Death is birth in reverse: A daughter’s diary

by Beth Graham

I’ve been wanting the tell my mother’s story for some time. She was full of life, my best friend, but that was all cut short by a reaction to a medication that caused a brain aneurysm that has left her severely incapacitated. I was going to write a book, but thought it might be more beneficial to share it here, in real time, where I can offer resources and live links for others who may be on a similar journey. Enjoy reading and please feel free to share your comments and experiences.

  • Chapter 1: The headache
    I was standing in the baby aisle of Target shopping for sippy cups, picture books, and baby wipes. It suddenly occurred to me that I had not been in this aisle for 20 years but here I was again. Only it wasn’t for my kids or my grandkids, I was there shopping for my mother. I was buying bibs and burp pads for my own mother. My eyes welled up with tears. I wanted to…
  • Chapter 2: Sundowning and temper tantrums
    I volunteered to spend the first night in the ICU with her. Volunteered is really not the right word. I could not, would not, leave her side at this point. I’m a news junkie. I love watching the news in case I can witness a sensational breaking news story. I also stop at car accident scenes in case I can witness some heroic life-saving endeavor. I guess the same was true there in my mom’s…
  • Chapter 3: (Re)Learning milestones
    After my father died, my brothers and I began to look out for Mom. We were overprotective. I can remember once she moved to Florida, she was living alone, and if I called her at 10pm and didn’t get an answer, I would panic. (This was before cell phones.) It was ironic given that she spent so many nights up waiting for me as a rather wild teenager.  We moved her out of the hospital…
  • Chapter 4: Making sh*tty decisions
    As we prepared to bring her home from the hospital, planning to ride out those six months to get our mom back, we reconfigured her home for our new normal. We converted the kitchen pantry to a bathroom that could accommodate her walker and unpredictable gait. We installed raised toilet seats with handrails and grab bars in her shower. We lowered her bed to the floor because she still tried to get up every night.…
  • Coming Soon: Chapter 5: Love letters

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