Oh Mom, why now??

Carrie Nelson

My Mom died two months ago, exactly. December 2nd, 1995. She died on her Mom's birthday. She was so very close to her Mom, my grandmother. We called my grandmother Busha, which is Polish for grandmother, because she was full Polish. Busha died on January 3rd 1994. I cannot believe my Mom died only 2 years later. She was so full of grief when Busha died. She still, after almost 2 years, was very heartbroken. I think it is ironic she died on her Mom's birthday. My grandfather, her Dad, is still alive. No one should bury their child.

She died so suddenly. This was Friday I last saw her, the day before she died. Now realize, I considered my Mom somewhat of a hypocondriac. She did however, have high blood-pressure, type II diabetes, high cholesteral, chronic depression {which I have and my Busha had}, and migraines. She took many medicines for these conditions. She was not a healthy woman, yet she was very active and full of life. She did sometimes, make a mountain out of a molehill, with her aches and pains. She had sympathy pains alot. This drove my only sibling, my sister Sue, and I nuts. We would talk on the phone about this all the time. We would compare what she told me, as opposed to what she told Sue (my sister). Even this recent pain we thought was nothing again. We were wrong, way wrong. The pain she was having was her aortic artery that had an aneurism. This we found out after she died. The doctors had missed it completely.

On the day she died, she felt good that morning. She went to town, came home, then felt very weak and sick. She called Dad to come home. She never calls him home, so Dad knew something was really wrong. He was very worried as soon as he saw her. He wanted to call an ambulance. She would not let him, since we are both EMTs, she knew all the ambulance crews. She was afraid of this being a false alarm. She thought because she had taken some cold medicine, and her Diabeta without anything to eat, that she was just having an insulin reaction. Dad called the hospital. They said get some sugar down her, so he did. Nothing helped. Dad tried to call me. My husband and I had just left. Dad left a message with my oldest daughter, that he was taking my Mom to the hospital because she was "real tired". He did this so as not to alarm my daughter. Dad then carried Mom out to the van. She couldn't even lift her hand. Dad tried again to call me. I was still gone. They went to the hospital, and directly into the emergancy room. They found out she had a heart attack. They called the chopper to fly her to a coronary care hospital, 90 miles away. I had come home and recieved the message from my daughter. I called my best friend and said that Mom was overeacting again. I really regret that. My friend, Becky, said that it was very serious this time. That they were flying Mom out, and needed Becky's husband, Derwin, to go to the hospital to help Dad give her a blessing for the sick. Dad called then and said that the chopper was 10 minutes out, and that it was real bad. He wanted me to call Sue and my Aunt Judy, my Mom's only sibling. I asked if I should come to the hospital, but he said no. The helicopter would be taking her before I could get there. Mom was awake and talking the whole time. After Dad got off the phone I called my Aunt Judy, and Sue. I had to leave a message on the answering machine at Sue's. I had to leave a message for my Aunt. Meanwhile my Aunt called back. She was crying. Then I broke down too. We both said "She's going to be okay". We really believed it. My Dad called and was sobbing into the phone. He said "Your Mom was packed up to go to the chopper when she went unstable again." They brought her back to the ER and Dad went in. She said she loved him and she wasn't scared. She said she couldn't breath then went into full arrest. They took Dad out. Dad called me. He said "I don't think she's going to make it". I screamed "Don't say that!!" They were still working on her, they tried for half an hour. He said to get back to my Aunt Judy and tell her. I did that and she screamed. She and grandpa were coming up. They live 500 miles away. I then hung up from her and sat on my bed crying. My husband, my 3 daughters, and I then knelt in prayer for our family. It was then the phone rang again. It was Derwin on the phone. He said to come down because they were going to "keep her here awhile". I grabbed my coat and got into the car. On the way I felt her presense and that she was not with her body. NOOOOOOO please NO! I then got to the hospital. I didn't want to go in and confirm my feelings, so I stood outside. My friends Becky and Derwin saw me and came out. I said "DON'T TELL ME" and they said "she's gone". I collapsed and they held me up. They said I had to go in and be with Dad, that he needed me. I then went in and hugged Dad for a long time. We went in and saw my Mom's body. It was horrible to see her body and her not in it. Meanwhile Sue called our home and my husband told her--she screamed.

We are Mormon. We seal our families together for eternity in our temples. When someone dies, who has been to the temple, they wear their temple clothes when they are buried. Other members of the Church who have been in the temple dress the dead. Sue, Becky, and I dressed my Mom in her white temple dress. My Aunt Judy did her hair and makeup. I can honestly with my heart, say that this was a very sacred and special thing we did. My Aunt, who is not Mormon, said that she wasn't sure about this. None of us had ever done this before. We were all a little scared. After the prayer though, it was beautiful, and loving. I think all families, when possible, should dress the dead. It is a lasting memorial and loving service. This experience so moved my Aunt, that she said the closing prayer. Mom was there and she was very proud. There were tears and laughter, "Come on Mom work with us here". I am 32 my Mom was only 53.

I have many feelings. Anger, at others for living so long. Guilt, about the seriousness of her pains. Upset, she would leave her grandchildren so early. Depressed, that I have to help Dad do your chores Mom!!! Oh Mom, my fellow EMT, my professional garage saler, shopping buddy, my always-there-to-gripe-with friend. You were at all of your grandchildren's births. Why OH WHY did you go. I believe in Heavenly Father's plan, yet I am angry at Him. WE need you. Why now??

Wishing for one more hug, one more loving word, your loving daughter, Carrie

Carrie Nelson

I would LOVE to put Motherloss website back up but will need a few very devoted friends to help me maintain it. I was getting too many stories for one person to do and be able to do other things. It's a free site and will always be so if your interested to volunteer with me email me at [email protected] .

You can send email to Carrie at [email protected]
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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW