The Hiding Place

by Corrie ten Boom

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What caused the death of Corrie's mother in The Hiding Place?

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Corrie's mother in The Hiding Place died in her sleep in 1921, four weeks after Nollie's wedding. While the book does not specify the exact cause, it is suggested she may have died from another brain hemorrhage or stroke. She had a history of health issues, including gallstones and strokes, which left her partially paralyzed and unable to speak.

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Although The Hiding Place does not elaborate on all of the circumstances surrounding the death of Corrie ten Boom's mother, it does provide clues. In chapter four of the novel, it is 1918, and Corrie's mom is peeling potatoes in the kitchen. Corrie hears her mother cry out and catches her before she collapses of what is called in the novel a brain hemorrhage but may have been a stroke. Corrie's mom lies in a coma for two months but slowly recovers part of her mobility, although she never regains her speech. Her family communicates with her through a series of questions.

In 1921, Corrie's mother watches her daughter Nollie get married and is able to sing her favorite hymn, which the family sees as a gift from God. Corrie's mom dies in her sleep in 1921, about four weeks after Nollie's wedding. It is presumed she died of another hemorrhage or stroke, but again, the book does not elaborate.

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The book does not give us a specific cause of death for Corrieā€™s mother. We do know that she had a least one recurring health problem, which was gallstones. In those days they performed surgical procedures to try and alleviate the pain of the stones, but the issue would often reoccur. The book tells us that she had several surgeries for gallstones, and after the last one had suffered a minor stroke. They considered this fact a reason not to undergo additional surgeries, so her mother was often in a great deal of pain after that.

Then, she suffered a major stroke that put her into a coma for two months. This also resulted in the paralysis of most of her body and the loss of speech. She lived in this way for three more years, but it certainly would have taken a great toll on her body. Four weeks after the marriage of her daughter Nollie, she passed away peacefully in her sleep.

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