Christmas Mourning

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It’s that time of year again, holiday time, for many the holidays are a source great joy and happiness and getting to spend time and create wonderful memories with loved ones. The holidays are very family-centered and for those of us dealing with loss though, this time can just turn into a painful reminder of those we are missing, and that this year there won’t be any more new memories created with those who are gone. Whether the loss is new over even years old the holidays can actually turn into a very painful time. Since my loss is new everything this year is a year of “firsts” without my Mom. I’m becoming anxious about what is to come and what kind of feelings are going to surface so I’m trying to prepare myself for a variety of emotions that I may experience. I don’t want to become too down or negative so I’m trying to be preemptive in how I try to handle things. My first preemptive action is to do some things this holiday season to honor my mom instead of mourn her. I plan to do this by participating in a service project. My mom was very big on serving others and last year we actually spent Christmas morning delivering Christmas meals to those in need instead of opening presents. It was out first time doing it but I think as a family we have decided it was a new tradition we wished to continue on for years to come. So this year to honor her memory we will be doing the same. I also want to find another service project to accomplish as well possibly something involving children who have to be in the hospital at Christmas, my mom loved kids so I think that would be a great way to honor her memory.

Holidays this year are going to be interesting this year for our family my Dad could possibly be working on Christmas Day (he just recently got a job working in the oil fields) and it’s the first Holidays with out my Mom. So the kids will most likely coming to Sean’s I’s house for Christmas. Moms are always the ones who organize and plan everything to make this time of year so special, I feel as the oldest I’m being put in place this year to step up and take over. Thanksgiving we are planning to do dinner as a family but since my Mom was always the one who took charge on the kitchen I feel like My dad and I will be trying to take over. I’ve recently been realizing there were certain things I always helped my Mom make, but she never actually got around to teaching me how to cook a turkey…It makes me really sad I know I’ll figure it out but it’s just another reminder of all the time we never got… Since my Dad could be working on Christmas Day we are planning to do most of our Christmas activities on Christmas Eve, so that leaves Christmas morning to do the meal deliveries. There’s a lot of changes this year and I want to make sure the kids aren’t sad and we have a good day even if my Dad can’t be there and my Mom is gone. I have a lot of ideas in my head of fun things to do after we deliver meals like maybe play some games together, cook a good meal, and maybe go see a movie as well. I’m just really hoping we can spend the day together and not feel too sad about her absence and maybe instead feel her presence spiritually Christmas was my Moms favorite holiday so I think her spirit will try to comfort us.

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My Sister and I with my Mom on our last Christmas together 12/25/12

Deeper than Dreaming

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I dreamt about my Mom Saturday night. The dream began with her I and I talking but then she said something strange about still being alive, and we were arguing about whether or not she was alive, I kept saying no Mom you died a few months ago and this is just a dream and that’s fine because this is the only place I’m able to see you now. She then looked deeply at me or more so into me and said something along the lines of “that it appears to be a dream to me, but I was actually drifting in a different level of consciousness that I cannot fully grasp (best explanation for it) that yes she had died in the terms that we here on Earth believe to be the real truth, but it’s not and she is now very much alive and more than ever but in another heavenly realm but it’s such a higher and different level of consciousness it’s impossible for the earthly human mind to understand so she couldn’t fully explain it to me I just have to trust her, and trust that it really was her there with me that, and that currently we were meeting on another plane. She was alive and waiting in another  Heavenly realm, and that time there had no bearing and the time I have to withstand without her here in my world would seem very minuscule once I was there too, because that is going to be the life that really matters this one was just the beginning… a preparation for the next and while it seems important now, everything suffered in this one won’t matter in the next phase where we live as our true selves.” This is very condensed version but there was so much power behind the words she was saying that I could never describe it properly in any human language… This is also because she wasn’t always using words or speaking out loud to communicate with me she was speaking into my mind and into my heart and using emotions, and giving me images. It’s amazing how much easier it was to communicate that way

There was so much more and much that’s already slipped away. This is as best as I can put into words, I was confused in my dream but I felt like I could understand her more in the dream because the level of communication there is so much clearer; you don’t have all the human blockages that dull down our understanding getting in the way, your mind is more clear and open and free to feel and understand . Even now the power behind my understanding of what she said is like trying grasp onto water it’s slowly trickling away from me, but I truly believe that she was visiting me in my mind that night it wasn’t a dream in the true sense that we believe dreaming to be. I feel that she made contact with me and was able to bring into another dimension of consciousness in which our two beings could be together for a short amount of time.

In the dream we also had a long conversation that I have decided to keep more personal, but she was coming to answer some of my questions, because only the day before I had been praying to her for guidance in what to do, and how to do it regarding many areas of life right now. Currently I have highly been considering to begin writing a book about her and everything that happened through our journey with cancer. Visiting me was her confirmation in telling me I was on the right path, she didn’t give me much guidance and how it would work out and how I should go about doing it, I think she wants to me to figure it out on my own, but now yet again she has given me more to write about.

