Thursday, January 14, 2010

Barbara's Mom Went Home Tonight

I know this is going to sound strange, but I had a feeling that Fran was going to Heaven today. I just got off the phone with my sister-in-law Ann a little while ago and I said to her that I thought Barbara's mother would be passing on my birthday.

My friend Barbara has spent the last month saying a long good-bye to her Mom. Fran was hospitalized just before Christmas with pneumonia, and while in the hospital she suffered a heart attack. Fran had all her papers in order but the hospital staff that revived her didn't realize that she was DNR because the Emergency Room never sent up her paperwork. Fran was 'gone' as they say for fifteen minutes before she was revived. And since that time she's been on a respirator, was in a coma, came out of it for awhile, suffered other setbacks, had to receive daily dialysis, became non-responsive again, and then Barbara was told they thought Fran suffered a stroke and that Fran was no longer responding to the dialysis or other medications. Yesterday Fran was moved to the hospice ward, and Barbara just let me know now she had told her Mom that she would be all right, and that all arrangements had been made, there was nothing more to do, nothing more for Fran to worry about, and now it was time for Fran to go meet her husband (Rocco is Barbara's Dad and he passed two years ago) and her daughter (Patricia is Barbara's sister who had passed at the age of fifteen), Barbara said that Fran then peacefully went home to God.

This Is Death

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side, and she is just as able to bear her living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not her.
And just at the moment when someone on my side says, "There, she is gone."
There are other eyes watching her coming, and there are other voices ready to take up the glad shout,
"Here she comes!"

~ Henry van Dyke


  1. A long goodbye is difficult..
    Please, share my condolences to Barbara.
    With love,

  2. So sorry to hear about your friend's mother, so sad in one way but yet she is now without pain and is in such a beautiful place with her loved ones who have gone before her...It's your friend who will grieve and feel the pain of losing her mother. I know as a friend you will be there for her Eileen, I will light a white candle and say prayers for comfort for her family.......:-) Hugs

  3. That poem explains it beautifully. Just as we are mourning on this side of the veil, there is most likely a welcome home party on the other side. But how sad for the family. It is so hard letting go, especially of one's mother.

    What a reunion Fran must be having with Rocco and Patricia!

  4. Experiencing my own mothers loss so recently, I can certainly relate to the pain that Barbara is feeling as I am still feeling the newness of the loss. I feel for Barbara. I have felt extremely lonely since her passing, so calling your friend often is a good idea. Also I found that when people remind of how much happier that she is, that helps too. We tend to forget the place in which they are at now and wallow in our own sorrow. So I know what a good friend that you are Eileen and that you probably already know this.
    Love Di

  5. Losing one's mother is heart breaking, it's always there in the back of your mind...and such small things will bring it to the forefront. Please give my condolences to Barbara.

  6. Such a dear woman, heaven welcomes a beauty.


    Oh my, tears fall - I am bowing my head in prayer for everyone touched by Fran's life. I don't know what else tosay. sigh...........

    Love Gail'
    peace and hope for us all

  8. This is a lovely story of a daughter who loves her mother and knows when to let her go.

  9. This is a beautiful story and what a lovely poem. Thanks for sharing this.