Sunday, September 12, 2010

Christine Lynds, 1957-2010: We will miss you, mom

Dear readers of my mom’s blog,

This is Christine’s son Adam writing this. This is extremely difficult for me to write, but I wanted to post one final message to let her readers know that she passed away early Friday morning. She went peacefully in her sleep at 12:25 a.m.

My grandmother took her to the hospital on Wednesday after having difficulty breathing. It turned out to be a blood clot that went to her lung and the doctors were not able to do anything for her. The nurses in palliative care at the Ottawa General – along with my grandmother – did a great job of making her as comfortable as possible to minimize any pain and help her go with dignity. She didn’t want to be kept alive on machines and have her family and friends see her sick. She also didn’t want to be in pain and have the final stage drag on. She had a very good quality of life up until her final two days (I visited her just a few weeks ago and we spent a week at a cottage on a lake in Quebec together).

I was in Lebanon when I got the call that mom was in the hospital and her condition was deteriorating quickly. The doctors said at that point that she didn't have much time left and probably wouldn't make it through the night, so I spoke to her on the phone and said what I thought was my final goodbye. I booked a flight out of Beirut right away in an effort to get back to Ottawa as quickly as I could. I didn’t think that there would be any chance that I would get to see her alive again, but when I landed I found out that she was still holding on. So I rushed to the hospital and got to see her one last time. I was able to give her a hug, sit with her, play her some of her favourite music and say goodbye in person while she was still alert and could respond to me. For that, I will always be thankful. The strongest person I have ever known, my mom amazed me one final time by hanging on until I arrived. About five hours after I got to the hospital, she went into a deep sleep and never woke up again.

My mom was such an incredible person and mother to me – I attribute so much of who I am to her and am so grateful for everything she did for me. I miss her immensely already and there will be a massive void in my life without her around. Someday if/when I have my own children, I hope that I can be even half the parent that she was to me.

She was also a great friend to a lot of people (she had such a wonderful group of friends and I know they will really miss her, too). Although my mom has passed on, she will live on in the many people she had a positive impact on and all of us who were lucky enough to have known her and care about her. 

Below is my mom’s obituary, which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen today. She wrote it herself.

You are welcome to post any thoughts/comments/questions below. Or if you would rather contact me directly, you can e-mail me at chiassonadam@gmail.com.

Adam



Christine (Chris) Mary Lynds of Ottawa died September 10, 2010 at the end of a full and adventurous life. She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the eldest daughter of Janice Rivest (Rowe) and the late Merlyn Lynds. Christine worked in the field of Human Resources for over 20 years, most recently at Carleton University. A lifetime of passion for travel led her to far off places, such as Europe, India, Nepal, Australia, Vietnam, China, Tanzania and South Africa. She was a past member of the Busting Out breast cancer dragon boat team and enjoyed a variety of activities, including hiking, snow shoeing and cycling. Above all, she was most proud of being a mother to Adam Chiasson, currently living in the Netherlands. She is also survived by her mother Janice Rivest (nee Rowe) of Stevensville, sister Nadine Allen of Fort McMurray, brother Darrell Lynds of Cold Lake, Katey the Wonder Dog and a wonderful community of friends. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on September 14 at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa (30 Cleary Avenue). Donations to Breast Cancer Action Ottawa (http://www.bcaott.ca/) in Christine’s name would be appreciated in lieu of flowers.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear this news. Her blog really did provide light to those of us with stage 4 breast cancer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Adam. Your mom would be so proud of this final post written by you. She will always be a part of you and in the deepest sense you cannot "lose" your mom.

Rosalind said...

Thanks so much for writing this Adam. We paddled for her yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Such a dear person, and the portrait of courage, compssion and dignity, Chris is an inspiration. Thank you for the touching story, Adam, of your journey to be with her and your final hours together. As you have noted, many will miss her. But none will forget her.

Cussot said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Adam. It is a great gift. Chris' eyes just danced when she mentioned you in conversation. She was so full of light and love. Rest, rest in peace now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Adam, for this beautiful tribute to your Mom. Your Mom loved you dearly and she will always be a part of you. She had every reason to be so proud of you. You described her so well. She enriched the lives of everyone who was privileged to know her. I will miss her very much.
Bosom Buddy Beverly

Anonymous said...

