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And now it's my turn......
Old 10-24-2011, 10:08 PM   #1
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And now it's my turn......

I know many of you have been through this and today it happened to me.

I got the call this morning that my Mom had died. She was 83. My Dad and Mom were at the table having breakfast, she stopped eating, coughed twice and slumped over. My Dad tried to help her sit up but had to lay her down on the floor. He got the food out of her mouth and tried to help her and then called 911. They got there quickly and even though they tried to revive her, he knew she was gone. He doesn't think she was choking. I think she was just done living.

He called me from the emergency room. I got there as soon as I could and the first thing he said was that this takes care of a huge problem for him. He's very practical.

They had been married for 61 years. My mother had lifelong depression, treated many different ways over the decades and since 1998 (age 70) she had been treated with ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). It did prevent the depression from creeping back in but it left her quite changed. On top of just being elderly, she was just not the same person. She had some qualities like an autistic person.

My Dad was totally devoted to her their entire marriage and it was a good one despite her circumstances.

So today my sister and I planned the funeral. My Dad didn't want to be there, he wanted us to handle it. They are Jewish so it's done as soon as possible, so it's on Wednesday. My Dad would like to clear out my Mom's clothes and things but we told him he doesn't need to rush, we will help him when he's ready. He very much wants to move past the funeral and get on with his life. The last few years his focus was on taking care of her and it was exhausting him. She wasn't ill or bedridden, she just needed constant attention and he could not leave her alone.

I knew this was coming but had no clue that it was going to be TODAY. I had thought about how it might happen and what we would need to do. He's relieved that it's over and I know that the rest of the emotions will come later. I'm glad she didn't suffer a long hospitalization or painful end.

Dying quickly and suddenly in your own home sounds like a decent way to go.

As for the finances, he's in good shape. She had nothing in her own name alone, all their assets were jointly held with right of survivorship. Their wills are current and she leaves everything to him. He's handled everything up until now with an accountant that he likes. He'll lose her SS income (based on his earnings) but he's in fine shape financially. He owns their condo and a car. No debt outside of current medical bills. They purchased burial plots a few years ago. He says he has a POA set up for me if something happens to him. We will go over this again.

My sister is active in her temple and since we are 56 and 59 she has many friends and fellow temple members who have been through losing a parent. She made 3 phone calls and a gang of people all coordinated all kinds of support systems to help our family through the next few days. Someone offered to be at the house to accept food trays and set up while we are at the funeral. Someone else will make sure that there are enough people for a minyan (a quorum of 10 Jewish adults) and other details we didn't know we needed. They've been through it and she's been their support. Very nice in a time of need. It takes a village.....
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:14 PM   #2
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Bless your heart Sue...I'm sorry. A gentle hug from me to you.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:15 PM   #3
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I can only offer you and your dad my deepest condolences.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:22 PM   #4
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I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a parent is a really painful thing to go through. My heart goes out to you.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:23 PM   #5
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I'm so sorry about your mother, just sorry.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:25 PM   #6
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Sue, I am very sorry for your loss.

I hope when I go it may also be like this.

Ha
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:37 PM   #7
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Sincere condolences Sue. There is always a big hole when you lose your Mom. The rituals help.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:41 PM   #8
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My condolences Sue. Very sorry to hear of your loss.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:56 PM   #9
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My heartfelt sympathy, Sue. Life is sometimes so difficult. Take care.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:24 PM   #10
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Sorry for your and your Dad's loss Sue.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:40 PM   #11
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I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Sadly, we share something in common, as my mom also died on October 24th (1995) at age 59 after a 4-year battle with Leukemia. She died at home, too.

She handled the family finances and, knowing her days were numbered, she made sure to leave my dad organized and in good shape financially (he had been retired for just over a year at the time), something everyone in this forum would be proud of. Looks like your mom did the same thing.

You have my deepest sympathies.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:47 PM   #12
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Sue, I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been in your shoes. It is difficult. Words are so inadequate...I'd really rather give you a big hug.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:04 AM   #13
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I'm sorry, Sue. We're never ready for something like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue J View Post
He says he has a POA set up for me if something happens to him. We will go over this again.
When you review the POA, you might suggest that he set up online access to all his financial accounts. He could share the logins/passwords with you or keep them locked away in the "In Case of Emergency" file.

The benefit to him is that sharing online access with you would help you electronically "look over his shoulder" to see if he has growing problems managing his finances. Whether or not he chooses to share the access with you now, the availability of that access later would be a big help at what might already be a very stressful time.

When my Dad was in the surgical recovery room for 10 days, one way we passed the time was catching up on his bills. I figured out the numbers, wrote out the checks, and he signed them. (It was a great way to help him remember his finances so that we could figure out what needed to be done. He didn't have an ICE file and his short-term memory was pretty well gone by then.) When the manager of his small-town bank saw my writing on his checks, they told us that they couldn't continue processing them unless they had a POA. We could appreciate their position, but we could have avoided the whole situation if he'd used online billpay.

Admittedly it's a two-edged sword. The key is that he's aware of the ways for you to help him feel more comfortable about taking care of his finances.
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:18 AM   #14
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Very sorry for your loss, Sue. Time is the best healer in times like these. My dad passed away last month and mum is taking it pretty bad but I can see progress as days turn into weeks. The rituals indeed bring comfort and help in letting go.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:49 AM   #15
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Very sorry for your loss.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:00 AM   #16
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Sue, so sorry about the loss of your mother.

Dying suddenly at home near loved ones is a very decent way to go and one many would choose if they could.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:47 AM   #17
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Sue, very sorry about your loss. My parents are gone 33 and 19 years now and I miss them every day.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:42 AM   #18
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Sue, I am so sorry for your loss . Take care !
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:13 AM   #19
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Sue, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. And, I think your mom was very fortunate to have a husband like your Dad.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:25 AM   #20
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My condolences to you and your dad at this difficult time. It's hard to lose a parent. It's nice to hear of all the support you are getting to help out during the next few days. Take care of yourself.
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