If you've been following Judy Fox's blog over at When The Table Turns, you've been treated to one of the great journeys that children of aging parents must endure. Judy assumed the role of caregiver a number of years ago when her mother declined in health and lost her independence. Judy's lessons in caregiving (during her journey) combined with her incredible gift as a writer gave us a glimpse into the trials and tribulations of this most difficult process – of preparing for the end.
Saying goodbye to your parents isn't easy, but Judy managed to capture a good many treasured moments, and she's shared those moments with us along the way. If you're saying goodbye to your parents, or if you ever wondered what that was going to be like, you should visit Judy's blog to gain insight and introspection into the process. Judy's mother passed away recently, and her final two posts are a heartfelt tribute to her mother and to the process of being able to say goodbye.
Judy's final two posts are entitled “The Long Good-bye” and “She's Gone”. Here are a few excerpts from each:
“The Long Good-bye” by: Judy Fox
“It really is a shifting landscape of feelings, responses – swings between beautiful tender raw moments and then the agonizing moments of agitation when it’s hard to assuage my mother's discomfort. She may repeat again and again: “Help me…I’m tired.”
There are heart to heart moments where I express yet again but in even more detail why I so much appreciate her. I tell her I will miss her terribly but I will be fine. And she is relieved. I tell her tentative plans I have after she goes and she listens attentively. She says she has confidence in me.”
It feels like Mom has been saying good-bye to me for a long time and it’s gone through different stages. At one point she said she was ready to go, not afraid of dying, but didn’t want to leave me. She also was concerned that I would be alright. She is still somewhat concerned but not as much. I tell her over and over again that I will be fine and she is relieved. – Judy Fox
“She's Gone” by: Judy Fox
“I did not know what it would be like after my mom died and that is still unfolding hour by hour, day by day. At first there was great relief that she died so easily…and then unbearable missing of her…calling out to her to come back to me in some form. One morning – I think only the second day after she died, I was plunged into such sorrow and again some words came through that said, “If you give yourself totally and not want anything for yourself, that will be your salvation.” And a clearing came in my heart. It was like my mother was speaking to me and I knew it was true.”
And my strongest memories are from the last three years post stroke when she was mostly in bed and could not walk anymore. I would lay in bed with her and we would laugh together until the bed was almost shaking – forgetting at times what initiated the laughter. I will never forget the warmth of being next to her, holding her hand, kissing her face. – Judy Fox
To Judy we'd like to express our heartfelt gratitude for letting us in on her incredible journey. Judy was a daughter who became a caregiver. Through her eloquent writing she also became a teacher… Someone who can help us all take this most difficult walk when it's our time. Those of us here at The Senior List, and our followers on Facebook and Twitter wish Judy much strength in the coming days and weeks. When it's time, we hope she continues to write – As a caregiver no-more, but as a teacher who has so much left to give.