My funeral

I am writing this through my tears. A dear cyber friend of mine is dying from congenital heart failure. She is a wise and terribly brave person. She posted this today…

“so here it is and then i am off to sleep.  when my sister was here we started talking about cremation.  of course she is the only person in my family that i would have this discussion with.  may i add we laughed although not all would find this humorous.  when cremated how do they separate the human remains from the ashes of the container used?  if no container is used why do they charge for it?  i have looked online for the answer and didn’t find it.”

This post jerked me back to Vic’s death bed. The memory of Vic sitting in her bed with an open file on her lap was burnt into my mind…. The folder – “My Funeral”

“Mommy, these are the hymns I want for my funeral…”

“Amazing Grace” and “How great thou art” were Vic’s hymns of choice…

“Mommy, do you think I can have candles? Lots of candles?” Vic asked.

In May 2012 Vic asked whether I would deliver her eulogy… She asked me to thank Jared for taking care of her and Jon-Daniel for making her laugh.

“Remember to make a list of everyone that we need to thank Mommy. I would hate for us to leave out anyone… “

On the 2nd of January, 16 days before she died, Vic double checked with me whether I remembered which hymns had to be sung at her memorial service.  She cried when she (again) named her pallbearers; she requested that her minister be called to administer communion.

“Please don’t let me lie in a refrigerator for a long time Mommy…Let them cremate me as quickly as possible”

I still feel the despair I felt then knowing that death was on the forefront of my child’s mind. I felt her fear of death; her terror of the unknown. I felt her desperate sadness and her reluctance to say goodbye… On the one hand her pain filled, little body was so diseased and weak. On the other hand,her will to live was so strong!

I was helpless. I was praying that Vic would die – that her suffering would end. I was bargaining with God to spare her. I tried negotiating with Him – my life for hers.

I still feel the madness that I felt then.

My dear friend is going through the same fears and emotions that my precious child did. She is making the same decisions. I wish I could reach out and hug her. I wish I could grab her from the claws of death.

I am thinking of you tonight my dear friend. In my thoughts you are well and safe. I wish I could spare you this journey. Lots of love and hugs.

How is Your Day Going?

I woke up crying this morning.  I wept for my child, my motherless grandsons, Izak, who has gone to a forever home, my blogger friend Julie @ who is going through a dreadful time; Len @ who still counts the days since her precious Klysta died, Morgan’s Mom…Sandra @ dying from congenital heart failure…  I did not want to get out of bed.

Well, I eventually did and found this wonderful email from my friend, Christelle.  It brought a smile to my face, and I decided that I MUST share it with all of you…  I hope it brings a smile to your face too…


Life isn’t about how to survive the storm,

but how to dance in the rain.

If you are having a bad day, remember it could be worse…..

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The final battle

Vic and JD watching a movie on the laptop
Vic and JD watching a movie on the laptop

For the past couple of days JD has not eaten well and lost control over her bowels a couple of times.  This morning she looked at me with her beautiful, soulful brown eyes and whimpered….

A couple of times we have had her paloured for her final journey and then my courage forsook me.  I kept finding excuses why she should not go for an injection.  Her cough was better, “she has a sparkle in her eye”,” she “bounced” around her snack”….  Yesterday I gave her some of her all time favorite treats i.e. dried sausage (droëwors) and she did not touch it!

Last night she sat upright – I think it was too difficult to breathe.  JD had congenital heart failure.

Today Danie came home from a business appointment and I said “It is time”.  He knew exactly what I was saying.  Vic came through and sat on the carpet with JD.  She said goodbye.   I picked JD up and walked to the car.  Danie drove.

We took JD to our local SPCA.  A young, sympathetic, female veterinarian asked me if I wanted to leave.  I said “No.”  She battled to find a vein.  “It’s the congenital heart failure” she said.

“She is almost 16 years old” I said.

“Wow, she is really very old.  She is a pretty little dog” she said

“Have you ever had a dog euthanized?”  she asked

“No” I said

“I will inject an anesthetic into her veins and she will fall asleep.  She may have a muscle contraction or a bowel movement.  It will be unpleasant for you but not for JD.  She would have passed on.”

“Okay” I said

She found a vein and JD slipped away whilst my tears fell on her coat.

At 12:05 on the 24th of August 2012 JD went to Doggie Heaven.