My Mother's Most Empowered Choice Came On The Last Day Of Her Life

Would you choose your "how" and "when" of your death?

Daughter and mother sharing memories and pizza, before dignified death Monkey Business Images, Dean Drobot, Kamchatka | Canva

If you are like most people you have thought about your death. What will it look like? Who will be with you? How will it feel? 

If you could plan for your death, what would you take into consideration? 

My mother and I were not close. Long before sitting near her dying body, it became clear I was not an important player in her life

My siblings and I experienced the wake of her poor life decisions, but only two of us witnessed the most empowered choice she made in almost 86 years of life on Earth.


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My mother's 'Death With Dignity'

My mother chose the "how" and "when" of her death, she chose Death with Dignity (a legal end-of-life option that allows terminally ill people to request and receive a lethal dose of medication from a doctor to end their life peacefully and humanely).


For most of my mother’s life, she was active — but not athletic. She was very independent and industrious by nature. When I was young, she ran a small farm and always had a gargantuan garden filled with fruit trees. Plus, she raised four children. 

Even after her 80th birthday she would walk to the grocery store and return home with her backpack full of groceries. More than once, she was mistaken for homeless.   

She moved to the Seattle area a couple of years ago. Her body began to slow down. When I visited her last year, I was surprised at her shortness of breath while walking. During her treks to the grocery store, she had to plan rest stops to catch her breath. This was a stark difference from a couple of years ago.

Four months ago, she was hospitalized after a fall and pneumonia. A month later she was hospitalized with more complications. The last hospitalization revealed the cause of her shortness of breath and fatigue. 


She was diagnosed with lung cancer.

My mother was put on hospice care and discovered the option of Death with Dignity. She would have control over her death.

I was not aware of her choice to use Death with Dignity until I received a text saying she would not be alive in mid-June when I was planning a visit.  The next day I received a text with her chosen day of death. The following day I received a text with the timing of the death elixir that would be offered by a nurse.

Of course, my thoughts went all over, but I did think about how we often induce births. We can plan the day and time of our baby’s birth.

Are we playing God when we make these life-and-death decisions? I hope not, my three children's births were all induced for various reasons.


The Evening Before

I arrived in Seattle the afternoon before she was planning to die. There was nothing remarkable about our conversation. We mostly spoke of her incredible appetite all through life. That afternoon she probably did not even weigh 100 pounds.

Her last meal was homemade pizza. She ate this on a sofa, with lots of pillows for cushioning. She was tired and a little uncomfortable in her seated position, so she laid down on her side with her head resting on a pillow.  This is one of the first times I saw a softening of my mother, a vulnerability in her mannerisms.

@hospicenursepenny An old video, this man is gone now but his bravery in sharing his de@th with dignity journey lives on #onthisday #maid #dwd #choices #hospice #hospicenurse ♬ snowfall - Øneheart & reidenshi

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The Morning Of

The next morning, I arrived about 30 minutes before the nurse was expected. My mother had not eaten but was able to drink lots of fluids. To work effectively, the medicine needed to be taken on an empty stomach. There was soft background music playing and several family members were present in person, and one over Zoom.

In my pocket, I had rose quartz, selenite, and rhodonite. These stones can help with connecting to love, angels, and healing trauma. I also had geranium oil, which encourages detachment from the physical body. Only my husband knew that I brought the crystals and oil with me.

9:36 AM

My mother took both anti-nausea and anti-anxiety medicine in capsule form. She remained alert, in good spirits, and began to get a little tired, possibly more relaxed.


10:24 AM

The nurse had my mother state her intention of taking medication for her intentional death. She then was given lemon sorbet and took the liquid medication through a straw.

Shortly after the medication she thanked people for joining her and had some heartfelt conversations with the people she was closest with. I read a message from one of my children to her and was able to say thank you for the best parts of my childhood.

10:34 AM

My mother began to get very sleepy. She was then stretched out on the sofa, looking very peaceful.  A person that she shared a deep bond with sat next to her head. I had the geranium oil on my hands and gently rubbed her feet and ankles.


Her breath began to slow down and become a little louder. With closed eyes, I prayed for her to find peace, and easily go towards the light. I asked for protection to surround me while I was saying prayers for her crossing. 

I asked that all trauma be removed from her and all generations. I could imagine that each ragged exhale was untangling her from her physical body. My mother was in the process of unknowing this life. She was erasing memories and completing a karmic journey.

12:38 PM

At 12:38 she was pronounced dead. It was as simple and easily orchestrated as death can be.


Later that day, I looked at the astrological chart for the time of her death. I love that it revealed she is moving on with the energy of an extravert. She will have boundless energy, and she will be a dreamer. I am very grateful that my mother slipped away from her Earthly body with this touch of dreamy energy. 

I love that she had luck in the stars as she took her final breath.

The big question of how and if she will connect with me remains unanswered. Part of me wants her to come through to me with profound and loving messages. I like to think that she is watching over her family including future great-grandchildren. 

This is all complicated by a wall of mixed emotions on my part. I know with time I will not be holding so tightly to our Earthly relationship and I will find it easier to reach out to her and receive Universal love. 


I almost feel complete with our relationship.

RELATED: Yes, She's My Mother — But I Cannot Have A Relationship With Her Without A Part Of Me Dying

Polly Wirum is a spiritual coach and psychic. She teaches clients how to discover their truth through psychic readings, astrological readings, and intuitive life coaching. She offers guided meditation and, in some cases, guided exploration of past lives.