Carolyn Marie entered this world March 13, 1947 in St. Louis Missouri, the daughter of Robert D. and Edith M. (Robinson) Merritt. She grew up in Arkansas where she raised her family and spent most of her life. Carolyn left this world at 15:43 on January 25, 2021. She was 73. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Services will be scheduled in Arkansas at a later date.
Words of comfort from her daughter, Alicia:
My loving mother I was with her when she took her last breath. The nurse and I repositioned her and I climbed back into bed with her about an hour before she passed away. I wrapped my arms around her and held her like she held me when I was a child. She helped me into this world and held me when I took my first breaths and I helped her leave this horrible world and held her when she took her last breaths. She is now pain free, as well as anxiety free, and she will experience nothing but happiness and freedom for eternity. Oh, how I wish I could have gone with her. She went to a much better place than here, but it simply isn't my time.
I was able to be with my Mom throughout her 5-day journey at Porta Caeli. I will be FOREVER grateful for that blessing. I was able to say everything I ever wanted to say to her. I cried and I laughed as we went through the process together. During her last breaths, I said, "Mom it's okay to let go when you're ready. We all got to spend some much-needed time with you and say our goodbyes. You are going to a much better place where you will get to dance again. There will be no more pain; only celebration and laughter with everyone who is waiting for you. Your favorite Aunt (Annie) is waiting for you. Your parents are waiting for you. Max is waiting for you to hold him in your lap again. You can take him on a walk again. Please don’t worry about us because we are going to be okay. You made us strong and capable of taking care of ourselves. I always felt your love and I never doubted it. You made me the person I am today and I am so thankful for you. I am right here with you and I am not leaving you, but now it's time for you to leave us whenever you're ready. You will see us again in heaven. I am so, so proud of you and I couldn't have asked for a better Mom who would have loved me more than you did. I love you so much Mom!" I got to kiss her, hold her hand, stroke her arm and cheek, cuddle with her during her last hour, and say everything I wanted to say to her. SHE WAS NOT ALONE.
The last words she spoke were on Thursday night (after we arrived at Porta Caeli). We did a FaceTime with my brother, Dennis, and Mom said, "I love you son." As soon as we hung up, she looked at me and said, "I love you." I told her that I loved her too and she closed her eyes and went to sleep. Peace instantly washed over her face and body. She knew she was finally out of that nursing home and with her family again. I could see the stress just melt away. She looked so peaceful while she slept her last 5 days on this earth. Her family was able to come and go at the facility for 24/7 visitation. Her hospice medications kept her comfortable to the very end.
A Porta Caeli nurse that met me at the front door that first day was there with me at the end. She had just started her afternoon shift. She came in periodically to check on us and listened to some Stevi Nicks' songs with us that last hour. She was my favorite nurse at the facility and she was also the only nurse Mom talked to before she fell asleep Thursday night. She was the nurse who held me tight when I walked into the facility that first day. She also held me tight and cried with me right after Mom passed away. The Porta Caeli nurses were some of the BEST nurses I have ever met in my life. Hospice (end of life) nursing is truly their calling. We definitely need more human beings like these women in this difficult world.
After Chuck, Kacey, and Keith arrived to say their goodbyes, the representative for Bixby Funeral Home came to pick up Mom. I gave her one final kiss and I told her, "I love you so much Mom and I have always felt loved by you. I know you had to go, but I also know you will still be with me. I know I will feel you near me until I come to be with you. I will be talking to you every single day because you're not getting rid of me that easily.☺️ We will be together again one day. Until then, I want you to fly with the angels, laugh, play, sing, dance, and take Max for long walks on the clouds. I love you so much Mom."❤️
P.S. Please wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands. Covid complications took my Mom from our family. She was scheduled for her Covid vaccination this month, but it didn't come soon enough to save her. Please get vaccinated so that we can all get back to normal and be around our family and friends again. You don't want to go through this with anyone you love.
Carolyn is survived by her children, Alicia Campbell, Sandy Pike, and Dennis Brown, Jr; her grandchildren, Kacey Sellers, Keith Sellers, Dylan Brown, Stacey Batts, and Doss Pike; and her great-grandchild, Dakota Brown. She was preceded in death by her brother, Danny Merritt.
Please direct contributions in name of Carolyn Brown to the Porta Caeli House, 2440 N. Harvard Avenue Tulsa, OK 74115. This wonderful organization helped Carolyn and her family during the last few days of her life on earth. Without this facility, the family would not have been able to spend time with her and say their goodbyes. Covid restrictions at her nursing home only allowed compassionate visits for two family members once she was close to transitioning. Carolyn’s family would like to pay it forward for the next family facing this very difficult journey.
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