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Thoughts, Reflections and a Few Memories


NowakowDA

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Last Thursday marked the two month anniversary of my mother's death. It has been just eight weeks since she left this earth. The memory of that terrible night has burned itself into my mind, and it will stay with me for the rest of my life.

From the last of May till her death on July 29th, all I could feel was shock and panic. On May 22nd when they said Mom had an abnormality on her lung, I begged God to not let it be cancer, but it was. On June 20th, when they did an MRI of Mom's brain, I begged God to keep the cancer from spreading to her brain, but it did. When they started her WBR on June 31st, I begged God to give me as much time with her as possible. She died less then a month later. God saw fit to take from me the only thing in my life that mattered. The only one I cared for.

Now, I can not remember my mother when she was not sick. When I think of her, all I see is the last two months of her life. Her journey from life and health to death was all to brutal and short.

My mother was 79. Her birthday was June 27th. That day came and went with little notice, but her rapid decline continued. In the space of two months I could barely recognize the woman that had given birth to me. Her hair had fallen out and her mind was gone.

I did more then look after her, I had to. I would not let strangers touch her. I gave her her medicine. I fed her when she was hungry. When she wet her pants, I dried her off and changed her. When all she wanted to do was set and watch the Weather Channel, I bought her a recliner. When she grew confused and disoriented, I put my stereo by her bed and played her favorite music. When she was scared of the dark, I kept the lights on. For the last month of her life, I slept on the floor in her room so that she would not be alone. There were no tears, no anger then about what was happening, all that would come later. My last memory of our time together was of me getting her dressed for her journey to the funeral home.

The panic and shock I felt during those two months has now given way to pain. Now, within me there is this deep anguish. My soul has been cut open, but instead of blood coming out of this wound, there is only pain. The only time this pain subsides is when I realize that she is gone. Then it is drowned out by an overwhelming sadness.

This is a sad time of the year. It's made all the sadder by Mom's death. The holidays are coming and I dread to see them arrive. Sometimes I wonder if I will be here to see the New Year. Sometimes I fear that I will not and other times I don't even care.

Don

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Oh Don, your post is so heartbreaking. I am so so sorry that you feel so sad and lost at the moment. You are living my nightmare so I cannot totally understand how you feel as I have not been there but I can only imagine it is awful. I hope that with time the memories you built over your lifetime with your Mum will return to you and you will remember her as the vibrant woman and mother she was before the cancer took over.

Wishing you peace and strength

Jana

xxxx

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Get some help. Please do. There is no shame or embarrassment in that given the trauma in your life. And please try to recognize how your mother would want you to continue. She didn't give you this precious life to be spent in pain. Make the choice to start feeling better. I agree with Don that it probably starts with counselling and therapy.

Curtis

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I think you need some help too. YOu are all alone and in such a low place- you need some help, a hand to help you begin your climb up.

You will never forget, and there will always be pain, but life can and must go on. I know your mom would want that for you.

When my dad died...all I remembered were those 11 days in the hospital before he died. Each action and every minute and moment until his last breath.

Several months past and all I could remember were his medicenes and Dr. apts and manuvering him in his wheelchair, his pain....All my memories were of him when he was sick...

Now, 14 months later, I can remember his goofy humor or how he'd snap at me if I said something totally off the wall or how he called my mom "MA!". The stupid song he'd use to sing, the way he smiled at me, the memories or when times were good and he was healthy.

Still hurts like hell that he's not here...but I remember the good times now, and I am living my life the way he'd want me too.

I'm praying real hard for you.

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My heart breaks for you, and partly for me too, cause your Mom and my big brother passed on about the same time. I hope you find some comfort in thinking of the two of them "getting there" together . . . walking along that beautiful path and knowing that their loved ones would be terribly grief-stricken but wanting them to go on with their lives and eventually be able to remember the good times. I'm still not quite there yet . . . maybe we can get there together.

Praying for us all,

TeeTaa

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don

i know where you and it is a tough place. i would agree with everyone else and look for some help. friday will be three months since my mom died and it is still hard. I also remember when she was sick and her final days and that is very hard to deal with. I am just starting to remember other times the good times i had with her. My family and i often sit, talk and laugh about her. I would reach out to somebody because it will ease your pain. I hope that you find strength, peace and comfort in these difficult days.

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I want to thank everyone who was kind enough to read my words and post a reply.

As for help? I could never set down and talk to a stranger about what was inside of me. I will not even bother the few friends that I have about my problems. I have never been able to talk very well. My mind and my mouth seldom work together.

For the past month I have been unable to post anything on this board. I could not summon up the strength to set down and type. I was still lurking in the background. Reading posts but not posting.

Right now my life is at a stand still. I am neither going forward or backwards, just stuck. I'm still looking for a job (unemployed computer tech). Still living on my savings (can survive till next August on just my checking account).

I had saved up enough money so that by this summer I could have put a down payment on a house (up to 50% on a 100K home). I knew that Mom was getting old, and that noone in her family ever lived past 85. I wanted her to spend her last years in her own home. A place where she could put a nail in the wall and hang up a picture if she wanted to. I guess that just wasn't ment to be.