To Keep From Treading Water

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Today I have felt inspired to write a post on the different things I do when the feelings associated with grief begin to be “too much”.  For the most part I always try to to allow myself time to “feel”  and try to let myself work my feelings out, but there are always going to be those times when the feelings are a little to overwhelming, or negative and you don’t want to let them consume you completely. When I start to find myself in that place with my emotions and feelings I have several things I have started doing. A couple of months ago I was very stuck in the place with my emotions, I felt very negative about every thing daily. Which was also why I didn’t write any posts for  few months, I was just feeling very negative about losing my Mom, and I didn’t feel posting a bunch of negativity would be beneficial to anyone, and being in place like that I wasn’t even able to bring myself to write because I was in such a bad place I didn’t see how it could do any good. I began to find myself slipping into a very dark place with my emotions. I was extremely sad and depressed and I felt nothing in my life was going right, I felt very lost like I didn’t have much to live for anymore. I just was not happy at all. At first I though maybe it was a apart of the grieving process and that it was just the stage I was at, but then I started to feel that it may be more than that may be I was actually chemically depressed. When I started to recognize where I was I realized something needed to change.  I did at one point consider that may be I should go to the doctor and consider getting on a medication if this really was chemical, but the more I thought on it the more I realized that was not something I personally wanted to do, while I realize for some people medication is the right path to take and that’s fine to each their own, but for me it is not the right path. I am not a huge fan of western medicine, I believe there are other ways to do deal with all types of health mental and physical. I also felt in my heart that this was something I could deal with on my own, that it was a matter of actively working to change my mindset and doing somethings differently.  I also felt that a lot of these emotions were also simply because I wasn’t doing anything with myself. I was going to work, and occasionally getting together with friends but I would just come home and sit around and not doing anything (partially because I was depressed and didn’t want to), and they say idle time is the devils playground, I found this to be very true. When you aren’t doing anything productive or anything that makes you feel good or accomplished then how is your mind going to produce good feelings that come from those things. I also came to this realization after I talked with Sean when I first told him I thought I was depressed, but didn’t want to get on medication, he told me that he thought I was depressed because I wasn’t doing anything, and that I should find a hobby and get back into doing something I loved. At first I couldn’t think of anything to do. Then I started to realize that there were several things I hadn’t done for awhile that I enjoyed doing, and I started concentrating my efforts on doing those things and I also changed a few of my habits as well.

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One of the first things that greatly helped start getting me on the right path, was Sean and I went and got a couples massage. We’d purchased the package and were planning to use it for Valentines day but that was when my Mom had her emergency brain surgery and things were not going well, then about a month later was when she passed away, so it was just sitting there not being used. I finally realized it was about to expire so I finally booked the appointment.  At the time I didn’t even realize that the massage could help me a lot with relieving a lot of pent up stress and emotions, but it did. There were a couple of times during the massage where she hit a few very intense emotional energy spots and released them I would tear up and cry a little, but it was exactly what I needed to feel them releasing. After the massage even the massage therapist told me “wow that it was really intense massage” and asked my why I was so stressed and if I was a high stress person and what I did to release stress because she said it felt like I must be doing nothing because my back was all knots and tension. I told her that my Mom has just passed away a few months ago and I had been dealing with a lot of emotions from that and she just gave me a huge hug and said well no wonder of course you would feel that but that she felt a lot of energy and emotions release and that she felt I should start feeling a lot better after that.  That massage did wonders for me, it was definitely what I needed to get back on the right track, it was perfect timing to. After that massage so much stress, tension, and negativity was released that I felt like I could start thinking clearly about where I was and what I needed to do to help myself.

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Around the time I got the massage I had also just finished reading a very profound book called “Mutant Message Down Under” by Marlo Morgan, it is a really amazing book about this woman’s journey with the Aboriginese of Australia and journey she takes with them for 4 months and all of the things she learns. This book has a lot of really amazing spiritual messages and really left me thinking. This book had also belonged to my Mom so it left me thinking a lot about her too. After the massage because my thoughts were still dwelling on how amazing the book was and how much it had affected me, I started thinking about things I should start doing to occupy my mind and my time so that I wasn’t allowing myself opportunity to keep slipping back into that constant state of negative emotion. Then I realized that another time I was feeling depressed I started reading a lot of books, and that it helped greatly and I should try doing that again. I absolutely love reading, and I always have, but during the school year I feel that I don’t always have a lot of time for personal reading so it was something I just let slip and hadn’t been doing much of or even thought about. I’d read a few books here and there but overall I hadn’t been taking a lot of time to do something I loved. I also feel that books also have powerful messages in them of hope and determination and love. Things that I needed to start feeling. So I started taking time to read. Within my first 3 days of deciding to make that my new hobby I finished 3 books in 3 days. Since August I’ve read 15 books in total. Even though school is back in I am still making reading a priority and it has helped me greatly. I have read a variety of different books but one I am currently reading that was recommended to me is called “Motherless Daughters” by Hope Edelman. It’s a book about the challenges girls/women who lose their mother face for the rest of their lives. It takes on different stand points and situations, using science psychology, spirituality, important events etc and how it effects the way we shape ourselves and think and heal. This book has helped me greatly to understand this journey I am on with losing my mother and realizing its something I will live with the rest of my life but how I can heal and understand from it. It also helps me understand the perspective of my younger sisters (and also my younger brother too) since they are all at different ages and life cycles so their experience with losing her won’t be the same as mine. A few other books related to death, loss and grief I utilize daily are; “Healing After Loss, Daily Meditations for Dealing With Grief” this book is a calendar type book with a message for each day of the year for someone dealing with loss, I found several great quotes and messages in this book that have greatly helped me and my mindset. I keep it in my car so every morning I remember read the daily meditation and I find it’s a great way to start my day and remind myself to “honor” my grief. One I also look at but not as often is “Remembering with Love: Messages of Hope for the First Year of Grieving and Beyond” this one has really great messages but you have to look them up based on what you’re feeling at the time, so I forgot to look at it a lot, but every time I receive comfort from the messages in it.

