Saying Good-Bye To The Dowager Duchess


After a long, active life filled with many hardships and many blessings, my mother passed away Friday at the age of 89.

She had been telling me a lot lately, “I’m just not myself anymore.” She managed to get out once a week with a small group of wonderful friends for a painting class and dinner; it was the highlight of her week. But she found it very exhausting and usually spent the entire next day recovering.

Another day each week, she hosted a Mah Jongg game at home with other friends. She also loved that but, again, found it very exhausting.

Other than that, her life had become limited to walks down to the local market or some nearby shops, usually in the company of an aide. It was a better life than many experience, but it wasn’t the life she wanted, and we worried she would soon have to give up more of her independence and mobility.

Her very kind next-door neighbor checked on her Friday night when he got home from work after he saw her NY Times still outside her door. My thanks — and my heart — go out to him.

Jerry and I are getting ready to head to New York. I expect that the funeral will be held Tuesday, but that remains to be arranged.

I haven’t yet spoken with the Kid Brother, but I will. And he will be fine, especially because we three will be fine together.

I plan to continue to tell stories (many embarrassing) about the Dowager Duchess. She loved the attention. On her behalf, I thank you all for that.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

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