A long goodbye

It’s been a month since I flew home from Halifax, after visiting my mother for perhaps the last time. We weren’t sure how long she would last after that — no one did — but she’s clearly not quite been ready to go.

Tonight (Thursday, July 29 — it’s long after midnight and into the 30th as I’m writing this post), for the first time since I was down there, she actually told me she thought the end was near. She sounds terrible, and she’s in more pain, pain that they’re having trouble controlling, than she’s ever been in. She hasn’t been eating, though she decided she wanted spaghetti and ice cream today. I told her it was OK, that she could go anytime she wants to. And when my father got back on the phone again, I broke down. I haven’t done that since the last time.

I had been thinking that I’d like to volunteer to do some hospice work here in Ottawa — I can’t physically be with my mother, but maybe I could help someone else and their family. But I learned tonight that I’m not ready to take on the role of the supporter for someone else while I’m still in need of support myself.