Another hobby I found helps a lot when emotions become too much is too cook. Cooking seems to me to be very therapeutic. I think it’s because it take so much focus and attention that its really easy to forget everything bad going on or any negativity you might be feeling and just throw yourself into what you are doing. Not only that but at the end all your hard work and efforts and rewarded with getting to share and eat a meal with someone else, for me it’s usually Sean (who definitely enjoys this hobby), but sometimes my whole family comes over for dinner too. Getting to sit down and have a good meal  you spent the last few hours making and perfecting and watching others and yourself enjoy, can give you a really great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. I usually find most of the recipes I want to try on Pinterest, and so far all I’ve had are great successes with the recipes I have attempted, everything I’ve made so far has turned out great and I’ve also found fun to exciting to try out new foods and meals and changing things only using a meal is an easy way to stay keep life interesting.

One big change for me was realizing I needed to make more of an effort to keep God and spirituality in my life. I realized while my Mom was alive and especially in the few weeks leading up to and after her passing I felt very close to God. My Mom was always my spiritual anchor, I relied on her a lot to fuel my faith and my relationship with God. My Mom was a very spiritual and religious person. There was really nothing more important to her than her beliefs. So a few months after she passed I felt my closeness and comfort from God was slipping away from me, but it was because I wasn’t doing anything to maintain that. I know I should start going to church but, church was always something I did with my Mom, and I’m not ready to start going without her yet. I will and probably soon maybe after the new year. For now though I’m just not ready because if I start going I want to make it a real commitment to God and I take my commitments very seriously. I did need a way to start bringing God into my life on a daily basis so I started with music. I honestly can’t remember how I came to the decision I think there was a lot of spiritual intervention on my Mom’s part but I started listening to K-Love the Christian radio station.  During the first week I started I would listen once in awhile in the mornings on my way to work as a way to start my day and the very first time I turned the station I had a very overwhelming sense of comfort, peace, and happiness wash over me. Every morning I would listen I would feel the same thing. I also in general started noticing I felt happier, like my burdens were becoming less to bear. Within my first week of making that small change I started feeling a transformation take place within myself. Pretty soon I was finding myself on that station more often than not and now it’s pretty much all I listen to in the car and often times I turn the music on online when I’m home while I’m cooking or cleaning or getting ready. It’s really hard to explain how much that one change has really started to changing my life it’s a daily process and it’s still currently in affect with how this music is changing me, but it is a huge part of how I was able to get out of that dark place. My Mom had always listened to K-Love so I grew up with it, but I never payed attention to the songs or the music. Now that I am actively listening though I love both the music and the messages in the lyrics, and the comfort I receive from them. I am also feeling God much closer in my life and have been witnessing a lot of changes and blessing that in itself reaped.

These are just a few of activities I have used to help myself cope in times when my grief overwhelms me but there are so much out there to do that I haven’t even covered such as energy work, tapping, exercise, yoga, art, crafting etc. the list is endless. I have realized just the act of doing something else can help remove you from that mindset and help you shift into a new one. The key is to tune into what you love and use that to redirect your thinking. Grief is a very active process and you have to be actively engaging yourself in positive thoughts, emotions, and activities in order to keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed by the negatives. Grief is not always something that will induce good feelings, and sometimes in order to move forward you have to allow yourself time to work through any negative feelings/thoughts, such as anger, sadness, bitterness, but you cannot allow yourself to become trapped by these emotions, and that may be a good time to use activities to prevent that from happening. Those emotions need to be felt but only in order to break bounds and continue moving onto new phases. Each phase of grief has its own individual emotions and associations, they may be similar to something you have felt before but in a new connotation and I believe it is important to recognize that to keep from regressing back into previous phases.  A strange myth about grief seems to be this idea of the timeline of it, or that it should only take a year. Losing someone has no timeline, the first year is just the hardest because of freshness of it and the “firsts” with out them you encounter, but that by no means entails that after one year you should have “gotten over it” I haven’t even hit the year mark yet, but I have realized enough to know that the absence is something that will always be felt and recognized which will in turn have the power to arouse emotions within us that could potentially be negative and that’s okay. You have every right to recognize that but always try to use any negative emotions to propel you forward to help you get to a new place with your grief. Overall to keep from treading water or going under I think the best thing to do is swim.

