Friday, January 9, 2015

Mother-in-Law: the final chapter

And then it happened. We were in Italy and on New Year's day Mike got the call that MIL had been brought to hospital with (yet another) infection. She was unresponsive like every other time she went to hospital with an infection. We didn't think too much of it, this has been a regular occurrence certainly for the last 2 years, who would have thought...on Jan the 2nd Mike got a missed called on his phone from the hospital, he tried calling back but never managed to be connected. He called his sister and she told him that they were called to the hospital because MIL's blood pressure was very very low and they thought she may not have long to live. By the time the got there though, the pressure had picked up and it was no longer so critical. She was on IV antibiotics and the doctors said they were going to treat her for 5 days and reassess the situation. I asked Mike if he wanted to go home, we could find a flight etc, but no, he didn't think it was necessary. So we waited and every day there was no news. On the 5th Mike's sister called him to let him know that the doctors told the family there was nothing more they could do, they were suspending all treatments and upping the opioids to keep her comfortable in her final days. They thought it could have been a week, maybe more. This was the toughest moment for Mike, it was real, his mom was dying and this was it. We were scheduled to fly home on the 6th and Mike didn't want to rush home earlier, nothing he could do and MIL was unconscious anyway. Unfortunately she passed away on the 6th early afternoon. Her twin sister from California arrived on time the morning of the 6th so she was there which was nice. For us it has been rough. Flying home on the 6th, very very late (we were in bed at around 2am) and got up and ready to drive down to Mike's parents on the 7th, children very wired up with all the changes etc. But then we were there, I mentioned before about the Irish funerals, they are something else. It was so so nice to see so many friends of Mike driving over 200km to pay their respect on Wednesday night (they had the wake at the house) and driving back later on in an appalling weather. The funeral was on Thursday and it was a lovely ceremony (the little I saw due to Martina not really cooperating). And so now we move on and stay close together knowing how quickly things can change. And you are never ready, even when it was so long coming.

Our last memories of her are beautiful which is so nice. Mike and Martina went to them for Christmas, I had cooked homemade lasagne and they loved them. I stayed home with Oliver who was sick and in fact started antibiotics on Christmas day. I would never have forgiven myself if we had all gone down and she got sick afterwards. MIL phoned me on Stephen's day to thank me about the lasagne and how delicious they were, I told her we were all going to visit them early January as soon as we were back from Italy. And we did, only she was no longer with us. Everyone is putting on a brave face you know? Nobody cried or was upset, everyone knew she had no quality of life at all an at least she is no longer suffering etc. But still. I wrote many times about how inspiring she was and how dignified she was. I will keep her alive in our hearts and talk often about her to the children. they won't remember her I know but at least they will know of her through our own memories.

May 2015 be happier from now on.


  1. So sorry for Mike and all of you. Always special to share both grief and happy memories with family.
    Sorry that Martina wasn't cooperating, you probably couldn't have gotten a sitter as anyone you knew was at the ceremony...

  2. Oh, please give Mike the biggest hug from us (and one for you and the kiddos too). I'm glad that there are some happier memories to keep her alive in your minds and hearts! Sending love to you all!!

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you all.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. I imagine not being there must make it harder on both you and Mike.

    Hugs. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss:( it's strange how these things happen when we are t expecting them. Similar thing happened with Susan's mom last march. It wa like the cat with nine lives had finally run out of time but we had stopped counting and didn't know this was going to be it:((( hugs my friend!! Xoxo

  6. So sorry for your loss Fran & Mike.


  7. I am so sorry for your loss, Fran. Thinking of you all.

  8. So sorry to hear this. I love your description of her...I can only imagine how hard it must be on her to endure her own condition in her final days.

    May 2015 be kind to you, and your loved ones.


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