The really good ones leave us far too early. I suspect they are angels sent to bring us to a higher level of understanding. Chris was certainly all of that and more... mentor, friend, hero (she would poo-poo this one and roll her eyes in response!) I will miss her quick dry wit, stories, laughter, clarity. She gave a piece of herself to everyone she touched and we are richer for having her in our lives, even if it wasn't long enough. I guess all angels have to return home at some point.

Anonymous said...

Dear Adam,
Thank you for sharing this story. Chris was such a wonderful loving person.I miss her, and I will always remember her with affection and admiration.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Elena
Carleton University

Patti said...

I was so sorry to learn of this news. Thank you for your wonderful tribute to your mom, Adam. It is clear that you have inherited many of your mother's fine qualities. I met Chris through the BCA Dragon Boat team. She was an inspiration to me: such an energetic, enthusiastic, and positive person in her approach to everything in her life, no matter what life was throwing at her. It was a privilege to know her and it is clear that she will be deeply missed.
Patti Griffin

Daria said...

My thoughts are with you Adam. I am a fellow mets blogger and your mother often left me some kind comments to help life my spirits.

She was a great lady ... I will miss her.

Katie Ford Hall said...

So sorry for your loss, Adam. It's a beautiful tribute.

donna peach said...

Her light will continue to brighten the lives of all she touched. May you find solace in your wonderful memories.

WhiteStone said...

So sorry to read this. God bless your Mom. God bless you.

Janell said...

A beautiful and loving tribute to your mom.
She will be missed by many.

laurie said...

I am so sorry to read this news. Your mom was an incredible woman. She inspired so many of us through her actions and her writing. She will be greatly missed and remembered with great admiration by so many of us.

laurie said...

I wrote a tribute to Christine on my blog: http://notjustaboutcancer.blogspot.com/2010/09/light-has-gone-out.html

I have chemo tomorrow, so I can't come to the memorial but you will both be in my thoughts.

Dee said...

Adam, I am so sorry to hear about your mom's death. I enjoyed reading her daily activities and how often she tried to lift the spirits of others. I will miss her blog posts, that's for sure. I could tell your mom was very very proud of you, too. Keep up her love of travel!

Anonymous said...

Adam, I knew your mom for many years at Cognos. You were her everything and she was so proud of everything you did, and the young man you are. I have sons as well and I understand how she adores you. I'm very sad to hear your mom died - will always remember her laugh, her kindness and her amazing ability to always find something to be thankful for. I'll miss her.

Sue said...

Thank-you, Adam, for your touching tribute. Although I only met your mom recently at the Philadelphia Advanced Breast Cancer Conference we enjoyed some wonderful conversations and I was struck by her optimism, friendliness, and her love of of adventure and involvement in her community in Ottawa. I could also see how she glowed when speaking of her son! She was and will continue to be an inspiration to others like me who are battling this disease.

Kirsten said...

I am sorry to hear the news. Thank you for taking the time to share this story with all of us.

My thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

I was so sad to hear this news and am so sorry for your loss! My husband and I cycled to Kemptville with her a few years ago and I've been following her blog since. She was a wonderful lady!
http://www.spandcy.com/MS%20bike%20tour%202008/index.html

DoubleDigits said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DoubleDigits said...

I am so sorry about your mom. She was a wonderful person, and I enjoyed her blog. I know she loved Katey very much - please contact me if I can do anything to help with Katey's care going forward.

Anonymous said...

Adam, your mom will always be remembered, in my sons eyes she was the best and i am very pround to have been her friend and neighboure,and Jenise Chri's light will always glow and her love for life will always be pass on.

Marisa and the Boys

Candace and Marjan Vilhan said...

