her lips and fingertips and listened to the rhythm of her breathing – mostly so that if anything noticeably changed, I could go get Mike. None of that happened. She was breathing one moment and the next, she wasn’t. There was no gasping, nothing erratic, no sound. She simply was and then she wasn’t. I ran to wake up my husband to let him know his mother was gone.
All of the official hustle and bustle of a passing began: hospice was called, the police came, the cremation service notified. Forms were signed, i’s dotted, t’s crossed. Once the legalities were complete, Mike laid back down for a bit and I did some straightening up – stripping the bed, packing away clothing and supplies, that sort of thing.
Things feel a bit unsettled. Dianne’s wishes were to forego the whole funeral home and service thing and instead transport her ashes as a family to a park in the Bitterroot mountains of Idaho, to be scattered in a place that she loved dearly. We’ll make that trip later this summer. In the meantime, the healing needs to begin. It’s a long road we’ve been on and we all need a bit of rest. I’m so glad her passing was peaceful and serene. Hopefully she left a bit of that peace and serenity in her wake.
Thank you all for the support and just for reading. Your presence is felt and appreciated.