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Handling the Bittersweet

I got engaged Tuesday night!

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I am currently on a trip to NYC with my boyfriend and Tuesday night he took me to Central Park (on the preconception of sight seeing) and proposed next to The Pool, it was very beautiful and romantic location. He even got someone to take pictures, he actually asked a stranger sitting nearby if he could take some pics of us in front of the lake and told him that he was about to propose so to take a bunch, so I thought we were about to take a picture and the next thing I know he said first I would like to ask you a question and got down on one knee and asked me! So Tuesday night October 1, 2013 we got engaged in NYC in Central Park, my life feels like an absolute dream right now! Except for one tiny thing; upon getting engaged we sat down nearby to call family and friends to share our exciting news, and when I realized I couldn’t call my Mamma and tell her I immediately started crying, I told Sean that it was really hard that she was the one person I really wanted to be able to call and tell, but I couldn’t; and then he said something very simple but profound. He said that she was the only one who was able see it and watch him ask me, while we had to call and tell everyone else that she was there! That one simple statement immediately changed my perspective on the situation and I felt a lot better, and just solidified why I was marrying him.

At dinner toasting the champagne purchased by a nice stranger

At dinner toasting the champagne purchased by a nice stranger

After we went out to celebrate and a stranger sitting near us at dinner heard it was our engagement and as he was leaving told the waiter he wanted to buy our bottle of champagne for us, since he was leaving we didn’t know until after so we didn’t get to thank him, but what an amazing act of kindness. It was a truly blessed and happy evening! After it happened though as we were sitting there at dinner I couldn’t help thinking that maybe that was also my Mom behind that as well, her way offering her congratulations to us, by urging a stranger to buy us a bottle of champagne, I’m sure it was him as well just being a really nice guy, but it did make me wonder. I feel that it was partially her sending us a sign of her blessing on our engagement. My mom was always a  huge fan of Sean, she loved him as her son instantly and always felt that he was worthy to be with me, which was not something she felt about most anyone I have ever dated. I feel blessed to be marrying someone that was able to know her, and know her very well. For the first year of our relationship Sean and I lived at my house with my parents before they had to move into a smaller home and we got our own apartment, so Sean became very integrated into our family. This was also the during the last two years or so of my Mom’s life, so he was there for everything and there for me through everything that happened. In the last week of her life was when Sean and I had first began talking about getting engaged/married, and when I told her she was so happy and excited for me that she actually began telling people that we were engaged. So several people at the funeral congratulated me on my engagement and I had to explain that we weren’t engaged quite yet just talking about it.

Getting engaged brought me back to memories of the first time my Mom met Sean as well; it was in June 11  2011, and Sean and I were getting ready to leave on our very first date. She has just come off of a round of bio-chemotherapy, which for anyone who doesn’t know is a very intense form of chemo involving a mixture of several different chemotherapy drugs, it involves a 5 day stay in a hospital, with two weeks out for recovery then back again. She was just coming off of her first round and was expected to do 5 more ( she only made it through 2 then had to stop when she nearly died from the second). The first ,which had made her extremely sick and had not gone well, she ended up having to be pulled from it a day early. She had come home and was completely incoherent at times even hallucinating, and extremely and violently ill and vomiting, there were times she would try to stand and immediately pass out. She had dropped about 30 pounds of weight going from around 105 down to less than 75 pounds. This day though was towards the end of her two weeks, she was doing much better and was having a good day she was able to make it out of bed and was laying in a reclining chair on our porch in the the sun, she was still kind of dreamy and incoherent though. I remember I was out there visiting with her when Sean got there since she was having a good day and could finally meet her I brought him out right away to see her. As soon as he spoke and introduced himself she immediately says I know you from somewhere, I’ve met you before, your voice sounds so familiar how do I know you, and they talked about where he worked and tried to figure out if they’d ever met before, but nothing came up to match them ever having met before. She was so sure of it though I believe at one point as we were leaving she said I know I’ve me you before you’re very familiar to me I’ll think about it and figure it out. Sometime later not exactly sure when we were talking about that day and she told me she remembered where she knew him from so I was surprised and asked where and she told me she knew him from the pre-existance and that he was the one I was supposed marry and spend my life with, mind you at this point and time we hadn’t even been together that long yet, that’s just my Mamma for you, but that also tells you how strongly she felt about Sean and us ending up together and getting married one day. So I know on Tuesday she was rejoicing and very happy for us. I am going to get myself through this time and remember how blessed I am, and remembering that no matter what she will be with me to plan my wedding and she will be there to see it.

