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She died in her sleep.


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I haven't really fully thought this through, so this post might turn a little bit into stream of thought at points.

It was Sunday night, quarter to midnight, when I found my mother dead in her bed. She'd been a smoker for most of her life, had her thyroid partially removed a couple years back and was struggling with low oxygen levels in her blood for quite some time, which was why she had an oxygen machine at her bed, to use during the night. ON top of all this she recently caught an infection in the middle of last week and I guess it all came to a tipping point Sunday morning, when I found her at 6 AM Sunday, sitting on the couch in the living room, barely lucid and struggling with her sense of balance, since she was wobbling back and forth a bit. I tried talking to her to find out if she was ok and what happened. What I managed to understand was her having fallen out of bed and apparently having decided to sit in the living room for a bit.

I sat down beside her, putting a hand on her shoulder in an attempt to give her something to focus on, so she knows there is something there for her mind to latch onto. I kept sitting next to her for a little longer, before I then kneeled in front of her and took her hands and tried to urge her to stand up so I could help her back into bed,  thinking things would take a turn for the better if she manages to sleep a bit more. She nearly fell over as I was helping her walk into her room and after some more time of her sitting on the edge of her bed I got her to lie down and went back to my room.

I kept checking on her periodically, every half hour/hour to see how she was doing and that barely lucid state never quite lifted, as well as her breath being rough. At around noon or so, I heard a loud noice, but stayed in my room thinking the cats had toppled something, but when I next checked on my mother I noticed a glass vase (filled with umbrellas and other things) had fallen over and shattered. I cleaned it up and asked her what happened. I didN't get much out of her besides her telling me it fell over sometimes last night, while it was the middle of the day. At 2 PM I asked her if she wanted to eat something and she managed to ask for tea, which I made her. Turkish apple&fig with some sugar on top. She never drank any of it.

The last time I checked on her before I found her dead was 6 PM, when i noticed that her breathing sounded a lot easier. I assume at that point she had rolled onto her side. After this I felt relief and time became a bit of a blur as I returned to my room and read something. When I next realised I should check on her it was 23:44 ... and I heard nothing but silence when I stood in her bedroom door. I ran to the bed, called her name, shouted it, screamed it in panic. I then ran back to my room and frantically googled for the emergency hotline number of my country, since in my frazzled state one for a different one was all that popped into my head. I called the emergency hotline, managed to communicate to them to please send over an ambulance and the operator on the other end then asked me to put the phone on speaker, after which he instructed me what to do. Pull her off the bed onto the ground, push up her shirt and compress her breastbone, about 5 cm deep and nothing else. While he did that he set up something on his end which emitted a rhythmic beeping sound, which I was to use as a metronome to time my compressions to. During this process I also briefly was asked to check her mouth for obstructions, but there was nothing to do there, except pulling out her lower tooth prosthesis.

It was about 5 or 6 minutes later when they arrived, I let them in, they checked what little they could, but to no avail. Flatline.

They told me that police was on their way, as procedure. They arrived some 10 minutes later and asked me questions about what happened, took notes of it and told me how the rest of the procedure looks like. How after them two people in charge of counseling/pastoral care were to come so I have people to talk to, followed by a pair of policemen from the criminal investigation department and finally two employers from the nearest coronary. Suffice to say, it got a bit hectic, especially considering the two cats we have and the airlock system that is necessary with the two doors that lead into our flat. After the people from the ambulance took over in the bedroom I was led to the kitchen by the two counselors and we sat down, talking about various things.

Meanwhile the police took pictures of the place and, I assume, the criminal investigation department people combed thoroughly through the bedroom.

What I, looking back, appreciated the most was how there were, at any point in time, at least 4 people in my presence and the pair of people who first arrived only took off after the next two arrived and how soft spoken everybody was. That was a great deal of help.

It was about 3 AM when everything was over and the body had been taken away. One of the policemen asked me for contact information, in case they need to contact me for anything else and I was given a business card of the local burial institute, where I was to call later on Monday to make an appointment, since they are there to point us in the direction things need to be going, as well as taking the majority of things in need of doing off our shoulders. I was also briefly asked if family lived in our town, which there is some, but I decided against calling them in the middle of the night. I saw little use in scaring my grandparents out of bed in the middle of the night with such distressing news.

