Death of Mom 1988

This was originally loose-leaf notebook pages as a Memorial Book I prepared on Mom’s death. Then I moved the pages to my 1988 scrapbook which after moving to Costa Rica I copied to my photo galleries before paper versions of all scrapbooks were destroyed. Included are family photos from the funeral and many cards and letters:

1988 Death of Clemmie Louise Hardgrave Doggett Memorial Book Photo Gallery

Recalling My Memories and Feelings of a Horrible Week+

It is hard to write about because I was overwhelmed, hurt, and angry and felt I had no control over anything or anyone, yet feeling responsible.

During Mom’s hospitalization for cancer I had several talks with her doctors by phone about her condition and the cancer, between Nashville & Hot Springs with some of the notes from these talks in the Memorial Book linked above. Then on Labor Day Weekend I drove to Hot Springs alone and spent the weekend with her in the hospital where I experienced her having hallucinations caused by the pain medication. I was exhausted. Then drove back home to Nashville and 2 days later she died.

I wanted to help Dad plan the funeral but he wanted to do it himself and he chose that gosh-awful funeral home dress (shroud?) rather than pick a favorite of her dresses in her closet. But that was his prerogative and everything else was fine. He did ask me to talk to the preacher he chose for the graveside service which I did the moment he arrived.

I couldn’t go early because my whole family was going. Ginger wouldn’t let me leave Juli at a friend’s house. We stayed in a nice hotel on the lake in Hot Springs rather than at Crystal Springs like the others, but anything to keep Ginger happy.

Then after the family visitation and graveside service, we went with all the family (including aunts, uncles, cousins) to Dad’s house in Crystal Springs. Everyone in the living room with food on the dining room table for those wanting it and we visited, but not long for me. Dad of course sat in his recliner with a beer and Ginger went into an ugly tirade against him about drinking and how his alcoholism caused Mom’s death and other ugly things and as quick as I could I rounded her and the kids up and out to the car and took them back to the hotel, then returned for a little bit more visiting. I was so hurt and embarrassed! And felt so helpless living with an out-of-control woman. This may have been the turning point for divorce. When she filed the next year I was almost glad, though that’s another very complicated story.

All of my friends, co-workers, and family relations were so kind and thoughtful after Mom’s death with so many nice cards, letters, flowers and telephone calls. I was hurting in multiple ways for some time.

One of the more positive things was the wonderful 5-page “Memories of Louise” that her first cousin and neighbor growing up, Ruth Hunt Quattrucci, wrote to me with a delightful quotation from who knows whom:

“Memories are grief’s best friends.”


¡Pura Vida!