This is hard to write.
Mother Rona sent a message to supporters from Jessica’s GoFundMe page last night. Jessica’s doctors have told her there is no cure for her gastroparesis, and there is nothing more they can do. They have not officially given up. It sounds like they’re still running whatever tests they can think of, searching for something they can treat. The understanding now, however, is that the next steps for Jessica and family are to prepare for a natural end.
This means explaining to the children that although Mom is in the hospital surrounded by doctors, she’s not going to get better. In fact, she’s going to get worse. Again, having gastroparesis means starving to death. Ensuring the kids are mentally and emotionally healthy throughout this period is a top priority. These are among her foremost concerns.
Jessica does not have time to focus on her own misfortune. She’s too busy thinking about the coming years her children must face without their mother. It is inevitable that they will need her and wish for her. The best way to help her now is to show her that they will still be loved and cared for. She needs to be reminded that the world is still a beautiful place full of tender, benevolent people who will make sacrifices to ensure her children are safe, healthy, and well-educated.
Jessica’s story will continue. Whether or not her prognosis is correct, time will move forward. The future will come, and she will be a part of it.
I knew a woman a few years ago whose kids were teenagers when she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She lived about six more months, and her main concern during that time was trying to find ways to leave all the best parts of herself behind for her children. She did things like write letters for them to read at major milestones. She recorded herself telling stories about her youth and where she came from, anything her kids might want to know. This is treasured physical evidence of her love. Just as important are the memories carried by her friends and family. Her husband, for example, will be a primary source of information for the rest of his life. Her siblings, cousins, schoolmates, and co-workers each had a unique experience with this woman that they can now share with her adult children.
Now is a good time to remind Jessica of this. Connecting with her, even if it’s just a little bit, keeps more of her alive. You can read more about her story on her GoFundMe page, leave her a message, and share the link – thereby expanding the web of her memory exponentially.
And please ask any medical researchers you may know to look into gastroparesis because damn. If only love could cure illness.