The last family photo's we took a few months before my Mom passed away, she insisted Sean be in the family pictures

The last family photo’s we took a few months before my Mom passed away, she insisted Sean be in the family pictures

Today is another bittersweet important day as well today is her birthday, October 3rd today my beautiful Mamma would have been 46. This week has been very bittersweet for me. I am so happy to be engaged and to get to start planning the rest of my life with Sean, but now to think about planning a wedding without her helping me or to have it without her being there has become very hard. I know she is here in spirit, and I know she has been the one who worked on the other side to make this whole week come together for us. Coming to New York has always been something she wanted to be able to do, she always tried and talked about taking her family on a trip to New York, and then she got sick and it was never able to happen. I think that Sean being called here for work this week was her pulling some strings up there so that we could come and he could propose and so that she could come take this trip with me for her birthday. Today I’m going to spend the day reflecting on her and really trying to feel her spirit here with me, because I know that’s what she would have wanted me to do. I’m going to use this day in NYC to do things that I think she would have enjoyed doing or seeing. Most of all today I’m not going to get down or sad, about her not being here I’m going to celebrate her life I’m going honor and remember the beautiful person that she was and now today the beautiful spirit that she is.

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This song by Hillsong United has been repeat on my playlist for the last week, I think it is absolutely amazing and has beautiful message about faith, and remembering to trust in our savior to follow his spirit and let him guide us upon the waters of life, and not matter what we are going through he will give us comfort.

6 Months…

6 months ago today a soul of great beauty and kindness departed this earth to begin her heavenly destiny and I was blessed to call this soul my Mamma. I was blessed to be her daughter and however short the time I was granted to have her with me here on this earth, I am eternally grateful for it. I was given a shining example and role model of a truly beautiful and wise woman to be my mother. Although I would love for her to have stayed and lived out a long full life with me, I know that she fulfilled all she was brought here to accomplish, and I was blessed to witness and walk with her through her journey. A journey filled with love, happiness, spirituality, compassion, kindness, grace, and miracles. The wisdom I have gained through this experience is indescribable and impossible to place into words, I have been forever changed. To my incredible support system, you know who you all are, thank you you have carried me through these past six months in times where I couldn’t carry myself, and I know you will continue to carry me in times of need.

The Ugly and The In-between.

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For the past two weeks I haven’t posted anything. My thoughts have been all over the place, not quite coherent and I wasn’t really sure how I was feeling about everything and at times just felt very numb. I am one that what I am feeling inspires my writing and I just wasn’t feeling( or maybe wasn’t sure what I was feeling) so I just didn’t write. So although I want this blog to be positive, and help people I also feel I need to be honest about “My Journey through Healing” and share the good, the bad and even the ugly! How can I help people if I don’t, so here goes you’re about to hear some of “My Ugly”, I don’t mean to be depressing or bring anyone down but the process is what it is.

My thoughts have been a chaotic mess of past, present, future, all over and in-between. I have had thoughts dwelling on things of past that made me happy, but also trying to figure out how to move forward, where to go now? Grief has such a weird pattern, in that it has no pattern, 5 stages of grief…nope I don’t think so. Grief isn’t broken down into linear stages step 1 step 2 etc. You may be feeling what one of the stages describes but you don’t really stay there for a period of time and then just move on to the next one. Sometimes you jump back, sometimes you skip forward. You may even go through all the “stages” in one day, one hour, one minute, then cycle back start over again and sometimes you just get stuck in the in-between. That’s where I have been these last 2 or so weeks the in-between; I didn’t know what “stage” I was on, I couldn’t pinpoint how I felt about anything emotionally, I wasn’t doing anything that I thought I should be to try and “heal”, so I was just waiting to see what would happen next. Some days I felt bad about the fact that it didn’t seem like I was grieving the way I “should be” or how it’s “supposed to look” and I would sit there and think “Why aren’t you crying” ” You should be feeling worse than this” “What’s wrong with you”. I have a tendency to block things out when things get bad and just shut myself off emotionally and from feeling,  I started worrying that maybe that’s what I was doing. Then I started thinking maybe I need to see a therapist or I’m going to be really messed up if I don’t deal with this. I didn’t I just waited it out and then last night I finally broke…

I think I was trying to stay strong, trying to have a good attitude about all of this and honor my Mom. I thought she doesn’t want me to live in a state of anger or sadness,  and through that I convinced myself that meant I shouldn’t feel those things either. That I needed to push them away, but that’s not what she wants, I do still need to grieve and feel those things. I think what I finally understood is I AM allowed to feel these things, I’m allowed to be angry, and sad, and not understand why this  happened and is still happening. I’m just not supposed to stay there and hang on to it forever and let it consume me. I NEED to feel these things now, and I’m sure I will feel them again too later on maybe several times through-out my life.  I got this idea stuck in my head that I needed to be my Mom’s strong little soldier and fight through and be positive, especially because of what she went through and how she handled it. The light and inspiration to all, the mother of 7 fighting cancer and staying positive…yeah she did that, but everyday NO. My mom handled her cancer amazing with so much grace but she didn’t feel like that every minute and hour of everyday. She went through her emotions too she worked through them and tried to stay strong but she wasn’t always happy or never scared of what was to come. I watched her have the bad moments too and it still took me even up until this point as I am writing this to figure all this out. I watched her the last month. she was low at times I don’t think many ever really saw that from her but I did, she cried a lot when we were alone together, she was angry and mad at times too, but she didn’t hang on to it she felt it and let it pass and then she would feel happy, and grateful and blessed and over filled with joy. It’s overwhelming sometimes how much she teaches me even though she is not here physically just from how she lived her life she gave me lessons to keep.

