Thursday, April 4, 2013

Living without Mom

My mom, Merlien Ann McNab, passed away on Friday, 22nd February 2013 at the age of 70.
Death caught her by surprise, as she had her weekend planned out. I had a fairly longish chat with her the previous Tuesday. She sounded normal although she was starting to battle a bit with the effects of her 4th dose of chemo therapy.
On Friday morning, my daughter Robynne had phoned my mom and she was too ill to talk to Robynne. I phoned to speak to my dad and he ended up breaking down and handing the phone to mom. Mom was breathing hard as if it was an effort. She confirmed that dad was crying. They had both been up the whole night with mom being physically sick, sheets having to be changed and many trips to the bathroom. I kept the call short, just ending up telling my mom that I loved her very much and to hold on.
The decision was made that Robynne and I would leave work immediately, fetch Bradley early from school and head down to Durban. We figured that if my dad was so upset then we needed to go down to morally support both of them. By the time we had made arrangements and packed for the weekend, it was already 2pm. We got as far as Harrismith, which is almost like the midway mark between Johannesburg and Durban, several hours drive from Johannesburg and several hours drive to Durban, when my sister in Cape Town phoned me on my cellphone.
We had stopped to use the restroom and buy colddrink and I will never forget what she said.."Lynda, I'm sorry but mom passed away about 15 minutes ago". I was shocked and grief and disbelief set in immediately. I blurted out the news to Robynne and Bradley who also started crying. We couldn't believe that this had happened. We clung to each other weeping in agony, oblivious to the rest of the travellers around us.
We were going to see my mom. Bradley hadn't seen his granny in more than a year while Robynne had a brief visit to her gran last year. We were too late.
Death caught us all by surprise.
Rest in peace, my mommy! You deserve your peace. I love you so much and always will.
Crying as I write this,


  1. I was very sorry to read this. I know I've already said it, but your mom would be so proud of you and your family. You brought each other happiness and love and that is what matters. We don't lose people, they are always with us. In our actions, our words, our heart and our strength. It's okay to cry. I'm sure that I speak for others who will read this, when I say 'we are here for you'.

  2. Oh thank you for your loving words. I know my mom was proud of us and loved us dearly. She knew where she was going and served God in many ways over the years. Thank God that he spared her from much suffering. The six months she went through were bad enough for her. I often feel mom is near.

  3. You have my love and prayers for you and the rest of your family for peace and strength. Passing is only for the departing person, going into a better place that what they left. But as long as they are remembered and their name spoken, they will never be gone. Just separated as before.

  4. My condolences. It's hard to lose a parent, and it's sad that she passed away while you were on your way to be there for her and your dad. My prayers are with you..

  5. I am so sorry for your tremendous loss. Your mom looks like such a kind and happy woman. This made me cry too. It is hard to lose our mama. I am sorry you didn't make it to see her that one last time....but thank goodness you had that nice conversation on the phone with her and got to tell her you love her. ((HUG))

  6. John - I truly believe my mom was spared an extended suffering. Her passing was too soon for us but exactly on time for her. My mom will never be forgotten by me or my children.

    Damaria - Losing my mom is the hardest time I have ever been through on a level with anything happening to any of my children. Only my belief that she is now with God whom she served without complain has relieved the sadness and separation from my mom.

    Annette - Thank you Annette. It is a tremendous loss. My mom was caring and kind and did a lot for her children and grandchildren. Im so glad I got to speak to her. I also phoned her to tell her that we were coming down. She was aware that we were on our way to her. My daughter wanted to keep our visit a surprise but afterwards was glad I let mom know we were on our way to her.

  7. Feel freedom, not yours but your mom's. Be well.

  8. So sorry to hear about this. Lots of love

  9. Walking Man - I am relieved that mom is past her suffering, both physical and mental. She often worried on behalf of her children and grandchildren as well as her own issues. She is past all that now.

    Cat - Thank you so much. Now is the process of letting go and learning how to live without this lady who was such a big influence in our lives.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. Cancer is an awful disease and takes people so quickly.

  11. Lynette - Thank you, my friend. Cancer is an awful disease and it seems so common these days. In my mom's case, although I miss her immensely, I'm glad she didn't have to suffer for too long.