One Step Further


What a weird experience the whole end-of-life thing is for those who will remain behind.

Mom continues her gradual decline.  In a phone conversation on Monday, her Hospice nurse told me that we’re looking at weeks now, perhaps as much as a month or two, but it’s unlikely it’ll be more than that.  (Never say never where my Mom is concerned, though.  She’ll go in her own damn time.)  Of course, she could surprise us and go at any time, so …   Let’s just say I’m not placing any bets.

Yesterday and today I’ve talked with the funeral home back in Saratoga that will handle her service, and I’ve spoken to the funeral home here in CT who will take possession of her remains and hold them until the folks from Saratoga arrive.  I’ve filled out some preliminary paperwork and written an obituary.  All that remains is the moment when.

I can’t describe the feeling inside…writing those words “take possession of her remains.”  This is my mother I’m writing about!  I’m astonished at the cool calm inside, the … what?  It’s not a sense of peace, not quite that.  Maybe it’s that I know there’s a job to do and I need to keep my wits about me in order to do it.  But the end … her end … will be hard.  I can feel it.

I’m satisfied with the work I’ve done.  It wasn’t always perfect.  I didn’t always act or behave as my better nature would have it, but what’s past is past and what’s ahead is ahead.  One step at a time, one day at a time.  I will accompany her as far as she will let me and then I will kiss her and let her go.  When it happens, I hope it’s a good trip, and easy transition.  She has a lot of people who love her waiting for her on the other side.

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About Melissa Crandall

A million years ago--round-about the first Ice Age--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and science fiction media tie-in novels. I'm happy to say that I've since branched out to include fantasy, horror, essays, and narrative nonfiction. This site will keep you up-to-date on my adventures in writing. I live in Connecticut with my husband--who frequently wonders what he got himself into by marrying a writer--two cats named Tuna and Gypsy, and a semi-neurotic Australian shepherd named Holly.
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2 Responses to One Step Further

  1. dementedgirl says:

    I too am one to focus on practicalities during hard times – I suppose it makes me feel less helpless and overwhelmed, and more in control of the things I can influence in the face of something much greater that I can’t.

    It does feel a bit incongruous at times, but what else can you do…?

    • Precisely. Sometimes I wonder if I come across as callous or unfeeling…and then I decide that I don’t care how I come across. It doesn’t matter what other people think so long as I’m doing the job I need to do. There’ll be time to fall apart later.

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