Dixie Lee Dale 7/11/30 - 8/7/07

Since I have shared so much on this blog about the process with my mother's illness, I felt it only fitting to let everyone know that she passed away today.

Her actual dying --her choice and readiness to go-- was quite rapid within the past 72 hours. It's rather oxymoronic in that while she was doing her work to leave, it was about shutting down the body and doing a lot of sleeping; whereas for those of us in support, it was pretty demanding on time and energy and with little sleep.

My previous hospice and transition work has been among the most sacred times I can remember. It is always a privilege to be with the dying. And yes, I admit in this case, it brought up other emotions and responses. Yet, it is such a gift to tend to someone who is leaving this life expression. It is also quite the soap opera to watch the other characters involved and how things unfold. Nary a book or film has really captured true family drama.

And that drama usually shows up around a birth, a death or a wedding. Since it was just my birthday, my mother was dying and I am getting ready for a wedding-my own wedding, to boot-- this time has been ripe with drama and emotion. Yet I have been blessed that both my acting and ministerial training has served me so well in how to witness and deal with such pathos.

It was perfect timing in that Don and I were off work yesterday and able to rush up to L.A. on such short notice. At one point on the trip, the hospice worker called me on the cell to see where I was. I told her that I was in Culver City and would be there shortly, to tell mom to hang on. That she did--even though she never fully regained consciousness. We got there in time to say our farewells and for me to "pray her out." I know she knew we made it there. HenryHonda even supported our mission of mercy because we were running on empty and managed to get to the nursing home in time; as we had to get gas (and an impromptu car wash!) after our first visit with Mom.

For now, there are the many bits of administrivia to handle. The rest of the details are too tender or perhaps, too personal for this public venue. Instead, I am keeping notes for the book I am writing about this process.

Please know I am doing fine. I am mostly improvising this as I go along. Since this is so disorienting, I find it hard to wrap around what this actually means in personal terms. I feel completely supported by those close to me and those who have been so prayerfully generous. However, being my mother's daughter, I prefer to keep a low profile for now and probably won't to be too talkative. Please understand my need to withdraw socially while I get my bearings. As I get things resolved, I will post details about a memorial and/or contributions.

For now, if someone somewhere would have even one less cigarette today in honor of my mother, I would be very appreciative. Thank you.

Godspeed, my sweet momma.


Anonymous said…
Thank you for sharing this with us, dear one.

Thank you for being you.

I love you.

Anonymous said…
Sending you lots and lots of love and prayer. I am very sorry for your loss and yet I'm very relieved. I have been following the blog and can feel your emoitions right through the computer...you cry....I cry...Wishing you and everyone who surrounds you Peace. Love Reni
When you were out of the room, I thanked your mom for giving the world her wonderful daughter. I told her I knew how proud she is of you and I told her I would take care of you.

Regardless of your relationship with your mother, I have witnessed the great love the two of you shared.

God blesses Dixie Lee Dale as God surrounds Duchess Dale. Thank you for letting me be a part of this very personal transition. I love you.
Lia Amidechat said…
Beloved Rev. Duchess,

Like you I'm an only child who lost her mother. I know the darkness you must be feeling. But how blessed you were to have had Dixie see you blossom into the wonderful being that you are. Rev. Duchess, be comforted in knowing that your Mother's love survives forever. In quiet moments, you'll feel it, rest assured.

I wish you Peace, Love and Joy.
Anonymous said…
It is very emotional when your mother leaves the earth. It is an experience that the motherless understand fully.
You are surrounded with love and understanding.
Angels have been assigned to help you through this.
Anonymous said…
From T.K.
(he was unable to post and gave me permission to post what he sent to me in an e-mail):
Just read your blog. I can no longer
log on to post because I/they cant
match up my name and password.
I'll resolve that issue some other time.

What do you say at a time like this.
I'm sorry for your loss? She's in a
better place? We absolutely know
her spirit lives on for as long as
she's remembered and you cant help
but keep that remembrance, that love
alive forever. Even praying for you
and her is just another way of keeping
both of your spirits going for eternity.
I also know that even through your
extensive training and experience
you will not deny yourself any and
all feelings that come at this time.
Just writing this brings up lots of
emotion. I'm visualizing us crying
up a storm and hugging. It's all Good.
It's all Love. It's all God.

Just a reminder that my phone
is a 24 hr phone if you feel the

I send you love and light,

P.S. Happy double nickel. I'm right
behind ya baby. };-)

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