How Will I Get Through This?

by Polly Hueber
(Charlevoix, MI )

Two weeks ago, on a Saturday morning I talked to mom for a half hour. She was waiting for my 22 year old son, to take her to lunch. Of course he was late, but now that was a gift to me, being able to talk to her for the last time. An hour and a half later, my son called me from the hospital, my mom stood up from lunch, and felt dizzy. She knew it wasn't normal, she asked my son to get her to the hospital. He got her there in ten minutes. As soon as the laid her down in ER she went into a coma. She had a major stroke, her brain was bleeding, making her go into the coma. She died Tues evening at 6:50, November 27th. I stayed with her the whole time, talking to her and singing camp songs to her. I couldn't remember any songs but the ones I learned from camp, when I was 12 yrs. old. I had a birthday yesterday, I now am 52. My mom and I where very close almost talking everyday. Mom was 84, she could do circles around me. Thanksgiving day she served 100 people,at her church, that evening she went to the James Bond movie, and loved it. The next day she went shopping on Black Friday. She never stopped. Such a go getter, full of life, always smiling, and would do anything for you.
She was my rock, my best friend. How do I get through this pain. I wake up every morning, hoping it was just a dream, that she isn't really gone. My 16 year old son lives with me. I am trying to get the house ready for Christmas, I hear mom telling me to keep going, for Ryan my son.
The pain and my broken heart, are unbearable at times. I won't let my self even go there, as soon as I start thinking about the last two weeks, I can change my thoughts. I know its denile. I know its normal, at this point, I do not think I will ever be normal again..........I miss her so much.......

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Dec 11, 2012
Dear Polly (Cont'd)
by: Anonymous

Cont'd... (Pg 2)

I suppose the message I am bringing is that I envy you the fact that your Mum was 'herself' to the very end. Although she had grown old, she could relate to you and to her grandchildren. She was able to socialise up to her very last hour. I envy the fact that your Mum was able to have a coherent conversation with you on that day. I expect you were both irritable with impatience but still waiting with anticipation for your son's arrival and I imagine that you were completely tuned in to each other. When your son arrived, you probably scolded him and perhaps Gran smiled a little. Perhaps there was a small bustle of activity, a charming smile in return from the errant young man. I imagine it was a cohesive moment, something which will bind you forever to the life force of your Mum. Naturally, I am speculating. What I do not envy about your situation is the pure shock of your Mum's departure and the fact that you "did not have the opportunity to say goodbye". I am certain that must be harder than anything I can imagine, even though it hurt tremendously that my Mum was 'missing' during the three years before she eventually left us.

To my eternal sorrow, I was not with my Mum during to her last days. We lived 800km apart and I had a confirmed airline reservation to fly back to her on Saturday after I had spent the previous weekend with her. Following the weekend together, I had to return to work to wrap things up so I would be free to go 'home' and to stay for as long as she needed me. She passed away Friday evening, less than eighteen hours before I could return. Still, I was able to say my goodbyes... The previous weekend, when I arrived, Mum recognised me. It was a complete surprise, and more surprising was the fact that she continued to understand that I was with her. She told me that she loved me but she added that she loved her "home-family" too. I believe she was referring to her own parents and to her little sister who had died at the age of 10. She had been wanting to go 'home' to her old house for nearly a year before her departure but we were not able to take her since the house no longer exists. Something deep inside me tells me that she has found it, nonetheless, and that it is more beautiful and more peaceful than any of us remembers.

I did not mean to make this about me. What I would like to relate is this: ten weeks ago, it was impossible to imagine that I would get to the stage where I am now. I also keep expecting to regress (and I am sure those times will come) and that all the pain and the hurt will come flooding back. However, please try to remember that your Mum is safe and that she was spared from the aftermath of the stroke which she suffered. I am certain that if you pay attention, you will realise that she is guiding and coaching you in preparation for the day when you will be re-united.

Dec 11, 2012
Dear Polly
by: Anonymous

I am writing this in an effort to soothe the raw pain which you are feeling. If it seems clumsy, please forgive me - it is past midnight here.

Whatever the circumstance of our mother's death, it is unacceptable to us because the impossible has happened. You lost your Mum unexpectedly. I'd like to tell you that my Mum suffered for a long time, initially with Dementia and, ultimately, with Cancer. I thought I was prepared but... I was mistaken. Mum passed on 28 September this year at the age of 71. I am 53 yrs old, and I have never felt so utterly helpless, heartbroken, robbed, and betrayed. I am not religious but I do understand there is a greater power. Whether we call it Providence, Nature, or something more reverent, I felt completely broken and utterly defeated by that 'bully', that all-powerful entity who is known as 'God'... Looking back, I am beginning to appreciate that both the devastating illnesses which Mum suffered during her last years were a blessing unto the other - the Dementia helped her through the various stages of Cancer, and the Cancer itself brought an end to the mental confusion, disorientation, loss of dignity, and eventual humiliation which all Dementia sufferers have to face, if they live long enough.

My Mum did not have many breaks in life but she had dignity and she raised us with pride. My greatest fear in the last few years was that her dignity would be taken from her by the ravages of memory loss. Now, I am grateful that she was spared that ultimate humiliation. Still, if I was asked whether I would have her back, the answer would be a resounding Yes. I want my Mummy back under any circumstances, at any cost to me or to her. At the same time, I want her back the way I remember her when I was small, when she was strong and youthful and healthy and lucid.


Dec 11, 2012
Been there done that
by: Gary

I say been there, done that because I know what you are going through. Lost my mom at 55 and it was awful. I never thought I would ever find peace again. It took time, we are all different but peace does slowly come and you do regain your life. There are times you move forward but unexpectedly you take a few steps back into sadness. It's true the grieving process is a process. In a strange way I felt like I owed the sadness to my mom out of respect. If I didn't love her so much I wouldn't have suffered so much. I found doing the holidays a little different helped because I didn't face the holiday rituals without her. From a person who was in the depths of sadness I can say it does get better just respect and maybe appreciate the grieving and give it time. God bless!!

Dec 10, 2012
How Will I Get Through This?
by: Doreen U.K.

Polly I am sorry for your loss of your mom to a sudden death. You will not have had time to prepare for this. Your mom was of an age where strokes and other illness's strike. But we are still never prepared for this loss. My father is 91yrs. and waiting for death for a long time. My mother passed away 9 yrs. ago and my father is disabled and being looked after by my younger sister. Dad became ill when my husband was dying of cancer and I was nursing him for over 3yrs. It matter's not how old our parent's are we will still grieve. My father had a series of mini strokes and he is not the same. I miss his phone calls, and conversations. gone forever.
If you want to be in DENIAL just now then it is O.K. It is Christmas and the pain and loss will be very bad now. But don't stay in DENIAL. Otherwise you will suffer more down the line. If you are having difficulty in your grief. Go and see a grief counsellor for support. They are skilled to move us on in case we get stuck in grief where our sorrow is intensified and not moving. I lost my husband of 44yrs. 7 months ago. I still cannot get used to believing he has died. I woke up last night in a panic. I felt as if I was suffocating with the loss. Life is more lonely and People stop phoning, and calling around. Everyone is getting on with their own lives in this busy world. Death brings a sad atmosphere that changes everything. It feels like being in an explosion and everything has changed, and I just want everything back to normal. But it won't be normal again. Life has changed forever. Some deaths one can recover from quite quickly and others not.
You are in shock from the sudden death of your mom which is why you are feeling the way you are. This is the first stages of grief and this will pass. You will need to grieve all the stages when they come and don't deny yourself this. You will eventually Heal in time.

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