As a young child, I had an inexplicable fear of losing my mother, even though she was healthy, vibrant, and full of life. It's strange how our minds wander into those dark corners, and the mere thought of a world without her seemed unimaginable. I felt a deep connection to her, fearing that my life would unravel without her.
As an adult, a time came when my family had to make the heart-wrenching decision to choose the day when my precious mother's life would end. The idea of such a burden broke our hearts; who can ever expect to have to do that?
My mother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer when she was 81. She labored tirelessly for two years, undergoing treatments that gave us hope. We never discussed the possibility that she might not make it. Hope became our refuge; it had to be. My mother wished to live with every ounce of strength, hoping and expecting more time for her life. Throughout this journey, my father stood by her side as her caretaker, providing unwavering support and love.
Then, our world shattered when a tumor attacked her chest and lungs, making it difficult for her to eat and breathe. It became an emergency, leaving her dependent on life support and unable to breathe independently or eat and speak. We never heard her sweet voice again. She expressed her wish not to be kept alive on a respirator, so we had to decide on a date to remove her life support. I vaguely recall the doctors saying she wouldn't be in pain as her body shut down on September 22, 2016.
My father died peacefully of renal failure a few years later during the covid-19 pandemic, which kept us from being with him for the last two months of his life. We were with him for his final days and when he transitioned from this life.