A Caregiver's Journal provides information, insight, enlightenment and shared experiences for new caregivers and encouragement for long time caregivers. The focus of this blog is our transition from empty nesters to caregivers for my god-sister, Gladys, a stroke survivor. RSS Subscribe to RSS

Her Last Days

A Moment of Clarity

On Thanksgiving day Gladys began the last days of her life.  We were only able to wake her up twice during the day.  On Thanksgiving night when Anita and I were getting her ready for bed, Gladys had a moment of clarity.  There was something in her gaze and voice that I had not seen or heard for quite some time.  While Anita and I were putting her in the sling for the Hoyer lift, Gladys looked at me and said, “What happened to me?”  I said “You had a stroke.”  She wanted to know when so I told her five years ago.  She looked at the lift with fear in her eyes and asked what we were doing and I told her that it was the only way we could lift her to change her.

She Was Ready to Go Home

Gladys looked and us and said, “I don’t want to live like this.”  Then she asked Jesus to take her home.  Over the next two days – while asleep – she would call for Lessie (her mother), Margaret (her cousin) and Clifford (her husband).  I called Hospice on Friday and they told me that Gladys was probably in her last days.  After that I began to gather insurance papers and contact information for the crematory that I wanted to use.

On Sunday, the third day, while I was at church, my daughter sent me a text that she couldn’t wake Gladys at all.  I cancelled our Sunday sitter who would normally relieve Anita at 10 AM and went home to care for Gladys myself.  Around 6:30 PM I heard a loud choking cough.  I went downstairs and Gladys had gone; she died peacefully in her sleep.  I called Hospice, they sent a nurse out to pronounce her and call the funeral home.

The Repast

At the end of the week, my oldest daughter, Nichole who took care of Gladys for 2-1/2 years flew in from Philly and we had a private memorial service.  After the service, we went to Roy’s Cheese Steak Restaurant to enjoy Gladys’ favorite meal – cheese steaks and a Coke.


2 People have left comments on this post

Jan 17, 2011 - 12:01:55
Carebuzz said:

God bless Gladys! 5 years being in bed after a stroke is amazing. Gladys is right.. no way to live. My Mom had a stroke (severe) and passed withing 12 hours. I know she was very grateful to go so quickly. One thing my Mom knew is that she did not want to live like Gladys. Please read my story about my Mom and her last hours
Passing of Mom A bittersweet story.

Thank you.

My best,
Carol
Carebuzz

Jan 21, 2011 - 04:01:32

Carol,

Thanks for stopping by. It has been difficult for me to get back into blogging and social media after Gladys took a turn for the worse. I hope to get back into writing and tweeting soon. On my way to read about your mom.

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