3 Months


Today marks the three month anniversary of my mom’s death.  I know without a doubt that she would not want me thinking these things and for the most part, I do not think of them all the time but I wanted to “get them out” and express what goes through my mind.  I think they are questions that come up naturally and part of the grieving process.


What if you had stayed home that day?  You woke up late and said you were fine and just wanted to go in late.  Were you really feeling sick?

What if I had been there with you at dialysis?

What if we didn’t take the meds and ventilator off?

What if we gave you more time to come back to us?

What if the neurologist was wrong?

What if we had paid more attention to your heart and not just your lungs and kidneys?

What if the two times we had you in the Emergency Room prior to your death they would have done a complete heart work-up?

What if we would have explored a kidney transplant?  Would you have survived that?


Mom, were you in any pain?

Did you try to get someone’s attention after you asked for the oxygen?  Did they ignore you for too long?  Did they hurt you when they put you on the floor and did CPR?  You were so frail.  Did they do what they should have done while waiting for the paramedics?  Did this happen to you because of the dialysis or because of the Lyme/Scleroderma?

Did your brain really “die” that Friday?

Could you hear and see us all around you?  Did you know anything at all?  Could you smell the gardenia?

Were you scared?

When they shocked you all those times, did you feel anything?  Did you suffer?

Did you try to communicate to me with your eyes?  I could swear you did.  I felt it.  Were you telling me you loved me and that you needed me to help you?

Did you know you were going to die?  Did Jesus, the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and the Angels come and take your soul to paradise like we prayed?

Did we do the right thing?  Was there a chance you might have come back to us?  Should we have taken the ventilator off but kept the medicine on you to keep you from going into cardiac arrest?

I have so many questions about that day and that weekend from hell.  I will never know the answers unless you or our Lord chooses to reveal them to me this side of heaven.  And that is what keeps me up at night. So many unanswered questions.

May Angels lead you into paradise;
may the Martyrs receive you at your coming
and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
May a choir of Angels receive you,
and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have eternal rest.

One response »

  1. Oh, Michelle. I’m so sorry you are hurting so much. Please listen to me on one point, though: don’t play the “what if” game–it will drive you nuts. I think it might a temptation, actually. You can just as easily ask “What if we didn’t get her diagnosed properly? Would she have died sooner? What if while she was already so sick with Lyme Disease and Scleroderma, she contracted another illness that she couldn’t fight off with her already overworked immune system and died sooner that way? What if she was in fatal car accident?”
    God wills or foresees and allows everything that happens. Sometimes, later on, we will understand why he allowed some of what happened and the timing of it all. And sometimes, we have to wait until the next life. In St. Therese’s autobiography (which I highly recommend), she has a vision of her father in the future–when he is sick and suffering greatly. Even as she wrote her autobiography years later, she could not explain why God allowed her to see that vision. (And she was a great saint–a doctor of the Church!) If your mom suffered even more before she passed, perhaps it was redemptive–maybe she shot straight past Purgatory and right up to Heaven in Jesus’s embrace because of that one final minute of pain before she died. We may not get to know all of the answers in this lifetime, but it WASN’T meaningless. God doesn’t allow pointless suffering. “Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
    Please hang in there–I’m keeping you in prayer! God bless you! (Feel free to email me if you want to.)

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