|me and mom|
My mom passed away about a week ago on August 27th. The cancer that she’s been battling for over 11 years finally won. I’ve been going back and forth about whether or not I should write about the whole experience. It hasn’t been pleasant and there is no glamor in what my family and I have been going through. There are not enough words to describe it all. My only hope is to share what I can and in so doing, healing can begin.
Watching someone I love suffer so greatly for so long and pass on is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Knowing she would pass any day and not being able to do anything about it, the second hardest. Staying strong to help my dad go through mom’s things, the third hardest thing. I’m exhausted. The 12+ hour trip from Virginia to Florida and back again, plus all of the emotional energy expended has left me running on empty. I’m grateful for this extra day off to try and recuperate before heading back to work.
|mom + dad before me 🙂|
I don’t know much about dealing with grief. I’ve never read a book about it or had to lose someone so close. I’ve talked it over with friends and in counseling, but never lived it. I’ve never watched anyone die before. Any other relatives that have passed have done so in their sleep or at a distance. I remember when we found out this February that the cancer had returned that something inside of me knew this was her last fight. Since then I’ve been working through the stages of grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance, doing my best to come to terms with what was to come.
I wasn’t there when she passed. Hurricane Irene stood in our way, delaying all travel plans. They told us that she most likely wouldn’t make it through that Thursday night. She held on through Saturday morning. So strong, so stubborn, classic mom. I see my mom laying there during her last days and wonder what she was thinking, if she was in pain, was she comforted by our words of love? I can only hope so. Not knowing what else to do I chanted the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra 108 times in her honor to liberate her spirit as she moved from the material world.
|the whole family|
It is good that mom is no longer suffering. I’d rather her be at peace than here in so much pain, hardly living, just to stay with us another day. I don’t mean to say I wish she wasn’t here, but to see someone you love fight so hard, for so long and go through so much, you wonder when is it enough? Going through her things we were able to donate much to Goodwill. The best though was taking all of her unused, unopened medical supplies (and I’m talking thousands of dollars here) to the Russell Home for Atypical Children, a non-government funded organization that cares for severely handicapped children. Being so in need and knowing how much those supplies cost, they were very grateful for the donation. I think mom would be happy to have helped.
I will think of mom everyday. I will try to make her proud and continue to stay strong and smile and laugh through the difficult times like she did. I will remember her on my wedding day and when my children are born and feel grateful for having known her and loved her and loved by her. I will share her story with those that will listen. I will take comfort that she is no longer hurting and finally peaceful.
In life there is death and in death there is life.
I love you mom.