19/11/12 12:34 PM

I wanted to give everyone an update…

First, Brett and I are just overwhelmed by all the love, prayers, thoughts, words of encouragement, support and hugs we have received from all of you! It is such a wonderful support and surprise to see each day! Thank you so much to all!

Brett brought my computer up to the hospital so I could catch up on each of the comments. I want you to know while I was not able to personally comment to all of your comments; I did read each and every one of them. In fact I read them daily as I sit here. It has helped me get through the hard times. I have treasured all of them! Many {{{ HUGS }}} back to each of you!

Thank you!

As of today, we have been at the hospital for eight days. After moving her from ICU, the doctors deactivated her temporary pacemaker on Tuesday, November 13th. Because of the double blood clout on both sides of her brain and the blood clout that hit her heart, the doctors were pretty sure that she wouldn’t be with us long after the pacemaker was turned off. But my mom never did anything that was expected. She has slowly progressed a little at a time through this process.

We have had bereavement counselors with us through this. They have given us things to read to help us understand this process. I don’t know which is better though; know or not knowing. Because we know what to except now, it seems that we are just watching for the next sign. It almost makes me feel like I am just sitting here waiting for her to die. It’s just really hard to wrap my mind around it all.

As for mom, she doesn’t feel anything. The stroke hit both sides of her brain and has left her with no more than basic body functions. They placed her on morphine from the beginning to help with any pain and to take the edge off the process for her. Two days ago she started having respiratory distress and they have doubled her morphine. So now she seems to be sleeping peacefully, but still laboring to breath. As of last night, her kidney stopped. With all this, we still don’t know how much longer she has. The doctor says 24 to 48 hours. But knowing her, she would just hang on to prove them wrong.

I do have to say that while it has been pure torture watching her slowly shutting down, the moments when she was aware and the chance to spend them with her is just priceless. Those times are now over. But what wonderful memories I have with her.

The hard part is yet to come. Whether it will be today, tomorrow or next week, I will stay here with her, hold her hand, wipe her forehead with a cool cloth and help her in her final moments to pass on to the next place.

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 114 Comments »

114 Comments on “Update”

  1. Anne Bonney Says:

    Wishing peace for you and your family.

  2. Thank you so much. That means a lot to us!

  3. I wish your mum the best according to His will…I wish you and your family God’s blessings during this trying time. We are praying with you…

  4. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  5. well noted…cheers

  6. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Chillbrook Says:

    My thoughts are with you.

  8. Thank you so much.

  9. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I remember how I felt when they put my Mum on Morphine and she slowly faded away. My sympathies are with you and my prayers too.

  10. Thank you so much. I know that it had to be hard for you too. But we are living up to her wishes and know what we are doing it right.

  11. MaryNell Says:

    Though this was a sad post, I did have to smile at the tenacity of your mom – hanging around just to prove the doctors wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚ May you all experience peace through this process.

  12. Thank you. I just keep telling myself that one day, someone else will have to go through this process and I will be able to help them with what I am learning right now.

  13. My thoughts are with you and I’m sending all my best wishes to you and your family.

  14. Thank you so much. It really means a lot to us.

  15. colmel Says:

    If I may, let me tell you a little of my story which really is much like yours. In 2002, my husband’s airline closed its facility in Atlanta. We chose to move to Michigan with the airline and to be near his family. His mother, who was incredibly dear to me, was gravely ill. She decided she’d had enough and had refused to be fed through a tube any more. Her quality of life was gone. She was ready to go. We sat with her and told her of our love and that her memory would be brightly with us all our days. We promised to care for Dad. She was at peace. She passed quietly in the night. She was in her own bed. (Dad had moved to a separate room to give her more peace.) The pain and suffering were over. I was always sorry she never got to physically see our new home (which she would have loved). I can’t help but believe that she did and does, however, see it as she watches over us from Heaven. I believe your mother, too, will be with you in spirit as you move forward with Belle Grove. I know she would be very, very proud of you. Warmest regards…

  16. Thank you so much for sharing your touching story. I know that Mom will be with us. She knew of Belle Grove, but never really had a chance to see it

  17. Oh I’m sooooo praying for you through all of this. It reminds me a great deal of my Dad’s last days…..I whispered in his ear that it was OK to go and that I loved him and always would and it was shortly after his suffering ended. I’ll always wonder if he needed me to say I’d be alright…….stay strong – I know you will.

