Journey’s end – team effort – for ender, family and family caregivers. This post is for the family caregivers, caring for the ender, the family and each other. A raw and primal passage for the whole team. The ender in the eye of the storm with spiraling waves buffeting family and caregivers, seeding their own spirals. Mom died well. As a holocaust survivor she was determined to control her demise like she couldn’t control her teen years in hiding . She was selfish and fearful, imperiously choreographing her demise. She had childlike grace, aching love, and overflowing appreciation. My mom found humor in the six P’s of dying: pillow, pills, piss, poop, pain and phone. Comfort, basic body functions, medication, and communication. P for phone was her last joke. We can add a seventh: P is for peace. But wait, this post is about the caregivers. Those of us who tolerated her and marveled at her while caring for her and each other. She could not have staged this pageant without the caregivers who loved her because of and in spite of her strengths and foibles. They were present, put upon, testing their own limits, letting their love, skill, kindness, and generosity wash in as her life evaporated out. Especially, Loretta, a midwife for the end of life. Mom had many regrets in her life, some small and some whoppers. She did not regret the community she nurtured and watered all around her. That community came through. I felt appreciated and supported by her community as they folded me in. I was listened to, bolstered, and loved. Everyone brought their best self for her. Phew. No one was alone. My mom was about not being alone. I thank that community with all my heart and soul for pulling that off for her. Oh ma, you did good – we all did good.
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