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So I am not going to lie but, I’m not doing good right now at all, I’m not sure what happened what triggered it or if it was a compilation of everything but all of sudden last night total emotional break down and it’s not going away, I just got in a bad mood partially about other stuff some just about her not being here, and I just wanted her sooo bad to talk to and pick me up like she always did. Now I just can’t get over it this time and shake it off like I have been or try to be positive, I just want my mom back dammit I don’t want anything else. I don’t care much about anything else. Everything seriously now just seems like total garbage it all means nothing to me, it’s not really what I want, and the stuff that used to seem important seems stupid, everything seems insignificant. I realize I have been holding back a lot of grief as much as I was trying to “deal with it”. I’m starting to just be really upset about this whole messed up situation, why would God take away a mother whose family still needs her, I feel like a hypocrite because this whole time I have spouting off insights like she has a bigger work on the other side to comfort myself and others and I’m not saying that she doesn’t but how I am feeling right now may be selfish may be immature but really what’s so much bigger than a family? Everything is about families and how important they are and now ours as much as we are trying to keep it together and be positive we are kind of just broken right now with out her, It’s not that it can’t or won’t be fixed but that’s just the reality of the situation.

Our Family

Our Family

I think maybe some of these feelings are coming up now, after 5 weeks is because the weather here in Colorado for the last few weeks has been crappy and full of spontaneous snow storms followed by maybe one nice day and then more snow and cold. Well Spring finally seems to be coming with the last several days being really nice out. We had a late winter here, and in winter time everything seems dead, and when spring comes finally, life starts sprouting all around and subconsciously I feel like it’s a reminder, that the only thing you really love or want to see alive is dead and it doesn’t cycle back like nature.  Also Mothers Day is looming nearer each day, I didn’t think I had been paying that much attention but this is also subconscious you go to the store and see the cards and signs, the commercials every 10 damn seconds on TV and you think you’re ignoring them but you aren’t. Every little mention is a tiny little stab, however small but after awhile you really are being bombarded, so even tiny cuts add up until finally it’s a gaping consuming hole that’s totally overwhelming you.

spring

My whole emotional state seems to be somewhat of a vicious cycle I’m trapped in right now. The whole reason I’m feeling this way is because my Mom is gone, but she was also the only person in the World who could make me feel better during hard times, I’m having a hard time because she is gone and I don’t have her to help me through it, but I wouldn’t even be feeling like this if she was still here, and if I could just have her back I would be fine but I can’t etc etc… You get the picture. It sucks! Period! I have no idea how to make it not stuck. I’m kind of a get my way type of person, I make things happen for myself. If I don’t like something I change it, If I need something I find  a way to get it. This is one of those things that I have no power to change at all, I can do, trade, or offer anything to have her back the fact is it’s not going to happen. I’m not talking about the she’s with you in spirit type thing, that’s great but I haven’t really felt that since a few days after the funeral. The evening after her funeral I felt her standing behind me at a friends house with her hands on my shoulders it was very powerful, and then one more time as I was cleaning, since then I haven’t really felt much. A few times at night I have been half asleep and thought I saw her, but I’m known to hallucinate at night so it could just be projected images of my imagination. Who knows? I have had some horrible dreams involving her waking up in her casket before the funeral and being fine, and several of her being alive but she’s always still sick never healthy, so those suck too. I have a lot of painful haunting memories of the end when she was really sick and I am struggling to push those to the back of my mind and think about when she was healthy to the front of my mind, but I’m not there yet. Right now it’s all I can remember…

About a week and half before she passed she was always such a trooper

About a week and half before she passed she was always such a trooper

There is a song by Lana Del Rey, I found and have listened to repeatedly called “Dark Paradise”. I feel it really captures the beauty and sorrow of losing someone you love. I was listening to her music and this song came on and I always listen to lyrics of the songs, not just the beat like some do and as soon as I heard the lyrics I immediately could tell the song was about death; and not a break-up like some think it is. I did a little research to be sure and found out I was right. The song was written about her boyfriend who committed suicide a few  years ago, although a different type of love and a different type of death, it still describes the feelings and also the thoughts experienced very acutely.  I posted a video of it below with the lyrics because I feel music can be very therapeutic in healing.

One of the lines stood out to me very strongly because it really captured exactly how I was feeling “And there’s no remedy for memory your face
Like a melody, it won’t lift my head, Your soul is hunting me and telling me, That everything is fine, But I wish I was dead”  I by no means am suicidal, but I’m sorry there are times when you think about life and you think about death, and after someone you love that much dies you think wow if I were to die that wouldn’t be so bad, because then I could see them again. I don’t think it makes sense unless you’ve felt it, and I’m not trying to promote wanting to feel dead or suicide. The fact just is losing someone you love gives death a whole new meaning. I can say I am no longer afraid to die, I’m not scared of it, because now I feel my Mom will be there, and to me that doesn’t sound bad. My 12 year old brother said almost that that exact thing a few weeks ago, at the time it scared me that he said that and now I’ve just reached the point he was at. I understand it now. He said “when you die at least you get to go to heaven, a place of pure happiness, no pain”, it’s true time is there is meaningless, you’re reunited with other loved ones lost, it’s not bad. Life is what sucks a lot of the time, it hurts, it’s painful, you have to try and muster the strength and continue on after losing someone in a place where time can be long. It can be painful to think of how long or wonder when. When will you get to see them again. There are times of joy and happiness but not all the time. My Mom is the lucky one she has it good all the time now, we don’t and we have no choice but to go through this, and we will, it will be “okay” eventually but it’s life it won’t ever be perfect and even the wonderful happy moments will still be a reminder that she isn’t there to share in them.

