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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.