Night Crew
Helping Hands

Taking a Trip

My mother is in the final stages of dying.  When we were first putting her to bed last night she was saying she needed to get ready to take a trip.  She wanted to get her shoes and be ready to go.  My father asked where she was going and she said "Arizona," where my brother Tim lives.  My father told her it was very hot there and we would go later.  She seemed ok with that.  Later we learned from the hospice literature that it's normal for someone in the final stages of dying to feel they are making a journey.  Which of course, they are.

My wife and I stayed up most of last night with my mom.  She slept a couple of hours but was coughing and had trouble breathing most of the night, so none of us got much sleep.  We gave her water and helped her get to the bathroom when she needed to.  She is still coherant and knows what's going on.  "I'm sorry to be a nuisance," she said at one point.  And later on, "I hope you don't get what I've got."  She also told me "You've got a real gem there," referring to my wife.  Yes, I do. 

He breathing was troubled; there is a lot of fluid build up in her lungs and it creates a haunting "death rattle" or wheezing sound.  This has been going on for a few nights now.  I understand better how hard this has been for my father; he stayed up three nights in a row tending to my mother.  He's been very appreciative of having the help. 

Around 7:00 am, my father got up and I crashed in the guest room for a couple of hours.  I'm glad that my wife and I have been able to come out and help and provide comfort to my mother.  It is not easy by any means, but it feels right.

I'd like to ask everyone to keep my mom in their thoughts and prayers during this final stage.  If you want to post comments on the blog, please do so and I will read them to her.  You can do this by clicking on the link below any posting that says "Comments".

For anyone who is going through a similar process, I encourage you to read through the document below or materials from Hospice to understand the "arc" of dying.  I found it very comforting to know what will happen at each stage and that there is a normal sequence to things.  There is very practical information that will make things easier and more comfortable for everyone.


Gen & Dot Denney

Mary, you are in our thoughts every minute. We both love you dearly, and just want to be sure you know it. God bless. Gene and Dot

carol Hoeg

Daar Mary, You have been blessed with such a wonderful and loving husband and children you can be so proud of. You and Bob did a great job as Mother and Father.
Gary is so proud of his Aunt Mary.

Love Carol

Jim, Michelle, Ryan & Lindsay

Dear Mary, you are in our thoughts and prayers as you approach the end of your journey. We love you and Bob with all our hearts. We have such wonderful memories. Thanks for being so supportive of my mom. Say hello to my mom when you reach the other side and tell her how much she is missed by all. Goodbye Mary....till we meet again.
Love Jim, Michelle, Ryan and Lindsay

Lynn Lust

Dear Mary,
I am so sorry I cannot see you. As you know Bob and I are in Montana.You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so glad you were feeling well enough to come to the party for my going away golf tournament. You will never know how much that meant to me and all the golf girls. You are simply the best. I will see those sparkling eyes and that wonderful smile again. Until I see you again-God Bless you and keep you. I love you. Lynn

Donna Martn

Mary: You are in my thoughts and prayers. I think of those beautiful blue eyes and that ready smile. I know your drives will always be long and straight and the putts will all be tap ins. I know you will become "Our Lady of the Fairways" when you reach your final destination. You are one great lady and a real inspiration to everyone. Love to you and Bob. Sincerely, Donna

lorraine setliff

Hi you know you have been in our thoughts and prayers for quite're one great lady..a wonderful neighbor and friend. May your journey be peaceful and may it comfort your family to know that God will be with you each step of the way. Love you. Lorraine and Roy

Lorrie Bearden

Dear Mary and family: I am blessed to share a friendship with your precious friend Lynn Lust. Through Lynn's eyes and heart, I, too, feel like I know and love Mary. I wish you all blessed quiet times and the joy of knowing that you are loved and treasured by so many wonderful people. May the journey be sweet from here on and may God bless you each in a way that brings comfort to your hearts. God bless, Lorrie Bearden

Peggy McQuaid (O'Neill)

Dear Urlocker Family,

I am the daughter of Anne Tunney O'Neill and have been keeping mom up to date with all that has been posted over the last few months. Thank you for the sharing and know that our whole family is with you in thought and prayer.

Love Peg

Pam in FL

Godspeed Mary! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Urlocker Family - Strength, courage and love to all of you as your lives change. Be of comfort and kindness to each other.

With a gentle hug,

Pam in FL

Kevin, Cecile, Michael & Kelly Hoeg

Dear Mary, I'm not saying goodbye ... just goodnight. This has been a long rough road for you...your tired and need to sleep. So goodnight sweet dreams...and see you in the morning. When you awake in the morning ... I will make sure both of us have a bowl of 'Jets' cereal.

As you know I said the samething to mom.

