The loss of an amazing Mother
My Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a little over 10 years ago. I still remember her sitting me down when I was 9 years old and telling me that she was going to have to have surgery but that "mommy would be ok". I didn't think much of it back then, and went on with my life as a 9 year old. As time went on I remember people coming up to me and telling me how sorry they were that our family had to go through this. I didn't really understand why people felt so sorry for us because I had been told by my own Mother that she was going to be fine.
I saw my Mom lose her hair and go through chemotherapy, however I was always sheltered from how truly horrific it was. In my family we never talked about my Mom dying; it was never even an option in our household. My Mom finished her chemo and went onto radiation and was fine until my freshmen year of high school. She was having a pain in her arm and she went to go get tests run and they found that the cancer had metastasized in her bone. I was very scared when finding out about this because I was now older and knew what the word "cancer" meant. I was once again assured, however, that everything would be fine; that Mom didn't even need chemo this time because it was just a "small thing".
So my Mom started getting transfusions, which I came to find would be something that she would apparently be getting the rest of her life. Well we went about 3 years until she was diagnosed again. This time it was right before I graduated from high school, during my spring break, however this time the outlook was pretty much inevitable. The cancer had gone to her liver and she was in the hospital.
All of a sudden I was being told that my Mom was not going to be leaving the hospital, she was going to die. This came as a huge shock to me because like I said death was never talked about in our house. I don't think I've ever prayed harder than I did over those few months, asking God please to just give me some time to make things right. I was an only child and subsequently I definitely could be rebellious and a bit of a brat a lot of the time, especially to my Mom. (We fought about everything).
Well my Mom somehow pulled through and did come home from the hospital. She ended up living for exactly a year. Somehow through that whole year I knew that this was a gift from God and that he was giving me the time I wanted. I knew in the back of my mind that this would be our last birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas together, which was a very hard thought since my Mother loved and basically made all of our holidays as special as they were.
Through this whole year my Father literally had a nervous break down. He had been known as the "rock" my whole life; I had never even seen the man cry in the 19 years I had known him. All of a sudden he became depressed and literally could not leave his bedroom. This was really the beginning stages of grief, but of course he was put on anti depressants which completely messed him up.
Well April came around and over Easter my Mom was noticeably doing badly. She could barely walk and was sleeping all the time. Suddenly out of nowhere she couldn't talk and we knew this was the end. We called in hospice because the one thing we knew was that she wanted to die at home. She pretty much drifted into a deep sleep and days later passed away. It was still shocking, even though we knew it was coming. Here I am almost a year later and I think I'm still in shock. I think it's more how she passed away than anything. I never imagined she wouldn't be able to talk and would just drift away like that. I'm not sure though if saying our last goodbyes would have made it any easier. Like I've said we never talked about her dying really, even though we knew it was inevitable. I think it made it easier for her and in my mind, that's all that really matters.
My father still is suffering from the anti depressants he was first put on. He was put on a million different drugs that have not done anything for him and he's now dealing with trying to come off of them, which unmasks your grief and just starts the process all over again. If there is one piece of advice I can give to anyone DO NOT GO ON ANY ANTI DEPRESSANTS WHEN YOU'RE GRIEVING!! You are not depressed, you are overwhelmingly sad. I myself have started having extreme anxiety and panic attacks which I associate to having watched my Dad go through this and me not grieving properly myself.
I turned to alcohol almost immediately which again IS NOT THE ANSWER!! It is a temporary relief if you even want to call it that. I'm now seeing an amazing counselor, my Dad is too. It's helping me tremendously!! I have always had a very strong faith in God, as did my Mother. I have always felt a deep spiritual connection which my Mother did too. My Dad however, is more of a practical person and though he believes, he wants proof. If I can give any other advice it would be don't lose your faith. Everyone must experience this at one time or another and though even I have screamed and yelled and cursed God asking "why me?", the loss of a loved one is actually something that can give you an even deeper spiritual understanding.
Through this loss I have found that I want to dedicate my life to helping others through their own losses and help them cope with their own anxiety. My Mother was the strongest, most brave women I've ever known and I'm sure will ever meet. To think of her not being there for my wedding or to see my own children absolutely kills me. I'm still working through my grief though, and I know that one day I'll be able to pick up my life again and learn to live with the comfort of the memories I have with her.
I'm still going through various stages of grief, most recently depression and isolation and it's almost been a year, so really never put a time line on anything. I personally feel that the longer time goes on the harder it gets, however I have faith and I know I will make it through and so will everyone of you!!!