Posted in Family, Health, Life

A Passing

My mother passed away last night. She was 89 years old and in poor health for many years. She was in a skilled nursing facility and had recently contracted pneumonia. I am told that she died peacefully, in her sleep.

I’m saddened but also relieved. In some ways I lost my mother some time ago, as her mental and physical health declined. She was no longer the same person. My own expression of grief occurred a few months ago, following a message from my sister. At that point my mother had again fallen and was in the Emergency Room. My sister was of the opinion that she would not be coming home. I remember sitting at my desk in front of my computer and writing this in my personal journal. I cried for her then and said goodbye. I let her go in my heart, wrenching as that was. I remembered that time when speaking with my brother this morning about what had happened. I relived it in my mind’s eye.

Will I cry again? Probably. But the wrenching, goodbye grief may have already passed. I’m waiting to hear back from my sister with updated funeral arrangements. After that my husband and I will prepare for our trip back to pay our final respects and lay my mother to rest.

I was very close to my mother and knew that she had limited time. I made a decision over a year ago to spend as much time and share as much joy as she needed. I cared for her in Buffalo for seven weeks, then regularly went back and forth to visit her for shorter periods of time. I spent one Thanksgiving in Buffalo General Hospital when she was there. I also saw her at home and had the time to take her out and about. She and I savored walks and gardens together (she was in a wheelchair). We laughed. We had meals together. We opened presents on Christmas, Father’s Day and her birthday. I feel content with that. I did what I felt I needed to do.

So, farewell Helen Rydzynski. If you have an afterlife, may it be filled with the joy you gave us. I’m sad to see you go, but relieved that your suffering and illnesses are finally at an end.

Helen Z. Rydzynski July 28, 1924 - November 2, 2013
Helen Z. Rydzynski
July 28, 1924 – November 2, 2013


Writer, Walker, Entrepreneur, baby-boomer

10 thoughts on “A Passing


    Not the first time for me… not the last. My experience and conviction is firm that my departed family members watch over and guide us still. I don’t seem to be gifted in the same way Cimmy is about it, but I have my own experiences.

    My parents are struggling with getting my maternal grandparents into assisted living, especially as their health (my parents’ health) isn’t the greatest, either. It is somewhat reminscient with how things went for my paternal grandparents’ passing. It was hard, but those grandparents… they visit us all the time, I know it.

    Then a close friend (my age) is fighting for his life with T-cell lymphoma. My folks fear he might die, and they’ve helped out the family. I hope he pulls through, but his understanding of life and death is enough like mine, that I’m sure he will stop by to talk if he doesn’t.

  2. So sorry for your loss, Margy. She looks like she had a lot of spunk and spark. So glad she was such a positive, powerful, happy influence for you.

  3. I’m so very sorry Margy. The loss of a parent is a strange feeling – part of the buffer we had is gone. I miss my father dreadfully but I am the way I am mostly due to him; in that way he is truly still with me.

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