As for getting help? This board is the only help I can manage right now. This is the one place that has kept me from going over the edge. If not for this board, I know I would not have survived the last two months of Mom's life. Again, much thanks.

Don

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Please do continue to post when you feel up to it. That is why we are all here. It is okay to not be doing well.

I am more communicative with my friends than it sounds like you are. I am lucky to be in such a non-competitive environment wherever everyone wants my success. And so I have leaned on my friends, my parents, and my classmates a ton in the last six months. But at the same time, they are all grieving, too. And there is just something different about seeing a pro. She is not grieving, and she knows what she is doing, and I feel better after the sessions. I really would encourage you to try out a therapist. Or a group at church. There is a group of guys from church that I go out to lunch with, and we are all widowers. Granted, the next youngest is still older than my dad. The more places you have to share this grief, I think the better off you will be.

Thanks for updating us again, and God bless.

Curtis

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Don,

Reading your posts reminded me of my youngest brother's grief when our mother died in 1993. He was a successful attorney, but after Mom died he quit his job and was unemployed by choice for almost 3 years. He had frequent, vivid dreams of Mom and reached the place where distinguishing dream from memory from reality became difficult for him.

In our case, Mom died suddenly of heart failure. My brother had been the one helping Mom with doctor's appointments and decisions about treatment for her heart problems. He spent months reliving every decision, every conversation. He was sure that if he had done things differently, Mom would have lived. He felt like he had "betrayed" Mom by not doing more.

Of course, none of that was true. He was an attentive, loving, conscientious son, and Mom adored him. Mom's heart was diseased, and nothing was going to save her. Nothing was going to make her okay. It took my brother years to come to terms with that.

I believe that my brother focused on "what ifs" and "if onlys" and the guilt because that made him feel like he was doing something, figuring something out. That was easier for him than dealing with the gaping hole in his heart, the crushing grief of knowing that Mom was gone, and the sense of loss that overwhelmed him.

My brother tried counseling and anti-depressants, and that helped some. Ultimately, I think he had to go through his own grief journey to be able to incorporate the loss into his life and continue to function.

Don, one thing I beg of you: If at any point you feel hopeless or have any thoughts of "joining Mom" or "what's the use" or "life isn't worth it", etc., GET HELP!! Don't wait, and don't give in. The darkness of depression can fool you, and you can't let it suck you in.

I believe that somewhere your mother is watching you, and sending her love, support, and comfort. As a mother, I can guarantee you that SHE WANTS YOU TO GO ON AND BE HAPPY.

Stay with us. You'll get through this and life will be good again. Someday you will think of your mother and feel only love, tenderness, gratitude and joy.

Pam

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hey don

therapy isn't THE answer and you can get a good or baddie but why not try it. therapist are unbiased ghan fiends or even people on boards likw this.

anti-depressnts work better on internal/dhemical depression and don'g alwayw work on environmentql depression - kind comes from whqt hqppens in our lives ghqt is sad of tragic.

please i hope you can understnd typing in this posg.

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Don - My mom died 24 years ago next month. I was 29 at the time and despite the fact that I had a son, a husband, a father and two siblings, I thought life as I knew it was over. I do not to this day know how the people who cared about me lived with me for the year that followed. Holiday season is the worst - particularly the first few years. I don't have a lot of words of wisdom. Every time I hear of someone's mother passing away, it breaks my heart. One of my daughter's childhood friends called me two weeks ago to tell me that her mom had died - she was 45. The girl said "I keep thinking I'll have to call Mom and tell her something. Then I realize I can't." Boy do I know that feeling. One of the things I do remember doing at some point was looking at my mother's life and realizing all she had been through. Her mom died when she was 6, she lost her father and a daughter within 3 months of each other, her older brother before I was born, her younger (favorite) brother when I was a teenager and her twin brother when I was about 20. She had taken care of my partially paralyzed father for the last 14 years of her life. I think maybe it finally clicked that the best way I could honor her was to be a better person and enjoy my life. As a mother myself now, I know that my children love me. Even when they were shouting "I hate you" I knew it.

Don't doubt that your mom knew. You will get through this.

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Hello Don. My name is Don also. I understand how you feel. My father passed away. Just when we starting hanging together, me going to his constuction sites working doing little things, we started hunting together and he was even teaching me to drive the old family truck. He had just bought the first family boat so summer was going to bring great fun in the sun. I worshiped the ground that my father walked on and my shadow was never very far from him. The last time I saw my dad was when he stopped at my school bus stop that morning to give me and my sisters money for ice cream at lunch. Later that day he was killed in a hunting accident. I was only 12 years old. Just when life started it ended. The one difference we had is your mother lived to share a life with you and in her time of need you were there for her all the way. My hat is off to you for such dedication to a parent. But now that is over with and you must carry her memory in your heart and in your soul never looking back only looking forward to the day that you go home to God where your mother will be standing in her favorite dress looking as pretty as you have ever remembered her. You are a very lucky man. Now as mom would say get up, get over, and get on with it.

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