I spent the rest of the night without sleep, but instead writing with friends in Discord, as well as contacting some friends I hadn't talked to in a while. At half past six I started making the first phone calls to start informing various parties. My aunt picked me up and we informed the rest of our family and made an appointment with the institute to figure out what needs to be done.

All in all, the majority if things that need to be done are done and all I can do now is wait for the death certificate needed to start properly with the consequences of a death that occurred way too soon. She was only 55.

Last but not least I would like to end on a more positive note and leave with a little retelling of something I consider to be well worth sharing, which happened to me two hours ago when I woke up. After a night that was thankfully lacking in nightmares. IN  the aforementioned Discord chat channel one user had posted a music video which my barely awoken brain used as a catalyst for a rush of positive emotions, after which I did something I recall doing sometimes, when I'm down.

I looked and touched random objects and furniture in my room, attempting to feel out what it means that it is here in front of me. How many people are involved in it's design, creation, transport and so on. That exercise gave me an enormous feeling of connection, of pride and of love for humanity and all the positive things we accomplished.

So while the pain of my loss is not entirely gone, which it never will be, this exercise took a lot of it's sting away and I will do my best to channel this experience of mine into making this whole process as easy as I can for all the people involved.


Thank you for reading.


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Nicole-my grief journey


Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for your profound loss. What you’ve gone through and are going through is so much. Especially with her being so young and the shock that comes with unexpected loss. want you to know that I am thinking of you and sending love, strength and prayers your way. I’m grateful that I got to be with my mom before and also when she passed. I hope it will in the future, bring you comfort too that you were with your mom and able to make the call to get the repsonders there to help and all that you did before they arrived. I know how it feels to make that phone call and the things that go on while waiting for them to arrive. It takes a strong individual to do that and you were able to. You are an amazing daughter. You were with her, checked on her and did everything that you could for her. She may not have been able to verbally express it that day, but moms and children have a connection that transcends words and so I know that she felt your love, light and care. In keepimg with honoring my mom and the beauty and love she brought to all of us, I chose her favorite hymns for her service, favorite flowers and pictures. As heartbroken as I was and am, I feel blessed that I was able to that for her and others that loved her dearly.

I think it is beautiful that you are able to tap in to the connection, pride and love for humanity that you and others have. It is amazing how many people are involved in the process of end of life and thank goodness for those that have the nature to do it in a kind, caring way. I know how I felt and still feel regarding first responders, police, investigators and others after I found my brother passed away and what it all felt/ feels like. It sits deep in my soul. All of my senses were on high alert and my fight or flight kicked in quickly. With my mom, she was in the hospital and I stayed with her bedside. I’m glad that the responders were soft spoken and in tune with what you were experiencing. I pray that those around you will help with what needs to be done in the immediate and also continue to give you much love, comfort and support. We are here too to listen. 



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Thank you for your kind words.

I'm afraid the latter part of my post was borne more of an emotional high I had after I woke up in the middle of the night. When I returned to sleep my second awakening was unfortunately accompanied more with an emotional crash. I had troubles even entering the living room and the silence was as excruciating as it is paralyzing.

Thankfully the appointments I have force me out of the house. I will be meeting up with my mother's boss to deal with the part of organizing a flower wreath for her urn. A picture was sent to the coroner already, which will be displayed during the burial. They got some of my mother's clothes to dress her up in for the open coffin segment, which will be this Friday. As I learned today none of my family want to go there, which a possible exception of my aunt, if the timing allows for it. As far as friends are concerned one of her longest running childhood friends will try her best to join me on Friday. The others I haven't reach yet to tell them about the dates and times I learned about this morning.

I just called our property manager to tell him of the bad news and can be looking forward to get support from that side in all things related to keeping this flat running and switching over names and whatever else there might be.

Hmm ... lastly I will also be having a brief meeting before the open coffin bit on Friday with my contact person from the burial institute to go through a list of contacts for grief counseling ... and I think I'll also go out tomorrow evening to join the local buddhist temple's meditation evening.

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