April 23rd, 2018
The first days and weeks after her death my feelings were just numb or put in the background as I stayed busy with my parents financial affairs and navigating my dad's subsequent 24/7 care at home .It wasn't until February when dad's placement occurred that I was actually able to take a breath and start to reflect on the last few months, the weeks leading up to her death. At this point, I really had not been able to really process the depth of her permanently out of my life. First it was just despair without any further thought of her not in my life. Just utter despair that she was dead. Flashes of me trying to put her favorite lipstick on her plastic lips from the viewing. I hated that she did not look herself. Trying to lower the teased up hair at the funeral home...I forgot to put her earrings on. I forgot the pearl necklace. The dress was crooked.. mind just racing those first few weeks.
I now think about how much we really took her love for granted.. She always put us first. The first month after she was diagnosed, I slept in her bed with her, trying to stay as close to her as I could. Now her bedroom is as close as I can physically get to her. The scent of her is gone, but I still see remnants of her as I clean: strands of her hair all tangled up in her bathtub faucet, radiation stickers stuck on a dresser, hormone patches on stuck on the tub.. .
After work, I went to Dillard's to bra shop... So many memories of going to Dillard's with mom. It was another breakdown, poor sales lady. This new reality without mom IN it finally hit .
April 14th, 2018
In my mama's bed on this lazy, wet morning. Looking outside her bedroom window as the rain comes down and birds are chirping. Laying flat on my belly with my head turned toward the treetops covered in fog and my hands tucked under me. I can't be in this position without thinking of mom. We had a lot of similarities, two of them were our love of baths and how we slept. This was one of her favorite positions. In one of her last moments of clarity before she went unconscious, with a determination in her voice, she asked me to get her on her stomach. She had been on her back for weeks. With help from my sisters we managed to turn her on her belly. It was difficult because at this stage she was nearing death and unable to move her body or her head by herself. I somehow knew this was her last surge of energy. She was choosing herself (thankfully), and wanting to be in that position that brought her comfort. We were only able to keep her in that position for a short time for safety reasons but it was just enough to satisfy her.
Legal information is not legal advice. I am not a lawyer. There are still many obstacles facing Arkansas families wishing to care for their own dead. I have done my best to provide the most accurate answers to the most common questions. I will update /modify answers as needed. If you encounter information that you believe to be incorrect, please notify me so I may research the issue. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!