    Hugs, Pam

  18. Thank you Pam. We have told her many times that its okay to go and that we will be okay. I think she just wants to do it in her time. Hugs back at you!

  19. Clanmother Says:

    Everyday and with every breath, she knows that you love her….

  20. Aw, that was so sweet! Thank you for such a wonderful thought to carry me through today.

  21. My prayers are with you and your Mom. I recenty got out of the hospital and had not been able to keep up with your blog. May God bless you through this time with His peace and strength. Love, Bo.

  22. Thank you so much Bo. I hope that you are doing better!

  23. I am doing much better. I pray you and your family will have much to celebrate this Thanksgiving even through a dfficult time. Your B & B is a great ministry which I hope to see soon.

  24. I am so glad to here that you are doing better. We hope someday soon we will have a chance to meet you at the plantation. We are holding on at this point. But I am sure will we get through this.

  25. Debbie Says:

    Thinking of you all. As others have noted this process has been a part of many of our lives and is one that really tests our strength. Spending days with both of my parents as they slowly passed was incredibly hard but allowed for so many firsts and lasts and very much a sense of closure in many ways as they completed their journey in this life.
    Take care of yourself through this process and know that your blogging friends wish you peace.

  26. gooseyanne Says:

    Big lump in my throat as I read that and tears in my eyes – God bless x

  27. Thank you so much. Blessing to you as well!

  28. Debbie – I can’t tell you how much I have come to relay on my blogging friends. As I sit here at 3am just watching her and listening to her labor to breath, I turn to my blog for support. It has been a God Send! Thank you so much for your continued support!

  29. seniorhiker Says:

    Our prayers are with you, your Mom and your entire family.

  30. Thank you so much. It really means a lot!

  31. I’m so sorry. This is such a difficult time but know that you’re mother knows on some level that you’re at her side providing love and comfort. My thoughts are with you.

  32. Thank you so much. I have to believe that she does know. In my heart I really think she does.

  33. We wish you the very best in this difficult time. May God grant you grace and peace.


  34. Thank you so much Bruce! It really means so much to us.

  35. Dianna Says:

    You’re in my thoughts, Michelle. I was there with my Mom at the end, and I would not have wanted to be anywhere else. And I truly believe your Mom knows you’re there with her, even though she isn’t able to express it.
    Hugs to you……

  36. Dianna, thank you so much! I feel that she knows we are there. I have to believe that. I would never trade these last days with anyone. They have been priceless. Hugs back at you!

  37. Thinking of you guys and sending hugs… I went through a very similar thing with my aunt who I adored. This may sound bizzarre, but I have a very peaceful memory of her passing. It was a beautiful thing and she was finally peaceful. I have no doubt that she knows you are there… touching her, talking to her, loving her. Make sure you tell her it’s okay to go… that you will be okay and that you love her. xo

  38. Thank you so much. I hope when the time comes, her passing will be peaceful too. I truly believe she knows we are here and she has had a chance to hear us. We have told her many times it was okay to go and that we would be okay.

  39. terry1954 Says:

    thinking of you always, my prayers are with you, big hugs my friend

  40. Thank you so much Terry! It means a lot knowing that you are all here. Hugs back at you!

  41. adinparadise Says:

    Thinking of you and the family. It must be very distressing, and yet somehow, I know that you must feel that everything which needs to be done, has been done, and so you just wait. “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor 13 v7

  42. Thank you so much! It has been hard, but I am so thankful that I have had the time to talk with her and to be with her in whatever way she can be. I truly believe that verse. Thank you.

  43. augusta Says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely process with us. Sending you love. (No need to reply; I know your appreciation.)

  44. You are so welcome. I am glad you all are here to share it with. It really has been a comfort. And I want to reply when I can. Each and every comments is like a gem to me. Thank you.

  45. John Says:

    May God bless you and your family, and be close.

  46. Thank you so much.

  47. BJ Deming Says:

    You’re not alone. {{HUG RIGHT BACK}} ๐Ÿ™‚ You all will be all right.

  48. Thank you! {{HUGS}}

  49. I am thinking of you.

  50. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  51. So sorry to hear what you’re going through. Prayers of peace and comfort.

