Linda's story - deeply mourning the loss of my Mom
by Linda Sharp
My mom recently died on November 2, 2011 after a brief illness, just five months after we lost my dad on May 18th, 2011. My mom was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at the end of August. It was surreal. I was in shock along with my brothers, and the rest of our family.
Our family has been under severe stress ever since my dad had a debilitating stroke 8 years ago. My mother was the primary caregiver, and cared for our dad in their home for 7 years. I often would stay at my parent’s home, sometimes days at a time, to help my mom as each day presented new challenges. At the time, I had a young family, just started a new career, and lived an hour away. Somehow we made it work, but it was not without its challenges and there was often emotional turmoil. My mom and I grew even closer during those years.
I miss our talks, my mom's phone calls to check in on me and her two Grandchildren (ages 17 and 23), shopping trips, and all the special holidays we will never celebrate again.
I am 51 years old, and my mom was my best friend. My mom was someone I could confide in and talk about everything and anything. Life will never be the same again.
My soul is still in turmoil. I went through all the stages of grief early on when my mom first got diagnosed. I felt my life crashing down around me, and thought I would lose my mind. Somehow I found the strength to be there for my mom during her two month hospital stay, and comfort her the best I knew how until she took her last breath.
My family and younger brother's family have booked a vacation to a sunny destination this year. We could not stand the thought of celebrating Christmas at home this year. Too many memories and it would be much too difficult.
It is hard every day for me, but have learned this is a necessary step through grief, and has to be faced. Hopefully, the time will come when the pain won't be so unbearable. I have tried to hold on to my faith, but there are days when I can't pray or reach out to God.
Through my research and inquiries with services in our community, funeral homes, and my doctor, that there is little support. For example I was shocked to learn that the Coping Centre in our community onlly offered grief support groups in the fall or spring. We live in Ontario, Canada, and I am having a difficult time accepting that there is no support following the funeral service. As a Career Transition Consultant and Coach, I help clients through a very difficult time in their lives. They not only obtain the necessary help required to begin their new career search and journey, but to assist them in the grieving part after job loss. Hopefully, one day I will be able to make a positive change by starting my own company in Grief Counselling for individuals / groups as well as start up my own support Group.
Our family has suffered too much pain and loss, and I accept that things will never be the same again. My life feels empty and lonely now. I am blessed that I have a few close friends, but they just cannot provide the comfort and love that my mother was able to give me. I hope that I can positively grow personally, professionally and spiritually from this difficult life journey.