The Hole Your Absence Has Created....

by Barbara
(Akron, OH)

My mama

My mama

Is deep, dark, lonely. It perches in the middle of my heart, and steals away my breath sometimes.

I miss you so much...

I see your favorite chair, and imagine you're sitting there smiling at me. I go out on the patio and sit on the couch, and all I can think is how we'd sit there in the cool evening, talking and laughing. I open the closet in your bedroom, and all your clothes are still there. Seven months after you died, the fragrance of your perfume has faded from the fabric, but I just don't have the heart to give your things away. I sit in the living room, and I can feel the way you used to stand behind the couch and cup my face from behind. A quick squeeze for your girl. Your hands smelled like yeast and cinnamon.

I pass by your doctor's office on the way to work, and think of all the visits there, all the times you said you were sorry that I "had" to take care of you. I'm not sorry, Mom - I'd give anything to have you back, even if it meant taking time off work to take you to the doctor. I'd love to do your hair again, or take you for a drive in the country, or go get ice cream, or get a wheelchair at the store so we could browse the aisles.

I miss you so much. I knew you weren't well. I knew you had a bad heart, and diabetes, and how you struggled after you lost most of your eyesight. But I promised you and I promised myself that as long as I was able, I'd stay with you and care for you. I don't regret a minute of it. You were my best friend, and my mom. That's what you do for the people you love. I think back now how sometimes I'd get tired, a little short tempered now and then. You were a headstrong woman, and you didn't give up your independence easily. I feel guilty about that, but I know you understood. You loved me so much.

I guess it's silly to think that an 89 year old woman would live forever, but you were so strong. When you went in the hospital the last time I figured you would come back home like always, back home to me and to your little dog. He missed you as much as I did. For weeks after you died he'd go to the hall and look down it, waiting for you to appear. He died a few weeks ago, and I sobbed then just like I sobbed when you slipped away. I'm glad you both went so peacefully, surrounded by those who loved you. You died of a broken heart, an aorta that ruptured. You simply fell asleep, so quiet, so gentle. I'm so thankful that there was no suffering, and that I was with you to the end, like I promised I would be.

I miss you so much...Fall is coming. You loved autumn, we both did. How do I live through this? How do I take a drive down a country road with the leaves falling and not have my heart break? How do I see mums for sale at the local produce stand and not think about how you loved to dig in the dirt. You could make a weed grow into a rosebush. How do I make it through the holidays? How do I make it, period, without my mom? I'm 48 years old, but since you've been gone I've felt like I'm 3 years old. The tears come less often, but when they come I weep like an abandoned child. I feel bereft, empty, hollow. Nobody will ever understand me the way you do.

Now I find myself needing to create a new life. I sort of let my own life go by the wayside, for all the years I spent caring for you. I've lost touch with people, and I find myself without many friends. I don't even know what I like to do, except the things that remind me of you, and they're too painful. Maybe one day I'll enjoy them again, but now they just bring tears.

Thank you Mama, for loving me. Thank you for raising me to be a good person. Thank you for the times you gave up what you wanted so I could have something. Thank you for teaching me to cook, thank you for taking me to church. Thank you for your friendship and companionship. I always thought I was taking care of you, but now I think it may have been the other way around.

I miss you so much....

Comments for The Hole Your Absence Has Created....

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Sep 23, 2012
Your story
by: Anonymous

Reading your story over & over because those are my exact thoughts from losing my mom. It made me weep, thank you for sharing, as I will read your story many more times.

Aug 08, 2012
Thinking of you
by: Jillian

Dear Barbara,
Please accept my sincere condolenses on the passing of your mum. Her picture shows such kindness.

I cried when I read your message as so much you penned is my daily torture too. My mum was my world too. I was her full time carer and like you Barbara I considered it a priviledge to be part of her life.

Holding onto your mums personal effects is the right thing to do if this feels comfortable for you. It was only 22nd may 2012 I lost mum and I still found it too painful to even look at her belongings and favourite DVD's let alone sort them out.
Please remembers when you pass the doctors surgery that you were there to support your mum and she must have so appreciated your care.

The isolation is awful and often others can appreciate the very strong bond a mother and daughter share particularly after years of caring.

I do hope the grief for both of us gets more tolerable.
Jillian. jillianrcohen@hotmail.com (please contact me when you wish)

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