Dying at home alone.

This Friday, my mom passed. It was just a few hours before the strike of midnight, on December 23.

My dad called at night, telling me that he had come home and that my mom had passed.

I rushed home. Everything felt fake. I thought I would be okay.

It wasn’t.

We sat there, holding on to her cold body. Her hands were clenched, her feet were shriveling.

Parts of her body looked blue or purple.

Her lips, colorless and dry.

She looked as if she were sleeping though.

We held her in our arms. My dad shed tears of frustration, something I never saw before.

He hated her for leaving us like that. He shouted at her to come back, that it was unfair for her to leave us here.

I called her name, thinking, or hoping, maybe that she would open her eyes, or let out a breath. Nothing.

We called a doctor. He told us that she had died around 5:30 pm. She was alone.

I felt terrible. It was some guilt I suppose.

My dad looked insane and empty. We couldn’t believe it. Even after holding on to her and calling her name for hours.

Her whole world revolved around me. Even to her final days.

I didn’t know what to do, what to say.

We called the hospital and asked if there was a place for her funeral to be held.

Only the biggest room, they said.


We took her to the hospital, cloth over her head.

The weather was insanely cold, and the night air was piercing.

After death, they put her in a morgue. They sprayed her with something to keep away infections.

They asked us to keep the key to her door.

Then they took us into the other room to discuss the funeral.

Even when dying, the prices of the funeral home spooked me.

We didn’t have anyone to help with the process. I called around and looked for professional help.

I sent everyone I knew messages about the funeral.

Everything said and done, we arrived back home at 4, and prepared to go back to the hospital to start the funeral around 9:30.

I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stop crying. Morning came, and waking up seemed like dream.

The feeling of waking up to something dreadful, felt as if I were waking up from a coma, or surgery.

I wasn’t in pain, nor was I in a state of anger.

It was just numbness. Numb, but still awake enough to feel that something was terribly wrong.

The feeling of something bad but also inevitable.

That’s how the funeral started. Empty.

Me and my dad, the funeral home, just empty.

I was scared that my mom would leave, like that. Alone. Just as she had died. It killed me to see her picture on the wall, surrounded in ornate flowers with a incense stick burning in front of her.

What do I do when my mom is dying

Death is a reality that lurks over you everyday when a family member is sick.

For me, this Thursday was one of the darkest days of my life.

My dad called at 9 PM telling me to come home and help him get my mom to the ER.

I wasn’t very shocked, she had gone through much worse at times.

When I arrived, that was when it hit me.

My mom’s eyes were blurry, mouth open. Dad had told me she hadn’t been eating for days.

He had told me that day was when things got really bad.

The caregiver who comes to our house 4 hours a day had told my dad she wanted to quit. She was scared that my mom might die in her arms.

Of course it’s scary. Scarier thing is that she might survive and no one will be there to take care of her.

Anyway, first things first. We literally heaved her up into the car.

Her body was aching, her joints were hard.

She was losing consciousness in the back of the car, laying on my boyfriend’s arms.

When we got there, the doctors at the ER told us that her vitals were weak.

I never thought I would hear that in real life.

They sped her past the waiting lines of patients and into a restricted area, and had given her multiple shots.

Dad says they had trouble finding her pulse.

All I could do, is pray.

Pray to whom, well that is still a question that I can’t answer.

They asked if we wanted life support. This is the end I thought.

The end of pain, but also the end of my relationship with my mom. I was confused, sad, angry at the world. I wanted to give in and let go of all the burden I had in my heart.

I prepared myself for loss. I said my goodbyes quietly.

Then she regained consciousness. Her eyes came back and filled with life.

I was perplexed at how relieved and worried I was.

Did I want my mom to die? Surely not. But did I?

What was this emotion I was going through?

Today, I went to my therapist. I needed it. But I had no words to say.

I felt okay. I felt sad. But it wasn’t the end of the world.

I still don’t understand the emotions that I am going through. It’s hard enough for me to have to face death, but it hurts more just to be alive for all of it.

Reminders of a loved one

Heading back home after a day with my family, stress levels were high.

Literally any song on the radio could bring me to tears that day.

I also noticed that everyday things were all memories of loved ones. People that I would soon lose.

I found that looking at those things would one day bring me tears of joy or tears of sorrow, grieving over what once was there.

Photo by Aljona Ovtu0161innikova on Pexels.com

Mango Juice: My grandma still keeps shit tons of mango juice at her house. She didn’t even know what mango was until I came and lived with her. It was the only juice I would drink as a child, and she still remembers how much I loved it. Seeing juice boxes and 1 liter bottles of mango juice at her house still makes me a little teary.

Baobab Trees and Gypsophila: My moms favorite plants. She was a curious soul. Mom would be fascinated by how the baobab had roots on their tree tops. She loved The Little Prince. She had a wonderful, childlike innocence. Mom also loved Gypsophila. She loved them more than roses. When people gifted her with a bouquet, she would tell me how much she loved the white little bulbs that supported the beauty of the roses.

Small things hold so much meaning when linked to beautiful memories. It reminds me of so much more than just a certain period of time or an event– but more of the person and the people they used to be.

Some things are so hard to let go.

About Age and Death

This Friday, I took a half day to visit my grandparents at the senior home.

