This is my mom with two of my brothers. That’s me on her lap. Mom is dying. We’re not sure when this will happen exactly, but the decline is accelerating. I know that sounds really sad. And there is sadness when some someone you love leaves this earth. But there is also a sense of celebration. Mom has been suffering from Dementia/Alzheimer’s the past few years and she has gradually left us over time. A decade ago, mom was vibrant and alive. She was loud and brash and bigger than life. She loved life, and yet she was a paradox. She could be difficult and angry and she could also be extremely warm and funny. She never met a stranger. She was and is loved by many. The Dementia has softened her, weathered her, and made her quiet and content. Now that her time is near, she is gentle and easy, not in any pain. She professes to be happy and she professes love. She still lights up whenever me or my brothers walk into the room. She knows us. She knows that we love her and she knows that she loves us.
I had a realization that although this is very sad for us, there is reason to rejoice. She will transition into what we all believe to be a better place where she will be coherent and free and connected with those who have gone before her. We are asking all who knew her to think of a time when she made them laugh. Think of one of the many jokes that she told so well. Tootie Green comes to mind, or when she would sing, “She’s got freckles on her but she is pretty”. Think of a time when she opened her house to you and let you stay without question or judgment. Think of the time that she served a wonderful meal. Think of how she decorated her house for every holiday. Think of her at work having fun and creating a sense of play. Think of her as she was in your mind, share a story about her, and send those positive thoughts her way as she transitions into the next wonderful place.