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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Waiting on the Edge of Death

Uploaded: Jan 29, 2015
All week I've been trying to write for you, readers. Instead I find myself pacing around, waiting, knowing these are the last few days of Mom's life. I went to see her yesterday, and she did not know who I was, even though she knew on Saturday. I sat on the bed next to her and read Mary Oliver poems to her, as she had asked for when she was still in her right mind.

I am seeing clients (and that's good focused time on them and their issues), researching the brain and couples topics, writing in my journal, reading, talking to friends and family, hospice, the caregiver agency, working out in the pool, paying bills, being with my dog and cat . . . and waiting.

My husband and I are spending quality time together, talking about Mom, and also about other topics, such as the books we're reading, children, taking walks, getting in the hot tub.

We are keenly aware that sometime we will be in this waiting while one or the other of us is on our death bed. We want to make the most of each moment. It is bittersweet.

My brothers-in-law are here. We eat, we talk, we support each other. Their wives are coming soon. Mom's partner is steadfast and sad.

Mom's father came to guide her a few nights ago: she woke up and called, "Papa, hi!" and later waved her arms in a Japanese dance style. I am comforted knowing her Papa who adored her is there with her.
What is it worth to you?


 +   8 people like this
Posted by SEA_SEELAM REDDY, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jan 29, 2015 at 1:38 pm

SEA_SEELAM REDDY is a registered user.

My Prayers and hope you are able to get through these times that every one of us have to some day.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jan 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Thank you.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by RW, a resident of another community,
on Jan 30, 2015 at 9:40 am

"Mom's father came to guide her a few nights ago: she woke up and called, "Papa, hi!" "

Isn't this incredible? A very close family friend shared his dream when his wife, Kate, was dying of ALS. He dreamt that my mom (who had passed away 15 years prior) and a couple other deceased friends came to town on a train and said "We're ready Kate!" In the dream, he said "We need a few more days." Kate passed away a couple days later. I don't know what happens when we die, but the story of that dream has been such an incredible comfort to me.

 +   5 people like this
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jan 30, 2015 at 10:04 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

I've heard these stories from so many people, for so many years as a grief counselor, that I have to say, it seems universal. What a comfort to the one dying, and the rest of us, too. Thanks for sharing this, RW.

 +   4 people like this
Posted by Theresa, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 30, 2015 at 11:21 am

My memories of my father-in-law's last few weeks are still very vivid, but it was less than a year ago that he passed away. The last couple of weeks, though, he talked a lot about "going home" and said once in my hearing that his father, who had passed away in the early '70s, was "waiting for me."

My heart goes out to you, Chandrama, and I hope you make it through this experience gracefully.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Sarah, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jan 30, 2015 at 4:38 pm

I understand what you are going through, completely, as I was just there one month ago. Now that the waiting is over for me, I am still trying to 'understand' all that my father had been through in his last months, although I know there's no explanation, no understanding. Acceptance is not coming easily, but it helps to hope that we return to those who've gone before us.

I hope that your mother indeed will be with her Papa!

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Feb 1, 2015 at 7:24 am

Thinking of you and your mother Chandrama

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 1, 2015 at 10:05 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Thank you, Theresa and Laura. Sarah, Kara, in Palo Alto has wonderful grief services, as do most hospice agencies. There are wonderful grief counselors, as well.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Gale, a resident of Adobe-Meadows,
on Feb 2, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Confused. Bio says parents are both deceased. Blog sounds like her mom is still alive but with the memory problem.xd

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Jay Park, a resident of Mountain View,
on Feb 2, 2015 at 9:51 pm


Yes, this blog is definitely confusing if this is your first time reading it or if you are an infrequent reader.

Chandrama's parents are both dead. The "Mom" she refers to here is her mother-in-law.

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