My mother died today. Her struggle was long, and it was brutal. The polar opposite of my husband’s death, almost 13 years ago. I had the honor and privilege of assisting in her care during her last days. Timing is everything, and she made the planets align to make it happen. 

My parents have been married for nearly 61 years. Together as a couple since high school, and as friends since fourth grade. Their love story was one such as novels and movies are written. I have a distinct memory of being a teenager and realizing that my parents actually held hands when walking down a street together, and that this was not something all parents did. I routinely described the success of their marriage as that my mom thought my dad was in charge, but my dad KNEW my mom was in charge. I am certain that I will never know a better suited couple in my life. 

Witnessing my father’s pain this past week has been excruciating. He has literally been walking through hell for well over a year, and all he could do a week ago was beg her not to die. She complied. He wasn’t ready. It has been a week of little sleep, countless tears, comfort foods, and prayers. I thought his pleas of begging her to stay were too much to bear. Until the pleas for Jesus to please come and take her started. The only thing Dad wanted more than his wife by his side, was his beloved wife to finally be free of her suffering. Seeing the pain in his eyes this week was like looking into a mirror from September of 2009. Knowing there is absolutely nothing I can do to truly help the pain is an indescribable pain in and of itself. 

There is a selfishness I must admit, adding to the grief over the loss of my mom. Along with my father, I have 2 amazing sisters, 3 adoring kids, and countless family and friends supporting me. But I am lacking my person. As I mourn her loss, and grieve thinking of Dad crying alone in his bed tonight, I am doing so while crying alone in my bed tonight. Crying not only for my loss, but because I know at least part of what my dad is feeling. I so wish I didn’t know.  I wish with my entire being that he didn’t know. 

My army of guardian angels grows. Fly free, Mommy. We will see each other again. 


Lisa Boone Bogacki is a solo mom of three, a physical therapist, canine and equine massage therapist, widow, daughter, sister, and friend. She was blessed with 17 years spent with her very own Prince Charming, only to have her healthy, active husband die in his sleep 3 days after their 16th wedding anniversary. That was eleven years ago, and she shares it still seems very surreal. There is no “What to Expect When Your 42-Year-Old Husband Dies in His Sleep” manual, but hopefully through the magic of the internet, she hopes we can all support and help each other.