The passing of our mother

Updated: Jul 11

As a father and husband, talking about those people nearest and dearest to me is, of course, often difficult, especially when they pass away. Since being laid off from my job prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic, I had been caring for the day-to-day needs of my elderly mother. For the last 2-3 months, I and my sister had cared for our mother in my sister's home in Snyder, New York. A suburb of Buffalo.

I titled this article ' the Passing of OUR Mother' because I believe she was a good part of HELP. She met a few of our learners here and she grew on the members of HELP. In fact, one of the members, Christine, from Malaysia, wrote this in her own blog:


The Loss of my English Teacher’s Mother

On 18th May, my teacher announced bad news about his mother. She had a burst appendix, possibly life-threatening, and required immediate surgery. However, the 88-year-old was fighting a serious infection and was being sedated (anesthesia) after the surgery. She had trouble breathing and was on a ventilator in the intensive care unit. She had extreme pain and wished not to wake up again, she said goodbye to everyone who came to visit her in the hospital.

After a few days, my teacher was still concerned about her bad situation, her kidneys were weak, and had blood clots in her legs. She could barely open her eyes nor could she lift her arms when responding to somebody asking her. He acknowledged his feelings and challenged his negative thoughts when he had regular meetings with us. I could sense he was trying to bottle up his feelings by talking about a lot of funny things with us.

On 30 May, he declared her death in peace without having to stop the machine. He felt blessed that he would suffer to make the decision to determine her destiny. Fortunately, God listened to him and his family as well. We knew that he accepted the reality and believed he could get on with the next phase in his life.

Grief is a natural response to loss, and that includes the loss of your best love. It is very great to expand your social network outside of work, and meet new people by taking a class, it could be crucial in helping you cope with stress or anxiety.


For members of our own community to write such a beautiful thing about someone she just met online speaks volumes about the type of relationship we all have in this program: We are family. Posted below are some pictures of our mother Patricia Fortunato. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and sympathy as we mourn the loss of this great woman.






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