My rock-my mom
All I know is it is a process that I am still going through, almost two years later.
My mom died suddenly from small cell lung cancer. We were shopping one day and 15 days later she was gone.
From the moment she was admitted to the hospital, I just knew it was bad. The moment and events that occurred days before, at the hospital and after, stay with me like still photographs in my mind. I could write a book about the unbelievable events and actions that occurred. I will never forget. It just changes you forever. Some how, I know it will be a change for the better in time. That is the "journey" I am still on.
I am the only daughter of 5. I lost my oldest brother, probably my closest brother in 1994 to a house fire. I now realize after grieving mom's death, I really never grieved over his death. I just got so angry.
My father never got over it and died after a 7 year decline from diabetes and strokes. We cared for him mostly at home and it took its toll on mom. Mom always said she would not want to linger on and put us through it again. Always thinking of everyone else first.
Not only did mom get diagnosed with cancer but that same week, two of my brother’s wives received devastating news about their own mothers having cancer. Mom died 9 days after being diagnosed and their moms - one within days, one within weeks. Just days after mom’s funeral my father-in-law of 30 years was diagnosed with Liver cancer. Just non-stop devastation.
My husband and best friend helped hold me up through it all even though he was faced with the decline of his own father. My grief was misunderstood my many and even used against me. My sadness only deepened. Thank God for his understanding,endless comfort and true love .
I never read or even looked up anything about grief until my mother in law called and was sad and missing her husband the other day. She was a little angry at him. I composed this letter to her:as I understood.
I somehow knew every aspect of my grief was important for me to experience and I accepted
It and almost relished it because I knew it was what I needed to do. I wanted to cry about my mom, she was so much to me. I never once felt bad about anything I was feeling or doing. I just knew it was what I needed to do. The sadness and tears just were. There was no stopping it. It just had to be and that in itself, comforted me.
Almost like the chapters in a book, each stage was so obvious. I wrote often in my journals to help me through. It was so profound and I knew it. I experienced it all too. From shock to the most APATHY I ever want to experience in life.
I have now accepted my mother’s death and know for sure, because of whom she was, somewhere ahead is forgiveness for me. This I know is what I’m working through now. It too will come with time.
I will always be sad about how quickly she was taken from us and how much I miss her. I knew from the moment we found out how sick she was, it was the beginning of my most profound life journey. I knew there where life lessons to understand and so many question to be asked and answered. I knew I was forever changed.
In mom’s way, she is helping me buy all her examples, strength and the person she was. To know and trust that “she’s ok” and I will be too, and that the answers are within me. Like I said yesterday: I feel so grateful, blessed and lucky each and every day, that mom was my “TREE”. If somehow in this life, I manage not to roll to far from it- I’ll be OK.
I had not read anything about grief until today because I was sooo sure my feelings where true and real, what others said made no difference to me. I still gladly cry about mom. Sometimes with a smile because she’s so obvious to me. She is with me always and has let me know many times. I have not missed one message. She is all around me, everywhere I look and that connection is why I loved her so much.
SO: be soo glad you have something and someone so wonderful to grieve, so many beautiful memories, so much to be thankful for, relish it as you and Joe relished life. Cry when you need to, be sad when your sad and know its ok. We are the "Lucky ones". You have suffered a great loss and the family lost the “Captain of the ship” when Joe passed. Everyone is feeling it. Much like the loss of my mom, her sisters, brothers and all of us feel as though we lost the matriarch of our family.
I have found, we are never alone, so many have traveled this road and understand the journey of grief. They too, know all too well what you are going through. I’ve received more compassion and understanding from complete strangers and acquaintances than I have from my closest friends. I just think you need to experience it yourself before you can judge or begin to understand someone’s grief. Everyone expresses it differently, but it is still grief. I understand so much more now.
Joe has not left you, he is all around you everywhere, as I’m sure you can see. Don’t be too hard on him. He did not fail you or leave you- his body failed him and had journeyed as far as it could.
You and I both know what we are feeling is real- I’m just glad I feel. Love Lisa
That is when I found this blog.
I have always been strong willed, born with boxing gloves on- with 3 older brothers! So suret of my biggest life decisions. I was the 4th child, but the first to leave and I never once looked back. This strength comes from my mom and the foundation my parent gave me, I know. She was so kind, giving and forgiving. She never "put -on- errs, thought better or worst of people and just did not hate-ever. She was private, spiritual and did the right thing always. She had every good friend she ever made and kept them for life. She was my best friend and confidant, my rock and I miss her each and every day. That is the person I came from and the kind of person I strive to be.
My boxing gloves are retired- as I too learn the journey of forgiveness. Love and Thank you mom - I know!