  52. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  53. Jen Says:

    God bless. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  54. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  55. Prayers for you, your mom, and family. ~Mary

  56. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  57. One of the most difficult things to do in life is to watch someone you love pass on. The hardest thing I ever did was give my mom permission to let go. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  58. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  59. Warm hugs from the other side of the planet… our thoughts are with you and your loved ones. Thank you for sharing these difficult times. It takes a lot of courage, I know.

  60. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot. {{HUGS}}

  61. You remain in my prayers. God Bless!

  62. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  63. ohiocook Says:

    thinking of nothing but good thoughts and prayer for your family.

  64. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  65. I am praying for you and your whole family. During this time, I hope you find consolation in the many good memories that will not fade. Stay strong for each other. God is always there…holding her hand and and arm around your shoulder.

  66. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  67. Angeline M Says:

    Hugs and prayers to you all. I went through this with my mom three years ago, not a stroke, but respiratory failure from congestive heart disease. On what I knew had to be her last day, I went to a hospital garden and summoned all of my ancestors long gone, mom’s brother’s and sisters, her mother, and asked them to please come and take my mom home. Within a couple of hours she was gone. We all have our angels taking care of us.

  68. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  69. Mrs. P Says:

    We should all be so lucky to have someone who loves us enough to sit with us until we find the right time to die. You are an honorable daughter who obviously loves her mother very much!

  70. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  71. fpdorchak Says:

    My thoughts are with you. It’s good you’re enjoying each and every moment with your mother and are actually with her in her final moments—and may you continue to be strong.

  72. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  73. I’ll be thinking of you and your family. *hug*

  74. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot. {{HUGS}}

  75. I am so sorry. My prayers are with you.

  76. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  77. Sandy Says:

    You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers every day. I am so sorry.

  78. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  79. Sending my thoughts and prayers to you all. Big hugs-

  80. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot. {{HUGS}}

  81. Adding you and your family to my prayer list.

  82. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  83. You are a wonderful daughter – may your Mother go in peace.

  84. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  85. I am so sorry to hear. You and your mom are in my prayers. I am sure your mom is comforted that you are with her.

  86. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  87. Ogee Says:

    You are surrounded by love – as you surround her with love. Hugs to you –

  88. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot. {{HUGS}}

  89. neelkanth Says:

    I too join Ogee’s comment.

  90. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  91. becca givens Says:

    Offering prayers and thoughts of peace, love and light for each of you.

  92. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  93. may you find solace in your memories.

  94. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  95. Thinking of you, and I hope that the passing is easy. Remember the good times, and keep thinking of her smile so those are the strongest memories you have of her.

  96. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  97. Jane Sadek Says:

    The body is a shell. Your mom is all the wonderful things you’ve lived with her and the marvelous things she did before you ever came along. You are respecting the shell for the love that was shared and the love is forever.

  98. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  99. John Hassenauer Says:

    My heart is breaking for you. These times are so hard, but you are so blessed to be able to share these last moments with her. Again, know that you are being sent our prayers. God is with you!

  100. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  101. meyanyeung Says:

    May God bless your family with peace and strength. Rest in Him!

  102. Thank you so much. Your support means a lot.

  103. Blessings on you and your Mom. Dianne

  104. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

  105. Ray's Mom Says:

    Saying goodbye that last time is never easy. Memories will help soften the pain. God be with you and your family

  106. Thank you so much! The memories, even those of this week will be cherished and remembered as part of our history.

  107. One day you will treasure these days. When my aunt passed away she knew her body was shutting down, the best gift she gave us to let us know she was ready. She lived for 3 weeks afterward each moment spent with her although sad has stayed with all of us. My heart goes out to you and your family. Hugs…Patty

  108. Thank you Patty for your wonderful support! ((HUGS)) back at you. I already treasure those days. She told us before it really started through her last conversation with my children that she was ready. So when it came to making the decision to do so, we knew we were doing what she wanted.

  109. Sending healing energy to you and your family! Blessings, Annie

  110. Thank you so much. We really appreciate all the support!

  111. pixilated2 Says:

    I am glad you are with her to comfort her. I stayed with my mother and I believe that on some level she knew. Sending prayer for you and yours. ~Lynda

  112. Thank you so much! I know she knew we were there with her. I am just so glad we were able to help her in her final moments.

  113. pixilated2 Says:

    I’m sorry. My condolences. ~L

  114. Thank you.