The Gate By Christophe Vacher

The Gate By Christophe Vacher

It’s funny how just losing one person who means a lot suddenly just makes everything and sometimes even everyone kind of insignificant. You appreciate everyone who is there for you and you love them and cherish them too, but when you want that one person and you know you can’t have them, no one else makes up for that. It’s an incomplete puzzle that piece is just always going to be missing now, and no one can replace it their puzzle piece can’t move and fit where hers went and make a complete puzzle. It’s like trying to fit a square into a circle, it just doesn’t work… period! Everyone else has there own place with me right now and I am blessed for what they do and for trying to make me feel better but they aren’t my Mom, and right now I just want MY MOM!!!!! When people talk about loss the word seems so insignificant like you’re talking about a thing but suddenly when the word loss is being used to describe SOMEONE, a person, not an object it seems like so much more than that, the word loss seems so wrong.  I feel like her loss envelopes so much more than that, its the future you had planned, the past you may regret, and getting through your present without her there anymore, it’s huge, those moments I was talking about that she is no longer able to share in holidays, graduations, weddings, babies….those moments with her are all lost too. It’s not only her as a person but future moments lost with the person, past moments missed out on with that person, and the in-between moments lacking that person.

Overall I know this is just another part of my journey, I’m going to feel these things but not let my mind become these things. It’s a day by day process. Some days feel like nothing is going on, but it is, it may just be building you up to your next step. It’s important to learn to acknowledge what you’re going through even if it’s not always pleasant and you don’t feel like you should feel like that . It doesn’t make you any lesser or of a person to feel negative things, they are just as much as part of the process of healing. It is important to still look for the positive it’s there too. It’s just not always in the foreground, and you have to give the negative feelings time to dissipate to be able to see the positives they work hand in hand together. I will not dwell and linger in these negative feelings and emotions longer than need be just enough time, and I will still work to find the happiness that I know is there and will come, I think my Mom has taught me enough about life and how to recognize when it’s time to move forward.

grief and anger

Going through the Emotions

World

The buzz of the funeral is over, and things are transitioning into this new version of life with out my Mom.  I feel like I had been so busy with everything, that I hadn’t really had a lot of time just feel. I’m not working and not even sure when I can bring myself to go back to work, and I withdrew from school for the semester because I had already gotten so far behind there was no catching up. So what else have I really had to do but just feel. It seems like I have felt every emotion possible in the last week, and the range and rate at which they can switch has been interesting to try and process. I can be feeling joy one minute and total agony in a split second. There are those moments in which it just hits me so hard I feel like I can’t breathe or like I don’t even want to. I’m having a hard time getting back to my life and figuring out what to even do with it now. I feel like my world has been totally turned upside down and shattered, and everyone else is just still going. The more days that pass, the more time with out her and it will only keep going, it’s not going to end. I feel so devastated, everything I had seen for my life changed in a single day. My Mom will never be there to see me get married, my children won’t ever get to meet her in this life. My Mom loved kids she would have made the best grandma and now she never gets that opportunity. We had plans to travel, to see the world to do things together to one day start a business together. Now I have to do all of that with out her….it just makes me really really sad.

