On the Loss of My Mother

I’ve been debating posting about this because I’m not sure if I want to or if I’m ready or anything really.

My mother died on November 17, 2010 at 3:35pm due to lung cancer complications.

I think I’ll post the whole story eventually, but it’s going to take a lot of emotional strength that I just don’t have today. I’m not dealing with this all very well at all, although there are days when I’m ok. Most days, I’m able to function somewhat normally and put on a brave face, but inside I am absolutely devastated and empty all at the same time. Some days I am in total disbelief that this has even happened, and other days I just can’t even bear the thought of getting out of bed. No matter what kind of day I’m having, my mom is on my mind literally every second of every day.

People mean well and have asked how I’m doing, but most of them don’t want an honest answer. They want to hear that I’m “hanging in there” and “getting through it.” They don’t want to know that I had to go back on anti-anxiety medication or that sometimes I have to go cry uncontrollably until I can’t even breathe in the bathroom stall at work. Lately, it seems like people are forgetting. No one aside from some close friends, my husband, and my father ask how I’m doing. It’s like since it’s been 9 weeks, I should be “over it” and getting “better.” Well, I have news for these people: I’m never, ever going to over it because my mother is never, ever coming back. I am changed forever and will never be the person I was before because my entire world has been turned upside down and there is no way to turn it back right-side up.

I’ve lost people before, so grief is nothing new to me, but this kind of intense, gut-wrenching, life-changing grief is. My nana died when I was 11. She had a heart attack and died instantly as she was in her bedroom getting ready to go out. We were very close, so it was hard on me, but I was also young and I don’t think I really grasped it at the time. My grandpa died this past July. He was in his 80s and had been living in a Veterans’ nursing home for the past several years with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and prostate cancer. He hadn’t known me for years, and I hadn’t seen him in several. I wasn’t surprised to hear he had passed, and it didn’t really affect me because I think I had said goodbye a long time ago.

I think up until now, one of the worst grief experiences I’ve had was when my cat, Twinkie, died. That might sound silly to some people, but any pet owner will know what I’m talking about. He was 16 years old and we had him since I was 6 years old. He was old and ill and my mom made the decision to put him to sleep. I was so angry at her for doing that. I remember lying in bed that morning just bawling my eyes out until I was physically sick. I had to call out of work for a couple of days. That night I sat at my computer and read about Rainbow Bridge and cried some more and I could actually feel my heart hurt with the pain of loss. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over him dying. He was my best friend. We grew up together. He was always there and then one day he was gone.

That’s how I feel now, except it’s more than 1000 times worse. I feel lost and sad and angry and depressed and scared and empty and relieved and everything. Most of all, I just want my mom back.