Losing their Mama & A New Year’s Resolution

Dear Ms. Feverfew,

CB is a close family friend who is a single mama and has five children, the youngest being a 12-year old daughter. She hasn’t been feeling well for quite a few months but has put off going to the doctor, as many mothers do. We tend to think of others first and neglect taking care of our own needs; we just carry on, push through, suck it up.

On Thursday, she finally went to the doctor who immediately admitted her to the hospital because of pneumonia. On Friday, they lifeflighted her to the University of Utah medical center because her lungs were shutting down and she needed to be placed on a ventilator. On Saturday, her body had become completely septic and her internal organs started shutting down. Yesterday, her 19 year old daughter was confronted with the difficult decision to take her mother off of life support or to let her remain in the state she is in, completely septic with kidney failure, lungs that won’t function, and a liver that has quit working but being kept alive by machines.

As of this moment, her daughter A. still has not been able to figure out what to do. Her mother is only 45. She has younger siblings that she will end up being responsible for. Her father is in a rest home because of a severe stroke several years ago. Her extended family was a train wreck even before this happened so I cannot imagine much support is coming from them.What is going to happen to these girls without their mama???

Oh, the burden A. is carrying…so heavy. So very very heavy. I cannot wrap my mind around it. I cried for her last night, I am crying now. I cry for her little sister M. who is facing an uncertain and frightening future without her mama.  I cannot imagine what either of them are facing right now, this very day, this very minute in their lives. I ache for them; the mother in me wants to wrap my arms around them and shelter them from all of this sadness in their lives.

I am expecting a phone call at any time from my mom, telling me that C. has finally been released from this life and moved on to the next phase of her journey. I pray that C’s extended family steps up and helps keep this family together as much as possible. As I think through this situation, I keep asking myself, “What can I do from 2200 miles away to make sure these girls stay together?” I need ideas, I need practical, tangible things that I can do.  I need ideas now.

With a heavy heart this cold January morning –


P.S. A New Year’s resolution: To take better care of myself and stop ignoring those small but worrisome symptoms.  They might not amount to anything, but then again…they might. The thought of leaving my children without a mother because I wouldn’t go to the doctor for months on end….excruciatingly painful.

6 thoughts on “Losing their Mama & A New Year’s Resolution

  1. My thoughts and prayers are with C and her family. What a terrible loss, and what immense responsiblity for a 19-year-old. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. So sad.

  2. Oh how awful!

    We had a similar experience with a family friend. She had a stomach ache for the better part of the year but kept putting it off because her and her husband are self employed and don’t have health insurance. She finally went. She was diagnosed with colon cancer. It was everywhere. There was nothing they could do so they sent her home and told her she might have a week left to live. She passed away 5 days later on Christmas eve leaving behind her husband and two small children.

    Poor A to have to make this decision. If there is anything at all I can do, please let me know. They will be in my prayers.

    What a harsh reminder that we need to take care of ourselves.


  3. Sending positive thoughts. It’s horrible how this lack of health care can keep people from getting preventative care. It’s especially horrible how most women (myself included) tend to take care of others while neglecting ourselves.

    That’s a great new years resolution!

    • Well, she didn’t exactly “lack” health care. She was on Medicaid and could have gone to any number of doctors at any point along the way so all of it would have been covered (in fact, her family practitioner was the same doctor I used). What has been particularly troubling is that she chose not to go for a variety of reasons: work wouldn’t give her time off, school schedules, and most importantly her belief that she didn’t deserve to be taken care of. That is what is most heart wrenching….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s