My Mom died this morning.
I'd been over there last night and she was "fine" (within the parameters in which she'd been operating in regards to swelling, shortness of breath, etc.). She asked if I could come over in the A.M. to help get her up, so Daughter #1 and I trudged over at 8:00 so I could help her night gal with that. My Mom was deeply snoring, not her typical sleep pattern, and we could not get her to fully wake up (she did recognize that my daughter was there, since she would respond to "Wake up Nana!" with a mumbled, "oh, hi sweetie". Her night gal told me that she'd been up a few times during the night, requesting the bedpan, so we just figured that she was finally getting some real sleep on the new hospital bed, and I said I'd be back in time to help get her ready for her doctor's appointment (a follow-up on all the stuff from her last week's hospital stay) around noon, or earlier if they gave me a call.
Well, so I took Daughter #1 off to school, and went back home to get a few things organized for the day (like talking to my Boston sister-in-law, the nurse, about stuff I should bring up with my Mom's doctor). I was just getting ready to head over there when my Mom's day gal called saying that my Mom seemed to be having trouble breathing, and could I get over there right away. Well, they must have already called the Fire Department by then, as there was already an ambulance outside of her place when I got there a few minutes later. I figured "great ... another run to the hospital" and headed upstairs. There I found four paramedics, and my Mom's gals in tears. It seems that in that brief period of time, she'd just slipped away. They could find no pulse, and her lips were all blue. This was about 10:15 in the morning ... she'd been responsive a scant hour and a half before.
The rest of the day has been a blur of dealing with "official stuff" and contacting family and friends. My Mom's best friend of 50 years came over to "hold down the fort", while I worked the phones. We couldn't get her released to the funeral home until the Police had come by, and I guess the Fire Department hadn't passed along the info (the funeral home called about four times to see if the Police had been there yet), so I had to get the Police out to do all the paperwork for the Medical Examiner, etc. I got a hold of The Wife (they let her off and even got her a ride down here), my sister-in-law (who contacted my Brother, who also got a ride out of Boston), and various other close friends of my Mom. My Brother and his family are on their way out here now, arriving late tonight.
It was really tough getting The Girls tonight, especially #1, who had seen her beloved Nana just this morning. She could tell that "something was up" since The Wife and I almost never both show up to get her. We took her home and broke the news, then brought her with us over to my Mom's place. She is really broken up about it, and will probably be so for a long time. We then went up to get Daughter #2 from daycare. At nearly 4 the news was less "real" to her than for her sister, but she was equally fond of Nana and I think that the loss will keep coming up for her.
There is SO MUCH STUFF TO DO, although my Mom left a lot of very well organized files for this day. We got a hold of our old Minister (who'd married The Wife and I), and he's going to do a memorial service up at the church where my Dad had been a Minister. My Mom wanted to be cremated, but my Brother was very adamant that we don't do anything until he can come out to see her. We're thinking the memorial service will be on Thrusday or Friday afternoon.
I am drained. It will be good to have my Brother here, since he's the MBA, and can deal with all the paperwork far better than I can. Fortunately, my Mom had a pretty well structured Estate, so there isn't a lot of messiness about it, just getting allt he bits and pieces collected and properly dealt with.
I worked for my Mom for 15 years ... and have been in pretty much daily contact with her (we live just down the block) for the past 11 years since we closed the P.R. firm. I am still somewhat in shock, and I am afraid of how I feel once the emotions start coming up full force. I miss my Mommy, but know that she's probably a lot happier without that broken down old body that she's had to deal with for so long.