Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Heaven’s Newest Resident


I suppose some of you were starting to wonder why my posts had been so minimal this week, and if I had decided to discontinue my participation in the A-to-Z Challenge.  Earlier this week, I thought I’d not blog again for a good long time, but here I am tonight now wanting to catch back up and continue forward.

Last Friday, after spending a great couple of days with me and my brother, and enjoying a nice lunch out with us at her favorite Chicago deep-dish pizza place, my mom’s life forever changed.
She was rushed to the hospital by ambulance just after midnight unable to breathe.  My brother had been staying with her and was still pretty shook up when I arrived to the hospital a short time later.  Within a matter of minutes, just before 2:00 a.m., the Emergency Room doctor and chaplain were asking us to make a gut-wrenching decision.  The paramedics had inserted a breathing tube and had been giving my mom CPR on the way to the hospital.  She was now on a respirator while the E/R team waited to learn (from me) if she had signed a DNR (“Do Not Resuscitate” document) for which she had.

I was grateful to not have to make that dreadful decision alone.  After discussing our options for a few minutes, my brother and I gave the E/R doctor the “o.k.” to take her off of life support and let nature take its course.  We stayed with her all night in the E/R, all but certain that she would stop breathing again at any moment.

Inexplicably, even though she never regained consciousness, her body continued to fight for four more days before finally letting go.  The hospital staff were superb, providing us with a private room with 2 reclining chairs, pillows, and blankets so that my brother and I could continue to stay by her side around the clock.

At times, it was very difficult to watch, and we wondered why God was waiting so bloody long to take her.  But at other times, we knew this was Mom’s way of making sure everyone in the family had time to say their goodbyes, and for the deep philosophical conversations to occur with each another.

On Tuesday, April 9th, at half past 6 pm, she gently crossed over to the other side while my brother and I held her hands, and my stepsister (the minister of the family) delivered a most beautiful prayer.  She was now at peace.

My mother, Sue Thorsen, lived life fully and on her own terms. She was kind and loyal to her friends, and generous to her family and those in need.  She taught my brother and I to be forever curious and fiercely independent.  To treat others as we would wish to be treated, and to leave the natural world around us a better and prettier place than we had found it.

Thank you for showing us the way, Mom.  We will miss you tremendously.

Sue_Feb 2012


  1. I am so sorry for your loss... sending prayers for you and yours!

  2. So sorry for your loss. While we know that one day we will not have our parents with us, I found myself totally unprepared for the reality. You provided a wonderful tribute to your mother and all that she gave to you and your brother. Sending healing strength to you and your family take care of each other. Be gentle with youself.

  3. What a beautiful lady - both inside and out. You and your brother are so lucky to have her in your lives.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss, and know all to well the rollercoaster of emotions this very week myself. I'm so glad you and your family got to be by her side. Sending you all the spare strength I can at this time. I suspect she and my father up there looking down on both of us with pride at their kids living their fiercely independent lives, as they did. - Cherie

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy.

  6. Heartbreaking. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  7. Lynne: So sorry to learn of your mom's passing. I had suspected this must be the case when your blogs took a break. It's just flat out not easy, no matter how expected, no matter the age, just no way to get around the fact that it's not easy to lose your parent. For the first time in your life you're without our mother, and it doesn't matter how old you are, it's just hard. But your post was so beautiful, as I read it out loud to Trisha I could hardly get through it, the tears just kept flowing. I'm so glad you and your brother were able to be with her at this most sacred of times. That's something you will treasure forever. And it definitely sounds like both you and your brother were very present in the moment with her. Trisha and I will be keeping you and all your family in our thoughts and prayers as you go through this time of grieving and adjusting to this new way of being on this earth. May you be surrounded by peace, love and light. Blessings upon you.

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss. And so glad I didn't make any snarky comments about you not following through with the A-Z challenge. Life goes on but blogs, and blog readers, will wait. Take all the time you need to care for yourself during this rough stage of life.

  9. Oh Lynne my heart goes out to you. Not what I was expecting to read and saddened for your loss of your mother. Looking at her smile you shared a special tribute of your love and hers. May her spirit always continue to live in your heart...our momma's brought us so much and may they continue to be our strength. Hugs to you!

  10. Lynne...I'm sorry for the difficult time you and your family are going through right now but better times of remembering her and your lives together are ahead. It's wonderful that you were able to spend her final time together as a family to help each other through this. Hugs.

  11. So sorry for your loss. What a gift to be able to be with her and your brother. It us never easy. Nice tribute to her.

  12. Lynne, I'm sorry about your loss.

    Warm wishes

  13. Lynne, I am so sorry for your loss.

  14. It's never easy to lose one's mother. At least you were with her when she made that final journey. My thoughts are with you...

  15. Lynne, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's sudden passing. What a gift for all of you that your brother is there. Blessings to you.


  16. Lynne, I'm just catching up on your blog after a week off, and I'm so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. My sisters and I removed life support from first our dad and later our mom when there was no hope of recovery. Each passed quietly, and we were able to say our goodbyes as they gently left for heaven. Going through mom's house was a step into the past that brought tears and joy at the same time. Give yourself time to grieve, and enjoy the beautiful memories you have.

  17. Lynne, I cried when I read your blog...tears of compassion. It is hard to lose a parent: your nurturer, your support, your ears, part of your heart. Thankfully you were there and able to fulfill her wishes. Moments and memories with her and family members who visited will be cherished.

    Stay strong through your grieving. Our thoughts are with you and your family.


  18. What a beautiful tribute to your Mother, Lynne... I remember that document well... heartbreaking

    sending best wishes to you and your family ...

  19. So sorry for your loss Lynne, hugs and prayers to you and your family.


  20. Lynne,
    My sincere sympathy on the loss of your dear Mother.... May she rest in peace..... You and your brother will always be grateful that you were able to be with her at such a special and blessed time ..... Hoping you will be able to take some much deserved rest and relaxation very soon.... All my best, Sally Browning

  21. Lynne-

    My sympathies on the loss of your Mom. I started reading your t@b and View blogs last week, and the stories of all your travels with her warmed my heart.



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