Adam, what a beautiful tribute to your Mom. My Mom and I visited your Mom when we were living a few houses over on Castlegreen Private! I got to know your Mom better through the Christopher Leadership course. I was in awe of her ability to captivate an audience and her incredible organization skills. Most of all for her heart and how fondly she spoke of you. Please know you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Candace and Marjan Vilhan

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss Adam. I worked with Chris in HR at Carleton a couple years ago, and she was such an incredible woman. I always enjoyed talking with her at lunch and hearing her stories about all of the fabulous places she has been. My husband and I will be travelling to Asia next Spring, and Vietnam will be one of our stops - a country I know Chris thought was beautiful, and convinced me to visit. I'll be thinking of her while we're there.

Bernie said...

I am so sorry for your loss Adam, may your mom rest in peace....:-)Hugs

Anonymous said...

My sincere condolences to the whole family. I am very sad to hear of her tragic passing. I remember Chris when she worked in HR at Cognos and will never forget her courage and spirit.
Barbara Cain

Whidbey Woman said...

I have followed Chris's blog for some time now. I am so sorry to hear she died. But it is comforting to know you had some time together as a family, and that she went in peace. Thank you for posting this. I know how difficult it must be for you. Just know that many of us in blogland came to love your mom. We were always wishing her the best. My own husband is battling cancer...
it is a bound, unfortunately, that too many of us share. Peace.

Anonymous said...

i am sorry for your loss Adam as i know what it is like to have lost a mom. she seemed to have meant a great deal to so many. all the best.

CherylK said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mother. I read about your mom on Janell's blog, today. I realize that I missed "meeting" a wonderful person. It's impossible to know the grief that you're bearing, right now, but please know that you are in everyone's thoughts.

Angie said...

While I did not ever meet your mother I was given her blog site through a mutual friend also suffering from this terrible desease. We lost Meridy earlier this year as her battle with cancer came to an end. While your mother may be gone she will live one in you and the other people she touched directly and indirectly... what a lovely women she was.

Estelle said...

I'm so sorry for you, Adam, losing your MOM. I met her at the BCA dragon boat and also at the CIBC walks for breast cancer. I will always keep her in my good positive memories. Thanks for sending this e-mail.

Karen said...

Dear Adam

I am so sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. I always enjoyed her writing, and I am glad that it will live on.

Chris knew my friend, Sue Hendler, in Kingston. They enjoyed each other's company, and had a lot to talk about. I met your Mom at one of Sue's birthday parties. She was full of life, happiness and great energy.

My own mom died in January 2009 of pancreatic cancer in Ottawa, so I appreciate how hard this is for you. Moms are such special people. I try to remember my mom's love and all of the wonderful things she taught me - those memories are all mixed in with the sadness. I think of her when I see joy in nature - something that was so important to your mom too.

Big hug

Karen (in Kingston)

Зеленый Гном said...

So sorry :(

Anonymous said...

I sit here missing you girlfriend! I'm saddened that we never had the chance to say Goodbye - it came too suddenly - so I hold on to the memories of our many HELLO'S!.....C

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liz said...

Hi Adam,
My name is Liz and I have some across Christines blog when I was researching cancer. I am so very sorry that she passed and you lost such a wonderful woman. I have read most of her posts, her optimism and fighting mode were rather amazing.
Since your have gone through something like this, I wanted to reach out to you to see if you were interested in a new online social support network called I Had Cancer. It is a new and free social support network focused on connecting people (fighters, survivors and supporters) based on experiences with cancer so that they can easily communicate with one another and share information. I would love to tell you more if you are interested, so please let me know when you are ready. I would love to send you an early-access pass with extra invites for others you may know going through this journey. It may be helpful for you to connect with others who lost loved ones, but only when you are ready.

Either way, take care and best regards.
-Liz@ihadcancer.com - If anyone would like info on I Had Cancer please email me.

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Paula said...

Hi Adam,
I just came across your Mom's blog while searching for Rene Greider of the Energy Center in Mahone Bay.
I read alot on here and I am so sorry your Mom lost her battle. She's definitely been a light to others going through this battle. I want to let you know of an AWESOME book I am reading that needs to be shared with many in this fight. It's written by Ty Bollinger called Cancer Step Outside the Box. I wish your Mom had a chance to read this book but maybe you can in her memory.