All my LOVE


"Say Goodnight" by Beth Nielsen Chapman

Say goodnight, not goodbye
You will never leave my heart behind
Like the path of a star
I'll be anywhere you are

In the spark that lies beneath the coals
In the secret place inside your soul
Keep my life inyour eyes
Say goodnight, not goodbye

Don't you fear when you dream
Waking up is never what It seems
Like a jewel buried deep
Like a promise meant to keep

You are everything you ought to be
So just let your heart reach out to me
I'll be right by your side
Say goodnight, not goodbye

You are everything you ought to be
So just let your heart reach out to me
Keep my life in your eyes
Say goodnight, not goodbye
Say goodnight, not goodbye

Colleen Redmond

Dear Aunt Mary,

We have been so blessed to have such a wonderful Aunt. You have always been there for both Michelle & I. You gave us comfort & strength when we were going through the journey with mom. We are praying for you Mary as you make your journey to be with your sisters, they are waiting for you with open arms. May God Bless each of you and give you strength, as he holds your hand and guides you on your passage ahead. We love you Mary; our thoughts and prayers are with you always. Love Kevin, Colleen, Joshua, Taylor & Colton

Michelene Urlocker Hauber

Dear Aunt Mary

Please know that you have been and continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. You have touched so many lives in your journey, and are now seeing a testament to that. The heart that gives truly does gather. You made an indelible impression on my heart, and I send you all the most beautiful, gentle light I can imagine to surround you and your family. May you find peace and comfort and "may God hold you in the palm of His hand."
Love to you, Uncle Bob, Karen, Michael, Mark, Tim and Shawn from Michelene and Peter, Ian, Thomas and Simon


"For death begins with life's first breath And life begins at touch of death." ~John Oxenham
Dearest Mary, Your Journey here on earth will soon be over.You have loved,and been loved.By reading the words of others it is clear you are a wonderful lady.You will live on in the hearts and minds of those who have been blessed to have been a part of your life.
Your final destination is just around the bend.Oh what wondrous joys await those whose trust in the Lord.
To the family of Mary...Thank you for allowing us to glimpse in to your lives.It is a privledge to have been allowed to share with you,pray for you..laugh with you,even cry with you..But the greatest privledge has been in allowing us to read your most private innermost thoughts.They are in a sense..sacred.
You are in my heart and prayers tonight,May her passing be swift and peaceful.
Touch her,hold her,kiss her..while you still may...

Diane O'Brien

"A Friend Like Mary"

A friend like Mary I'd like to be
The kind that lasts thru eternity.

Those dear hearts which change our own,
Because we've seen how they have grown.

Dearer, and dearer to His own Light,
She vallantly has fought the good fight.

Her smile reflecting His own grace,
I hope to see when I look in His face.

You have been a blessing to me Mary.

In His love,

Diane O'Brien

Maureen C. Settle

Dear Mary:
You have kept the Faith. You have fought the
good fight. May you now have rest, in a place where you will once again breathe easily, and be in pain no more. May you smile again your beautiful smile, and may your beautiful blue eyes sparkle once more. I have been so sad, and heavy hearted of late, just thinking of all that you have endured. I cherish having you as my friend, since back in our training days at St. Mike's. I love you. You will always be in my heart. Love and prayers, Maureen

Zona Williams

It has been a pleasure having someone like you in my life. You know you have been in my thoughts and prayers for a long time, gal. They have been answered--just not like I wanted, however.

I've played some with Shakespeare but this is what you will always be to me:

" When (she) shall die, take (her) and
cut (her) out in little stars,
And (she) will make the face of heaven
so fine that all the world will be in
love wth night"

May your journey home be pleasant, Mary!
Zona Williams

Lisa (Tim and Kelly's neighbor)

Dearest Mary and to the entire Urlocker family:
I've had the privilege of meeting Mary on one of her many visits to Arizona and knew immediately that she was someone special, but I wish I had gotten to know her more. Reading all these kind words that are so filled with love and compassion for your mother/wife makes my heart fill with sorrow to know that she will leaving your family soon, but will be resting in heaven and certainly be missed. God Bless your family
Lisa and Scott Sher

Beverly Rettinger

It has been said that what we think are stars in the sky are really openings made by God for our loved ones to look down on us and let us know everything is okay. I hope dear Mary is okay today - my heart aches for her as well as her friends and family.

Beverly Rettinger


Dear Mary, It has been a long journey for all of your dear friends,The sadness is almost over and the pain will soon be gone. You have put up a brave and amazing fight.I know that God will have a special place for you . We will all miss you terrbly but a part of you will be with us everytime we get together or hit a golf ball.Your courage has left a mark on all of us. As one of my MotherinLaws said as she was leaving this World. I'm tired of breathing and I'm going to stop now and so she did. God is waiting for a new STAR. What a wonderful friend.I have so many nice memories and your smile will always be in my heart. Love, Edie

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