On July 10th, I did just that. I lost her. We lost her. The world lost her. But God wrapped her in His arms and welcomed her into the kingdom of Heaven. If you don't believe that, like most don't, that's your choice. But, for me, it's what helped me to let Mom go and what helps me get through each day. Standing at my mom's bedside, her hand not grasping, but gently resting, in mine, I prayed to God to let Mom leave us peacefully and no longer suffer. I don't know if she heard me telling her she could go... To find her mom and Dad up there.... I hope Mom understood that I wanted her HERE more than anything, but if she couldn't be here on Earth, wholly, and not suffering, than it was God's best plan to release her from the pain and suffering.
I prayed until the moment she took her last breath & then I prayed for her ascension into Heaven.
I can't even understand the circumstances surrounding Mom's untimely passing. I know that most of you knew she was battling advanced cancers of the breast and lung, so you might think I'm nuts for saying her death was "untimely". I know she didn't have years left. If anything, it might have been only months.
What seemed like a panic attack, brought on by her fear and worrying, landed her in the E.R. getting oxygen and something to calm her... Then, it all ultimately resulted in cardiac arrest. Mom never really recovered. My siblings and I had to make the decision to let Mom pass peacefully and not play God, by keeping her alive by way of machines. She would've never wanted that - A breathing machine? A feeding tube? That's not "living"; it's "existing"... at the mercy of a machine.
The doctor said if we chose that scenario, Mom would be whisked away to a long term care facility to live out her days. It would have been pure selfishness to do that to her. So, on that day, July 10th, we said goodbye.
I don't understand how grief works. I thought, for sure, that I was just a really strong woman; being able to smile and laugh in the days that followed Mom's passing. But I soon realized that grief is a tricky thing! I have a few good days and then one day, without warning, I am an emotional wreck. I find myself sobbing with sadness, wanting it to be a dream, wanting to do things differently and hope for a different outcome. Turns out, the death of a loved one, doesn't end with the burial. It really seems to go on for a while and is done so in phases. There are so many things I have to get used to. I talked to Mom every day. She called me almost every day right after work. All of a sudden, I didn't get that phone call. And I really long for it. More than I ever imagined I could. Maybe I took that phone call for granted?
Last week, I wanted to call Mom to vent, like I always could, & all of a sudden I got in the car and realized I couldn't dial her number and talk. That was a very difficult drive home. Flooded with tears and pain in my heart that left such a lump in my throat. I called her cell phone to listen to her voice saying "Hi, it's me Bridge, leave a message and I'll get back to you".. But it was the default greeting that answered.
I catch myself thinking that my ringing phone is Mom calling me, just as I'm arriving home after work. She used to text me almost every night "good night, love you" - I saved a lot of those messages. I saved the last birthday text she sent me. She was so upset; she wanted to text me right at midnight on April 19th and she dozed off. She texted me at 12:41 instead and told me the next morning, how pissed she was that she fell asleep. Silly woman.
I have to accept that Mom won't be at parties, her much loved BBQs at our house, or her granddaughter's dance recitals. She won't be here for holidays or our annual Mother's Day outing.
Aside from all of the milestone dates and anniversaries, she just won't be here any day of the week. I don't know how anyone ever gets used to that.
You don't know when the sadness is going to creep up on you; there's no way of telling. I went to the grocery store today & before I got in there, I was already submersed in tears. Maybe, because, before I went there, I went to the library and borrowed a book on grieving. It's true that you really wrestle with a lot of emotions after a loved one dies. The guilt, the sadness, the confusion.. I almost feel guilty for laughing some days;for finding humor in anything, for going on with life. But the hard truth is that life does go on. I have to realize that Mom will always be here in my life, spiritually, and in my heart. Just not physically. I had the funny idea that I'd be "ok" in a few days, or a few weeks. It almost seemed as though I was. Wow, what a relief it was.
But I'm not ok... There are days that I can't even hold back my tears and I could be anywhere when it hits me. Grief is heavy.... and it hides. Only to jump out at you when you least expect it.
It comes to the surface with the littlest things... A song, a picture, a funny memory, a conversation, a scent.
I loved (love) my Mom with all of my heart & then some. She was one of my best friends in life. We talked about EVERYTHING, she was there for me through EVERYTHING in life. We had such a wonderful relationship - The kind some people envy. She called me "sunshine" and said I made her laugh on her worst days. We were a good duo. My sister and I were in the car last week & I was talking about Mom and how she really thought I could do no wrong. Which is completely UNTRUE, but she really did think I hung the moon. I'll never know why. She was probably my biggest fan in this life. If I wanted to be president of the United States, she'd have said that I could do it, with no hesitation. My sister said it "was no secret" that I was Mom's favorite.. and I said I was sorry for that, but she laughed and said it never bothered her. Maybe if I hadn't been so close to her, the loss wouldn't be felt so strongly. But I tend to think that if we weren't that close, the loss would be ever worse. Who really knows. I'm not saying I regret our bond. EVER.
I truly feel like I have lost a piece of my heart somewhere in this - and I know that it will take time to heal. How much time, I don't know. No one can know. The void will never be filled but the pain, I'm hoping, will slowly diminish and my days will be spent remembering Mom in happier times. My sisters, my brother and I will all cope and deal with our grief in our own ways. No two people will be the same. It will be very hard & it will be very painful. The heart doesn't heal easily. Hopefully, we can have "strength in numbers" and really help each other through this. I pray that each of us can find comfort in the promise of being reunited one day in Heaven.
In the next months or so, I know I will be posting a lot of these feelings on my blog. I'm sorry, ahead of time, that I might carry on for a while. I just think it will help me with my healing process and it will also help me to remember Mom.
Please pray for Mom today & pray for my family's strength as we cope with our loss.