Another emotion that recently decided to rear it’s ugly head finally is anger, and not just anger; anger teamed up with regret. Everyone says that anger is a natural part of the grieving and loss process. It was one emotion I have been trying so hard to not let in, but eventually it won. My anger is not directed at God in any way. Just anger over different aspects of the situation. I have been angry that about two years before my Mom was diagnosed, I  lived in Utah for one of them. I have always felt a lot of regret over that situation, because that was also due to my marriage at the time (which failed), which I already carry a lot of regret over anyways. Now I have had even more reason to regret that situation, not only was it a huge mistake, but now it was one extra year I could have had with my Mom while she was still healthy before she got sick. I know there is nothing I can do about it and I have expressed these feelings to many friends who told me not to think like that but right now I can’t help it and honestly nothing anybody says will change that. I also have felt a huge stab of regret and anger at myself for another incident on the first of the year. I had promised my Mom I would go see the movie Le Mis with her and my sisters earlier in the week. The day came and I forgot about it, then she text me to go, I had been up late the night before celebrating for NYE and I was tired and really didn’t want to leave my house, we text back and forth and she kept trying to convince me to just go with, and her told her I didn’t want to and that they could go without me. Well about a week later was when she began rapidly deteriorating and after that couldn’t leave the house or do anything, and few months later now she is gone. Why the hell didn’t I just go to the freaking movie with her…?? I don’t understand I should have just made it a priority even though I was tired, she was tired all the time she was sick, fighting for her life and she pushed to do things every single day she was here. What a lame and pathetic excuse. That could have been the last memory of a girls night out with my Mom and all my sisters I could have had and I literally chose not to. Yet again nothing I can do about it now but I’m still going to be upset at myself about this. I have also been slightly bothered about the fact that when she slipped into the final stages of life, into the coma, it was the same weekend as my birthday, and her passing away only a few hours after my birthday was over. Why my birthday? Why that weekend? I feel like there is some significance behind it, I am the oldest her first born, and it was my golden birthday, turning 24 on the 24th. I feel like there has to be some reason it fell on my birthday, but I wish I could understand it. I feel so blessed and honored that she suffered and fought to stay through my birthday, the fact that she held on until 3:20 AM, she fought to make it past midnight to make sure I had my birthday with her and I am not ungrateful at all for that but I mean really it not the best way to spend your last birthday that you will ever spend with your Mom, literally watching her suffer and slowly die. The hardest part of it all was she wasn’t responsive I could talk to her but she couldn’t talk to me. We couldn’t have just one last conversation together and say goodbye together to each other, she was there but I already felt so alone. She was always able to guide me and help to explain things, to help me understand the meaning and the reason, and this time she was not. I am still lost on it all, the night before she went to sleep and slipped into the coma I was there with her she was doing so well, I know she was sick but I felt blindsided by all of this. I thought she had more time…She thought she had more time…And when the time to say goodbye came I was left confused and the only one able to say it.

goodbye

One thing that has been extremely comforting to me though even with all these negative thoughts raging through my head, is what I have been viewing as the “extra time” that we were granted with her. In February she collapsed while traveling through California to under go one of her treatments. She nearly died, and by the odds we were given should have died. One of the 5 tumors in her brain hemorrhaged, and in an effort to save her life the doctors there decided she had to undergo emergency brain surgery to remove it. My siblings and I had to jump on a plane immediately from Colorado just to get there to see her for just a few hours before she under went the surgery, because the odds were she wouldn’t survive that. By the grace of God some miracle came to pass, and the surgery went really well and she survived. In my mind I knew that we had been granted more time with her, and I was not going to waste it.

My Mom and I in California a few days after her emergency brain surgery

My Mom and I in California a few days after her emergency brain surgery

After a week in California she recovered enough to allow us to get her on a plane back home to Colorado. I became very dedicated to spending as much time with her as I could. From the time she came home from California on February 16 until  March 25 when she passed away, I was with her almost every single day. Every day I would go to work, or go to school, and immediately after go straight to her. Sometimes I skipped both just so I could be with her. I didn’t even really know her time was approaching, maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I did but I wasn’t thinking about that at all, I just knew that I had her here with me now and I was not going to waste that. She was also struggling and sad, and she had always been there for me and for our family and now it was my turn to be there for her, and to be her rock. I have no words to even describe how grateful I am that I was able to do that for her. That last month and half with her, out of the 24 years I spent with her, was the most important time of all. We became even closer than ever before, and my Mom and I had always been very close we talked about everything she was and is my best friend, but this time to me now is so incredibly special. It is almost too sacred to even put into to words the way our relationship grew and changed during these last few months we had together. All I know now is I thank God everyday for that “extra time” he blessed me with to spend with her, and to have these memories to sustain me during this time.

memory

As comforting as that may be and it’s nice to reflect on the time I did have with her, I am still suffering the loss of her now, and the fact that I have to spend the rest of my life with out her too. I have also been feeling a lot of guilt and selfishness for feeling that too, because I realize out of my Dad and my other siblings, I was the one who spent the most time in this life with her; I got exactly a full 24 years. That is more than twice the time my youngest sister who is only 9 spent with her…. my Dad was only married to her for 20 years. So then when I feel all lowly about my loss then I start feeling bad and guilty for thinking about myself because what about their loss? I am a grown woman, I’m close to starting a family of my own, My younger siblings are still growing up and hitting critical times in their life, and they won’t have her for that like I did. What do I have to complain and feel that sorry about. I know I have to feel my loss too, but when I compare it to what they are going through, and now all the times they will go through without her, mine feels so insignificant next to theirs.

The hardest emotion to deal with in all of this is just the feeling of missing her, because I know it won’t ever go away. There are times I just want her back so bad, I would literally trade anything, do anything to have her back, but I know that’s selfish because she was suffering. Now she is not she is happy and free from her failing body. The hardest part about death is not that they are gone, but it’s having to push yourself to go on without them. They are in the better place, you’re not. Now knowing I have to spend the rest of my days just missing her, It is the worst part of this sorrow. I know missing her will become easier to live with I know she is still with me in a way, but it’s not the way I want, and right now it is just so hard. Hard but not hopeless. I know this is all a part of the process of grieving, so for now I’m just letting myself ride out the emotions of it all so that I can get through and come out the other side as a better, more knowledgeable person, and I know this is just a phase towards healing, and I will eventually find happiness out of all of this.

sorrow