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Mom died in April

Friday, July 03, 2020

I think I can finally write about it. Mom died alone in an assisted living, not of covid, but of cerebral amyloid angiopathy, complicated by years of excessive consumption of alcohol. She was 93, so she did pretty well in spite of all that.

The facility was on lockdown (still is) when she died. They let me in to see her the day before she died, gowned and masked, but Mom was in her final coma so there was no communication, at least not from her. I told her we all loved her, we all appreciated how wonderful a mother she'd been. I hope she heard me. I hope she didn't mind that her other two children weren't allowed to be there.

I had to deal with the funeral home and cremation alone, get her ashes alone. They let me in to the facility a week later to have someone (their covid approved moving company) move all her stuff out. We had just moved her to assisted living in late October, then again to memory care just 3 weeks before she died, so there wasn't much left. I gave away her cherry dressers that she'd had since she married in 1946. I couldn't have anyone to help me, I had to do it alone. I never thought the end would come so quickly, and that I would have to handle everything alone, as alone as the way Mom died.

Two months later, I finally was able to see my kids, outside, well separated and masked, no hugs, and only one at a time. I saw my sister this week when she came to get the paintings she'd lent to Mom. I still haven't seen my brother.

There has been no funeral or memorial, we can't get together during pandemic. I still haven't put a notice in the paper, I keep hoping I can announce a memorial, but that is looking impossible. I just hope that we can have our family Thanksgiving and Christmas, we can remember her then. Her absence will be glaring and sad.

Mom's parents were both widows of the 1918 Spanish flu, they married because Nana needed someone to support her and her family, Poppy needed someone to keep house and take care of his children. Very practical, no love involved. The result was Mom, and she was the precious child that all of them loved completely, she kept them all going through the Depression. Pandemic bookends for a life.

It's been 3 months now, a long time to not be able to hug my family. I haven't had the solace of church. There are a lot of deaths due to covid, but many more of natural causes, none of us can mourn with family, whatever the cause of death.

I discovered that Mom and Dad had purchased grave sites at a cemetery in Maryland. She never mentioned it, I found a folder in a box of genealogy papers. I was hesitant about putting them so far away, but as the days go by the idea gets easier. It's close to where both of them grew up, their parents and siblings are buried there. One of the things about cremation is that I can still hold her close, but at some point I have to let go and follow her wishes. Just not yet.

The 1918 pandemic lasted 2 years, then vanished, it's been over a century now. This one, too, will pass. We'll all get back to normal, but a sad normal without Mom.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DSJB9999
    Sorry to hear about your loss, but 93 she did very well really, hope you have some peace with it all now. Interesting ideas about Spanish flu, I didn't know those things. Glad you got to see your children. Hugs and prayers to you xxx emoticon
    358 days ago
  • JANZDIET2014
    So sorry for your loss. emoticon
    365 days ago
  • JOE14250
    Thank you for sharing your grief. I feel for you and can imagine your difficulty with the isolation of your mom. I take care of a guy who is mentally ill ane in an assist. living in lockdown. He is the worst I have seen him. This will pass but it will take a lot of us with it. You have a good insight into the probable duration. I hope you are wrong though. Hang in there my friend!
    380 days ago
  • _CYNDY55_
    383 days ago
    I'm so sorry, Nell to think of all you had to endure in the loss of your Mom. I never realized how much that was. I'm sure your deep faith in God, helped you through this very difficult time.
    I thank you for sharing about your Mom with us and all you have went through and still are.May God bless you always and help you through all the trials you face in life.

    With love, prayers emoticon and hugs, Janis
    384 days ago
    386 days ago
    Nell, so sorry for the loss of your mom in such difficult circumstances. It is very tough that you were not able to be with her; that you did not have your extended family to help you; that the funeral and services must be delayed. This pandemic has upended our normal support systems. Winding up her estate is a difficult process.Winding up her estate is a difficult process. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.
    386 days ago
    So sorry for your loss and being alone in this time, hugs, thanks for letting us know. Here on SP there are so many wonderful caring people who DO care :)
    387 days ago
    Oh Nell, I am so sorry to hear that you have lost your mother. Tough at any time and given our present situation tougher still.

    I have no doubt that on some level she was keenly aware of your presence during your last visit.

    It is sad that you have had to tend to these tasks alone without the support of family, friends and the solace of church.

    Condolences to you on the loss of your mother.

    May your faith remain strong and bring you a sense of comfort and peace. emoticon

    387 days ago
    I am very sorry for your loss Nell.
    387 days ago
    So very sorry for your loss. Sad you had to do it all alone. Prayers for all of you
    387 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    I’m so sorry about the loss of your mom. She may very well have known you were there for her. How hard for you to be grieving at a time like this. We’re privileged that you shared this with us. I admire your resilience and your being able to look forward to calmer times.
    387 days ago
    So sorry for your loss and even more so glad that you at least got to see your Mom once before she passed. These are such trying times. ((((HUGS)))) and prayers for comfort and peace.

    387 days ago
    I'm glad you wrote this. I know it must have been very difficult for you. My remaining siblings and I were not close and the death of our mother seemed to make things worse. I pray you'll eventually be reunited with your family. emoticon
    387 days ago
    God Bless You !
    My husband of almost 58yrs also died in April.
    He died alone Easter Sonday morning in his hospital room of Blood Infection .
    I too wasn't allowed with him.

    The funeral was just 10 people.allowed.
    No flowers and no closure.

    We are pLanning to have a Celebration of Life in the Spring.

    387 days ago
    This was such a heartfelt blog about a very sad situation. Thank you for sharing and I hope it helps to read how your Spark friends want to share this loss with you.
    387 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    Nell, so very sorry for your los. Will be praying for all of you! emoticon
    387 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/4/2020 12:11:13 PM
    So very sorry for your loss!

    387 days ago
    Nell, I am so very sorry. Please accept my heart felt condolences.
    Hugs to you. Glenna
    387 days ago
    I'm so glad that you felt able to write about your beloved mother -- a memorial to her here at Spark People.

    You were a kind and devoted daughter to your mother. At some level she would have known your presence in that last visit.

    It is sad that you have had to perform all these final tasks for her alone . . . without the support of other family members or your church friends.

    Condolences to you on your profound loss. May the days get a little easier going forward, with more wonderful memories coming to the fore.
    387 days ago
    So sorry Nell. I can’t imagine how hard it has been without the hugs from friends and family. ((HUGS))
    387 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    Nell, this is a lovely blog about your Mom. I can just imagine how difficult it was to write. I do hope you can get together with the family to celebrate her life. You all need hugs right now

    Thank you for sharing with us and I hope it helps.
    387 days ago
    I am so very sorry for such a great loss to your family in such a turbulent time. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.
    387 days ago
    I'm sure these words were hard to write. I'm so sorry for the loss of your mom and all the loneliness as you went about "business." Hugs and prayers.
    387 days ago
    Oh Nell. I'm glad you could write this now. I so wish I could come over to your house and give you a huge hug. We live so close to each other!
    387 days ago
  • KIMCAR08
    I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm also very sorry that you had to deal with it alone. That is what covid-19 has put us through along with everything else. I hope that you can have a Christmas and Thanksgiving together to grieve and heal. 🙏🙏
    387 days ago
    So sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.
    387 days ago
  • FITNIK2020
    It is always a surprise ...nearly always. We do get along though it’s do much harder now.
    387 days ago
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