MY MOTHER'S WAY OF DYING WELL - Revisited
by Dianne Porter
I wrote this book to record the family life and times created by my parents Geoffrey and Helen Byrne. It was a life of love, adventure, hope and exploration of what can be done when we confront life's challenges. Key events in Australia's history add colourful threads of detail to this memoir.
My parents have no headstone or plaque to honour them because they wanted their ashes scattered to the 4 winds. The chapter called 'Scattering My Parents Ashes' shares how they were scattered all over Australia with some posted overseas to Canada. My goal of creating this book is to honour their life and memory.
I am a life long journal keeper.
I recorded in detail the challenges I had to overcome when I confronted the reality of death for my parents. I loved them and still do.
My father died suddenly from a heart attack. My mother died more slowly of advanced bowel cancer. During their end of life season and we had a lot of time to talk. While we shared some tears, we also shared many more wonderful memories and laughs.
I was keen to flesh out the stories of our family life as our perspectives of the same events were often different. I had time playing cylinder records on Dad's Edison Phonograph and hearing his family stories. I also had time with Mum, hearing her school day stories and wisdom. We worked on craft projects together and loved to talk.
This book records some of those wonderful memories, and also moments of grief and loss created by the death of my parents Helen and Geoffrey Byrne. It is a celebration of life.
DURING OUR SEASON OF BEREAVEMENT
-planning for death
-managing my tears so I could talk by using the phone
-role confusion. I am a trained nurse and a daughter?
-power of attorney & wills
- who turns the respirator off?
-family dynamics and conflicts
-when reality and plans conflict
-death of others in the family
-given a terminal diagnosis
-funding the care protocols
-personal reactions to issues never previously confronted
-end of life pain management
-the issue of forgiveness
-where is the body
-no death certificate can be issued so how do we cremate the body?
-creating our own funeral
-writing laments and songs
-what do we do with the ashes?
-finding a new life and peace through faith and prayer when the work was completed.