How do you live without your mother?
by Sheila Donovan
(Moncton, New Brusnwick, Canda)
My mother passed away less than 4 weeks ago on December 13th, 2011. I was just starting to come to terms with the fact that - unless a miracle happened - this would be her last Christmas, I never thought for one minute that she would not even make it until the 25th. She went in to the hospital the week after Mother's Day in May. After some testing it was discovered that she had a tumor in her bowel. She had it removed and was recovering nicely...but then complications arose. She ended up staying in the hospital for 3 months until she was strong enough to go to a Special Care Home. Over the course of the summer many changes took place. Of course our mother was sick (at times very, very sick), it was decided that our fiercely independant mother could not return to the home (my childhood home) where she had lived for 43 years, her house was packed up and divided amongst us (my brother now lives in the house)and all the while I never allowed myself to come to terms with all of these changes. There were jobs that needed to be done and I knew if I let my emotions play a part I would not be able to cope. Mum seemed to settle in to her new home ok, mentally she was as right as rain but physically her body was giving up. On November 1st she ended up back in the hospital again as she was in a lot of pain. Over the next few weeks she deteriorated more and more and no one seemed to know why...mind you...no one would test her to see what was going on, not until she had a ct scan on Saturday December 10th which showed a perforated bowel. I was sitting in her room (she had only waken up to ask for water and she only spoke to me twice)when the doctor came in to tell me that the news was not good. Our 2 options were an operation which he doubted she would survive as she was so weak to start with or we could keep her comfortable....for a matter of a couple of days. I could actually feel shock settle over me like a blanket. I wanted to fall apart but I knew I couldn't. I knew I had to remember every single thing that was being said to me as I would have to tell my 4 siblings... Over the next couple of days people streamed in to say their good byes and my dear mother passed away at 9:45 Tuesday morning. Over the next few days I held it together to get through the visitation and the funeral, I had written her eulogy and wanted to deliver it dry eyed..which I did. Then I held it together to get through Christmas. I have 2 children who deserved a good Christmas and although I wanted nothing more than to hide away and wallow in my grief I had to keep going. I am now coming to terms to living the rest of my life without my mother and I simply do not know how to do it. How do you live without your mother? The pain I feel is so physical. The grief is so overwhelming. I am going on about my day but there is never a minute that goes by where she is not in my thoughts. Where I would like nothing more than to just pick up the phone to say hello.I started a "Dear Mummy" journal a couple of days after her funeral and I write in it nearly every night before bed. I just write what I would say to her if I could talk to her, I share memories with her, what I did that day, how much I miss her, etc. I have written over 60 pages so far. It is very therapeutic for me. I have found this website so helpful and I visit it often and have recommended it to several people. I am allowing my grief to do what it needs to do but I am looking forward to the tears slowing down a bit. My face looks like it has aged 10 years in the past few weeks.