Mary Greaves

I wasn’t sure if I should write this post, I haven’t written in over a year….in fact, I wrote this back in December 2019….and I’m finishing it this morning, sorry about that, too many distractions, too many reasons, too much life.

On October 31st, 2019 at 12:30AM my Mother Mary Greaves passed away, she simply slipped away in the night, she had Dementia & Mesothelioma – the latter a very aggressive Cancer that took her life.

Back in July I flew home to see my Mom, I got calls from my siblings, and a couple of Mom’s close friends, that she wasn’t doing well and needed to come. We knew her memory was going quickly four years ago…..

Lisa & I typically plan some kind of summer vacation, not far, mostly in the province. Four years ago our plans were interrupted, Mom need surgery to remove a tumor in her right lung. That surgery had to take place in Kelowna, B.C. – which was a big deal because Mom lived in Terrace, B.C., a good 12 hour non-stop drive. Mom decided to take the bus to Prince George, so we drove up to PG and picked her up, and then headed south to Kelowna. On our journey south we noticed Mom was having problem remembering anything, mostly short term stuff, she couldn’t remember what day it was, what time it was, and other simple things like that. But she had good long-term memory, so you could have a conversation with her and think nothing was wrong. But the drive became seriously frustrating, Mom just couldn’t hold anything, we would tell her what day it was, and less than a minute later she would ask again….repeatedly, maybe 20 times in a row!

Lisa & I decided to rent a Condo there for a week and stay there while Mom was in the hospital having the a lobe of her right lung removed. The stay ended up being 10 days because Mom’s heart developed an irregular heart beat after the surgery.

All that to say, we spent the last 4 or 5 summers caring my Mother in one form or another, I miss her terribly. What’s left of the legacy of my Mother & Father? I have a younger Brother, his name is Ron. He has health issues and this Pandemic could take him if he gets the virus, as he has lung complications. I’m fighting hard for him, so are his daughters and my sister, trying to get him medical, mental, and financial support. The system does not support someone in his position well.

I have younger sister too, her name is Gail. She is one tough cookie, a fighter, has strong survival instincts, and a huge heart. Watching my Sister care for Mom in Palliative Care it was magic, and such a blessings, I was so proud of her. That makes me the oldest, I feel such a sense of responsibility to make sure they are looked after. My Father said to me on his death bed, one day your Brother & Sister are going to need you, look after them. At the time, it was a huge weight on my shoulders, but today…’s all I want to do. They don’t make it easy, but I love them, they are all that’s left, two of us are over 60, my sister in her 50’s.

Mom & Dad, I could use your wisdom today….I’m not as smart as I thought I was when you were alive.

About Owen Greaves

I'm a Futurist, I write, speak, and teach the open & free business model, the future of business. Create. Differentiate. Deliver.  


  1. Shelley Emery Coxen on April 10, 2020 at 6:58 AM

    My heart goes out to you. This is a difficult time and the pandemic does change the grieving process drastically.
    Losing parents ( elder family members) leaves us with so many questions we realize we failed to ask and answers we will never find.

    • Owen Greaves on April 10, 2020 at 7:44 AM

      Hey Shelley, it is a heavy time for many, we are just two suffering the loss of a parent, there are so many more. No, it’s not an enjoyable process, but it is a process, and it too shall pass. I’m not convinced there will ever be words that can fully express our hearts.

  2. Cindy Watson on April 10, 2020 at 7:57 AM

    Owen, my heart is breaking for all of you. I loved my chats with Mary & of course, miss your Dad. I loved his sense of humor working with him all those years. I was planning on going to your Mom’s memorial to give the 3 of you my best wishes & say goodbye to your Mom, sad that the pandemic cancelled everything. I love thinking that your parents are back together again, though! Hugs & condolences to the Greaves “kids”.

  3. Karla Woeste on April 10, 2020 at 9:10 AM

    Beautifully written! Listen with your heart, their wisdom is there inside of you. Saying goodbye to our moms is really, bloody hard, nothing is like the love they give us. Thinking of you and sending a hug and hope you stay safe.

  4. Rick Rake on April 10, 2020 at 5:56 PM

    Heart-felt words, Owen.


  5. Wendy Townsend on April 11, 2020 at 8:25 AM

    Owen. My heart goes out to you. As the one sibling who lives closest to my mom, a lot of the responsibility lands on me. Don’t get me wrong I love caring for her however sometimes it’s quite tiresome. My older brother and sister stay in touch with her regularly though they live in Vernon. We all do the best we can to let her know she’s loved. I’m sure your mom felt that from you and Lisa, even though it may have been difficult for her to Express that as time went on. I’m sure your parents passed on exactly what you need in a time like this. GOD will fill in the rest.

  6. Bob on April 11, 2020 at 5:55 PM

    Owen, thank you for sharing your journey.
    And, it has been quite a journey, with many bumps in the road… but also a time where you got to spend a lot of time with your Mom, and get to know your siblings again, as adults.
    You have a wonderful heart, and are thoughtful and kind… those things will enable you to deal with any challenges that come your way.
    You are also blessed with a wonderful and supportive family.
    I know when my parents passed, I felt “lost”, and also didn’t write anything or play music for several years… but time does heal, and one day I felt compelled to write a rambling bit of absurdity about my toothbrush… And I began to live the next chapter of my life.
    You and Lisa have had a LOT of changes the last while, and now add to it, this current upheaval, and sometimes, there is just too much “muchness”.
    But please know that many of us, out here, are celebrating with you, every March 4th… and are holding you in our hearts, even if we can’t give you a IRL hug.
    Peace, my friend.