I Dont Want To Retire!

Probably the real essence of not retiring is not to stop thinking about beautiful ideas and experiences and sharing them.
I aspire to inspire with a message from God to mankind and lessons learned from parenting, travels, home improvements, blogging, Feng Shui, Traditional Chinese Medicine, health and wellness, and many more.

3.26.2012

Embracing Life

I first thought of the title "Embracing Death" for this post. This is supposed to describe my mother-in-law before she died yesterday morning maybe at past 1 A.M. But what I've seen in her was what life should be all about, not what death is.

My mom-in-law whom I call "Mang" or "Mama" started to show signs of dementia months ago. At first it was difficult for us who see her everyday, but we've learned to adjust to her condition. Obviously she has suffered from her dementia which caused her confusion most of the time. She would always complain she has not eaten yet though she really has. Whenever she was corrected she would be hurt, would say in the vernacular she's not dumb.

What was scary was her claims that her mother who died several years ago, was inside her house and seemed to be always there. She would also dream of dead relatives, including her husband, my father-in-law. I've heard of similar stories experienced by dying people but Mama was strong inspite of her dementia, so her claims were weird.

Until just a week ago, I've seen a big change in her. She opened our swinging kitchen door while almost laughingly saying she doesn't know where she lives anymore. When I asked if she has already eaten, she said she doesn't know if she has eaten or not, and she was happy while saying that. She has finally accepted her condition without fear or confusion.

In the past, she would usually wonder why I shouldn't add rice to my special child's food or give her sweets, and I would always explain this special child needs to burn fats not sugar. But last Sunday, when I fed my child with cake but avoiding the sweet topping, she would still remind me not to feed her with too much sweets, and I was surprised.

What I've seen in my mom-in-law's last moments was a person embracing life because she has accepted reality. She didn't care if she looked dumb because she was not. It was just her body going through dementia, not her soul. It was myocardial infarction that took her life, manifesting as pain in her stomach. During her last breaths, no sign of fear could be felt in her because she would answer casually when my husband would check her condition by calling her name, while we were busy attending to her and performing whatever we know that might help. When I felt she seems to be better, I casually said "Mama" and she looked at me with her eyes half closed.

When she was transferred to a chair to prepare her to go to the hospital, I was holding her head. I thought she was alright because I heard her breathe and she even expelled air. I did not know that could be her last breath.

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