remembering my mother on the anniversary of her death

in the ER
you shivering
that thin blanket
they could spare
covering you
no matter how much
my voice pleaded
5 hours passed
before your doctor came
and they wheeled you
behind closed doors
to die unseen
by me
your wedding ring
still clutched
in my hand
where you insisted
I take it
and tears
still cloud my eyes

101 thoughts on “remembering my mother on the anniversary of her death

  1. So sorry . . . I know you wished you had been at her side, perhaps holding her hand, when she passed.
    I was lucky (if you can call it that) to be with both my parents when they died. And like your grandmother, they died at home in their own beds, surrounded by their children.

  2. Oh, that was heartbreaking, Leonard. The gift of her wedding ring was a gesture to meaningful for words. It brought tears to my eyes. I worked for years in hospice, where no one died alone behind closed doors. I hope the world is changing and these last moments come with greater peace.

  3. So beautiful and sad 😦 Thank you for sharing with us Leonard. I too lost my mom and the pain still cuts so deep… May memories of your mother bring you joy and peace ❤

  4. Prof. Durso …beautiful words, I only remember the wake , she looked very peaceful and you were very quite most of the evening , Now, I know why… Not just the losing of someone you loved, but the circumstances…thanks for sharing… All of us at NCC, where there to pay our respects … For many of us, young kids, it was one of the first ones We had to attend in this country… Not an easy thing to do when you have left so many people behind, and you are always wondering if that day that phone call will come with the news of someone’s passing…It happened to me once, for an uncle and like you I am still heartbroken…

    • Thank you, Fernando. And I remember how so many of you came to the funeral. My whole family was so impressed and thankful and you all touched my heart. You are right to comment on how difficult it is being away from loved ones and wondering when that call or email will come. That is why I will be returning to the US soon for good. I have lost too many people in the last few years and it is time to be back, close to those I love, before I lose any more.

  5. I was my mother’s home hospice nurse those last 6 weeks of her life. I slept next to her each night. She died in my presence. Sept 19, 2012. I relive many of those days in flashbacks daily. It is disturbing but I am glad I did it. Mother died at 9:13 PM. She whispered to me two weeks ago and I played the Cash 3, 9-1-3. It hit. Pays $500. I bought five tickets. Thanks mom !

  6. The mother of one of my fraternity brothers passed away yesterday. I’ll send this to him, and hopefully, it will bring some comfort. Thanks Leonard!

  7. My condolences on the loss of your Mother. It is very hard to accept the death of our loved ones, especially under such difficult circumstances.
    She was surely a wonderful Mother and very proud of her son.

  8. I can relate to this so much Leonard, I had a similar experience with both of my parents. They mean the world to us, unfortunately mean nothing to those who claim to be the carers. I’m very disillusioned with the whole medical and care system, it’s not there to help. I have a cousin who is a professional carer – she feels the same. If only there was a kinder way to leave this earth!

    I hope your memories become less severe with time. I’m glad you wrote about it, we all need to understand we are not alone in these moments.

    • I am sorry to hear you had the same experience with the care providers for your parents. I was very disillusioned with hospitals, especially in the ER. I know they are crowded and there is often not enough space to deal with the patients but the attitude of the staff was really upsetting. I wonder about the motivation to enter the health care field for many of them.

      • I agree, it was the attitude I had great problems with. I know some nurses and doctors can be trying their best under dire circumstances but there are too many who really don’t give a damn and just aren’t seeing those elderly patients as human – it could be they’re own mother or father, but they just don’t visualise that far.

        Sometimes when I hear of medical staff being attacked by relatives of the sick and dying – I just wonder what really went on to cause someone to do that. I found there was a terrific amount of lies told to relatives, and even when I caught them out, made formal complaints, shamed them, they still continued to lie. I just hope the ‘attitude’ changes one day.

        The one thing I console myself with (although it’s not much) those medics will be in that place, one way or another, sooner than they think.

      • Unfortunately it’s not just in hospitals but in many places. The lack of patience with the elderly in grocery stores, on line at the bank, on mass transport, even walking on the street, always upsets me. People seem to not be aware of the fact that they, too, will age one day and will want some respect and consideration. If only everyone thought that that elderly person could be, like you say, their own mother or father.

  9. Very powerful, Leonard. A story that is repeated all too often in so many places. But there is only one that will touch you as deeply as this one does. Wishing you peace at each mournful anniversary.

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