by Gwen
(Vereeniging, South Africa)

5 years ago my mom got the dreaded diagnosis 'it's malignant...' Cut short, the chemo was killing her so she had only radiation. Remission..... Then in March last year it came back .. in her bones. She was terminal. I had to tell her and my dad. She had a 2 week stay in hospital because she was put on chemo again (the words 'No Chemo' were written across her file. So why did the oncologist do this? I surely don't know)

She 'lost' her mind, the ability to walk and more. But she gained 'seeing and talking' to those not there. She babbled on for hours. This was so upsetting for me .... this was my tower of strength and advice .... this was my mommy. She stayed with me for a week, during which I looked after her 24 hours a day and had to do things that no daughter should have to do. Over the next few months we watched as that monster ate her away. Just a few weeks before she left us she managed to walk alone again. For a short while we had 'her' back again. Then one day, she wanted to show me just how well she Could walk. I let go, she fell. Her broken arm never mended. I still blame myself. The sister told me not to let go. She died 26 October 2009 at 12.35am, after being in a coma for 5 days. She made us promise to allow her to 'go' at home.

Sometime before she died, i had the privilege of kneeling beside the bed and telling her all the things that are normally said at the funeral when it's too late. And on the Friday before she died, the sister called us to say that if we wanted to say good-bye while she was still alive, then it would be a good idea to get there soon. My mom was in a coma, but she gave us responses when we took turns to talk to her. She smiled for my husband: she lifted her head to look sideways at my brother: and tears rolled when i spoke to her.

I miss her so much! When my dad phoned us to tell us that she was gone, i actually felt relief. She had weighed just over 60kgs a year previously. When she left her physical address to take up residence in her heavenly address, she weighed just 39kgs. Her kidneys failed, her liver failed and finally her heart. But she went peacefully - my dad and the sister were with her.

But when we buried her (in a simple coffin with just a sprig of orchids on top), my heart broke..... And it's now just over 9 months and I am still heartbroken. I am told that I go 'looking for the pain'. Or any one of many more things that hurt deeply.

We were very close and she constantly said that she wanted one more Christmas with us. She was fighting too, because she didn't want to be the cause of pain. I told her that if she was still with us on Christmas Day, we'd celebrate. If she wasn't, we'd still celebrate in her honor. It was difficult, but it was a good day. I told her that our God would help us get through the pain and grief, so when Jesus called her name, she could go. She smiled, but the tears still came.

I was asked recently, why i am not living the promise I gave her when I told her that I would celebrate her life, not grieve her death. I try, but since she left us to be with the Jesus she loved so much, I have been put into the position of the 'mother of this family' and I don't want it. She told me that it was my turn and to wear the title with honor. I try. My emotions are so fragile for the first time in my life. I've always been the 'strong one' but now I'm the one that everyone has to tip-toe around in case I snap again. My dad and my brother appear to be doing fine.

Thank you for this opportunity. And what I read on the previous pages has really helped too. God bless you all.

Comments for Gwen

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Aug 12, 2010
Sorry for your loss
by: Brenda

I am so very very sorry for the loss of your mother and what she had to go through before she died. As well as what you and your family went through. I lost my 27 year old son in May and his sister and I are both still lost in our grief. Cody Lee Cole is my sons name and as part of my recovery from grief I have spent hours plastering his name and story on the net. He has a page on this site also. I wish I could tell you something that would help your pain go away but I cannot. All I can tell you is you are not alone on the road called grief. Each of of has to learn to live with our pain in our own way. Do not let anyone make you feel bad that you still grieve for you mother. I takes longer for some of us. They say that time heals but I think my clock is broken.

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