Grandpa is much shorter and weaker than I remember. His hair isn’t as clean and short as it used to be, rather sticking out on some sides.

His stern face is gone. He smiles more. I don’t remember many times that he smiled.

My grandma is still a young woman at heart. She feels sad that her hands have become wrinkled and dry.

She looks at my grandpa and her eyes are full of worry.

She has cut her hair short. She has never done that her whole life. All her life, her hair had been in curls, making her head look more volumized than it actually is.

Aging is a natural phenomenon that many people have a hard time accepting.

Every time a hair turns grey or a bone starts to ache, we notice that these are the tolls of old age.

I fear growing old now that I have seen the things it does.

Perhaps even more than death itself.

Hey Everyone, its my 26th Birthday! But why am I sad?

Unlike all the TikTok trends, (knock knock knock, its my birthday! trend)

The hour of my birthday was pretty sad.

I had visited my parents’ house, with a cake and a birthday cone to celebrate with the ones I loved the most.

The result: a crying mom, and a father who had been busy.

Which is not… bad… I guess.

Dad was out with his coworkers celebrating his promotion (that he had not told me about, and found out in the morning) thinking that we would be visiting him this morning.

Easy to mistake. Simple miscommunication right?

Mom was telling me that she wanted to die after this meal (my birthday meal..) because I was old enough to take care of myself.

Somehow, I kept it together during my mom’s breakdown, laughing the tears away. But when my dad apologized for “not being there for my only daughter’s birthday,” it brought me to tears.

Honestly, I don’t know why.

I guess I just wanted to be cared for. And to know that he cared, but couldn’t make it was a big disappointment.

There is something about birthdays that make me want things that I normally don’t expect.

And the more I expect, the more I am disappointed.

I am loved by so many friends and family members. They all congratulate me and send me love, and I know that I have lived a pretty awesome life.

The thing about having a mental disorder is that sometimes my feelings and my head don’t seem to make sense to eachother. I fear things and worry about things that need not be worried about, and get disappointed for things that clearly in my head I know is not personal.

Today is a bit better. I’m taking the day off with my partner at a quiet mountain resort. The air is nice and foggy, just how I like it actually.

I’m allowed wine and beer in the middle of the day, and I pet some cats who came by to get some food. Cute.

Dementia: an Early Goodbye

My mother was an actress her whole life. She was a strong woman who took care of herself and her family. She was caring and compassionate, loved by all those around her. I had a strong emotional bond with her, growing up with her in the States, just the two of us. We shared many memories. Though she relied on me as both a daughter and a husband figure, we still made it through. A few years back, she started suffering from an illness that cannot be named or proven by doctors to this day. We don’t know what exactly is wrong with her, even through multiple check-ups and thousands of dollars spent on useless medication and therapy. What we do know is that the symptoms of her illness resemble Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, though her MRI and CT scans prove otherwise.

Just 3 or 4 years ago, my mom started tripping and falling on stage. Her coworkers and our family thought that these were merely a few mistakes– that she had started to lose her eyesight due to old age. When things started getting worse, she would fall down flights of stairs and even refuse to walk around in the house due to her dizziness. Things escalated quickly, and our whole family was struggling to adapt to the changes that were happening.

Me and my dad had an awkward relationship growing up. My mom’s illness caused us to bond in a way that we had never before, and pushed us to our limits both financially and emotionally. We missed her, the wife and mother who was ever so strong– the person who would share her passion for acting, the woman who had gone so far to live her life to the fullest, the mother who would do anything to give her daughter a chance, all gone.

The saddest part of dementia is that my mom no longer resembles the person I loved most dearly. The memories I have of her get fainter every day. Most people would think that this is too harsh, especially in the cultural background where I come from. But every time I look into my mom’s lifeless eyes, it kills me a little bit inside. She remembers very little about recent happenings, my graduation, my first post-graduate job, my boyfriend of 3 years, the pets we had together… My dad and I have started to acknowledge that we may never have her back. We still love her nonetheless, but this love is a different type of love that requires much more patience, much more empathy, and much more responsibility.

The family has changed so much since my mom’s illness. We have a different bond now, somehow stronger and so fragile at the same time. It has triggered me to become vulnerable in everyday situations, and every time I am reminded of my family– tears come to my eyes. I have never known heart-wrenching pain until now. Now, every weekend I visit my parents’ house, I feel a sickening, heart-wrenching pain that I cannot even describe in words.

I have grown a bit accustomed to this lifestyle now, saying my goodbyes every time I think of her. But even still, our family is in a process of denial– I think. We still hope sometimes that she will one day miraculously recover from all her illnesses. That she will start to walk, have regular conversations, eat dinner with us at the dining table, and hold us in her arms, telling us that we have done so much for her and that she will be okay from now. The toll that dementia has on its patients is hard enough as it is, but the pain the caregivers and family members go through is a pain that those who have only heard of can hardly fathom. I plan on keeping a log of these events, as I know one day that this too will be a precious memory for me.

For all the caregivers out there, let’s stay strong. Have our breakdowns and tantrums, but get back up knowing that some part of what we miss so dearly is still somewhere deep inside. It sucks to have to say goodbye to someone who is still very much alive. But I keep wanting to believe that every moment is a precious one, despite the sadness and frustration.