January 2013. Today was a special day.
Yesterday Vic asked me to contact her minister. Chris arrived at our home at 9.30am. We all sat in Vic’s room whilst Chris read Psalm 23 and prayed for Vic who was walking through the “valley of death.” She prayed for Vic to find peace and acceptance of her situation.
Chris then served Holy Communion. Vic, at first, did not want Jon-Daniel to partake in the Communion. Chris explained that a child having to be confirmed before they are allowed to partake in Communion is a man-made rule. I pointed out to Vic that it would be very special if Jon-Daniel could have his first Communion with her… Vic agreed.
It was so special.
I was filled with deep gratitude that we as a family have the opportunity of making memories every day. Today I am particularly grateful that Jon-Daniel will always carry the memory of his first Holy Communion with him. Even if his mom does not attend his confirmation he will remember that he took his first Holy Communion with her.
For the first time in a long time I was grateful for Vic lingering death. I am grateful that Jared had the opportunity to tell her that she is a legend and that she will always live on in so many people’s minds and hearts. That Stepping Stone Hospice is her legacy….
Dying isn’t a science. There is no methodical process of coming to terms with death. The reality of what is busy happening to Vic is frightening and overwhelming. Earlier this week, when I gave one of the boys permission to go out, Vic said “See Mommy, this is why I cannot die. I don’t know if you will be strict enough with the boys…”
Vic is desperately clinging to life. Vic is afraid of losing control of her bodily functions and becoming a burden to us. Vic is afraid of the act of dying.
The rest of us are scared because we want her suffering to end. We know we will experience terrible guilt afterwards… Even as I am typing I KNOW I will second guess everything I did for Vic and every decision I ever made regarding her medical care. This is just the way it is…
Angela and Tracey visited today. The visits are so exhausting for Vic and yet she did not want them to leave. Every time they say “I must go…” Vic will pout and say “just stay a little longer…”
The weight is just falling off Vic. She managed to keep in a mug of diet “Cup of Soup”. Small mercies!
Lelani picked up the new morphine script from Dr Sue. She made imprints of the boys’ hands for Vic… She massaged Vic’s little feet. Jon-Daniel and I swam and Jared went with his girlfriend and her parents to a day resort. Danie picked up the script from the pharmacy and washed his own motorbike. (First time in 15 years….he always has it done!)
A normal day in the life of a family walking through the valley of death…I don’t want to forget any part of it.