Harryette Pickens

First post: Oct 18, 2019 Latest post: Nov 27, 2019

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

I posted the following on October 18, 2019. Harryette passed away on November 24, 2019. May she rest in peace. 


My mother,  Harryette Pickens, is entering her final chapter of this earthly life. 

She is currently under hospice care and continues to live with me in my home.

We honestly don't know how much longer she has - it may be months, weeks or days.

She has been declining steadily for a couple of years now, and over the past month the decline has accelerated significantly. She is not in pain, and is in an early/intermediate stage of dementia in which her thinking is not often very clear.

She remains her kind, gentle, loving self; and still finds humor in the most simple and unexpected places. 

She sleeps for much of the day, and has some moments of stark lucidity and other moments of profound fogginess.

As her time approaches I am filled with many emotions. I have cared for her in my home (as her only child) for over eight years now, and have experienced what most in this difficult role of primary caregiver experience -- from compassion to despair to overwhelm to frustration to gratitude to heartbreak to exhaustion and everything in between.

This extended period of caregiving has been the single most challenging experience of my life -- and I am certain that when it ends, I will look back with thankfulness as I see more and more its hidden blessings.

I want to thank those of you who over the years have blessed my mother with your friendship and compassion. You may remember for her 85th birthday (2015) I initiated an 'acts of kindness' tribute. Many of you participated and over 1000 acts of kindness happened in her name.

Mother was thrilled, touched, delighted, humbled by the outpouring of goodness flowing so freely through you. Thank you for this.

Some of you have been Mother's students or colleagues or friends. Thank you for remembering her and honoring her life through your kindness to others.

Some of you know Mother through your connection with me -- my friends, teachers, students, colleagues.

Some of you have been steadfast in staying in touch, visiting, offering to be of help, and generally showing up for both of us. This means more than I can ever express in words.

Whatever your relationship with her, I thank you and ask for your loving prayers, thoughts, and compassionate energies as she grows closer to the moment when she will shed her mortal coil.

May her transition to a wholly spiritual existence be made with grace, ease, peace, and joy.

Please feel free to share your reflections, memories, stories regarding your experience(s) with mother here on this site.

Thank you. Love and blessings to you and yours.

Harry Pickens