Welcome to my ramblings

It’s at time likes this when I can’t get my mom off my mind.  I was sitting outside & started worrying if she was okay in her apt., then it hit me that she died.  In an odd way, I felt relief for her and for me, I don’t have to picture her (in my mind) fallen on her bathroom floor…suffering, or worry about the most unrealistic things happening to her.  Even though she’s gone, I know she’s safe.  That seems like kind of a backwards way of thinking, doesn’t it?

In many ways I’m fortunate.  Although I am able to think of things I regret regarding my mom, they are very few, and quite honestly, I really have to think hard to come up with them. My mom lived 85 wonderful years, she died 6 days after her birthday. She’d told me a few days before that, that this would be her last birthday. I told her not to say that, even though I knew it was most likely true, Although the days before her death weren’t how I envisioned them, she was well cared for and surrounded by family that loved her.

My daughter’s co-worker lost her mom recently and said something to the affect that her mom’s death was nothing like she expected; it wasn’t what we see in the movies, or on t.v.   And to add to the issue is that in our society, death is rarely talked about… it’s a taboo subject. Every single death, or act of dying is different. I’ve learned that worrying about somebody dying, or trying to think how you’ll feel after their gone, is such a waste of time, and I think it’s more common than we like to admit.  We want to be in control, especially of our loved ones, but at that time, in that process, we’re not.  We can just love them and take care of their needs; Hospice is such a godsend

In other societies the passing onto the afterlife is considered sacred; I consider it sacred, but at the same time that has no effect on how painful the loss of my mother is. I’m pretty sure my beliefs about the afterlife are nontraditional and I struggled for years to find my “truth”.  It’s not the truth most have.  I believe my mom is in a beautiful place filled with light, love and all her loved ones.  I don’t believe in a mean, angry or vengeful “god”, I don’t even believe in 1 particular entity.  Quite honestly, I don’t find that part relevant. I simply believe that when we pass to the afterlife, we’re surrounded by love-no matter who we are, or were. That’s enough for me.

I have this peace of mind and yet I ache for her.  I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve woken up and it’s like that movie, Groundhog Day, except it’s awful. In my sleep I forgot my mom died, so when I wake up, I think she’s alive, and then I remember and I just cry. One time last week it happened 3 times in one morning. It is happening less and I think I’m less shocked when I remember, perhaps I should be happy in that moment that I think she’s still alive.

I know I’m jumping all over the place, that’s what my mind does at night. This may not make sense to anyone but me, but I think this (me thinking of my mom so much) is in a way, hanging on to her. When this part passes or I move on from it, it will be 1 less part of my mom that I have here with me.

I’m an honest person, so when I say “I’m going to be perfectly honest…” don’t think it means I’m not at other times, k? That said, I’m going to be perfectly honest here: I will completely understand if anybody stops reading my blog. Right now I know I’m writing for me. I do have a journal that I write to my mom in, but this is part of my therapy. I’m sure some people must think I think of my mom too much, and maybe I do. What I’m trying to say is I realize this probably interests/benefits nobody but me.

Until she died I hadn’t realized how close we were, how much time we spent together. I was at her beckon call for the past 2 years and I didn’t dislike it.  Yes, at times I was lazy & didn’t want to go out, but she helped me in that way cuz I’d take her for her hair appt., mani/pedi, to the market, clothes shopping, visiting relatives. She gave me a purpose, she really did.

6 thoughts on “Welcome to my ramblings

  1. So true Jane that we have no idea how we will feel when a parent dies, or for that matter when anyone dies. Even though my relationship with my mother had many issues and lacked the fondness it still hits in an immense way. Recently I have seen a very close friend through to her last breath and there is nothing that prepares one for the death one faces at that time. It was February 28 she passed and I was there but still can not believe it has happened and she is gone.

    Something interesting happened when my mother passed nearly two years ago in that all my beliefs about the afterlife suddenly changed. I used to believe and then suddenly, whoosh, nothing. Whether that is a symptom of that grieving or a useful psychological function for me or whatever, I do not know. I still do not (although I believe that when others believe so it is) and yet I can also think of my dear friend out of her mortal pain and being in a better place.

    I so agree with you that we do not talk enough about death in our society so it seems to no longer be a part of life. We have to be able to cope with these things and also those around us need to be able to cope with us going through it.

    Hugs to you dear Jane for all that you are going through. What a wonderful relationship you have had with your mother and that makes me smile with happiness for you.

    Doris xxx

  2. Jane, my dear friend, you are one of those delightful and thoughtful writers who write blogs that are so meaningful on so many levels to so many people. So don’t apologize my friend, while what you are doing may be therapeutic for you, I can say with absolute certainty that it is therapeutic for most who come here to read it as well.

    As I have been cyber chatting with you since your first found out your Mom was dying, I continue to be amazed at how positive and upbeat you have been. I know that you feel like you are talking too much and being down but that is not what I see at all.

    There is a package that is accepted in 46 states, CA is one of them, that replaces living wills as a document that expresses wishes of a person and give the opportunity for a person to also pass along some final thoughts to their loved ones. I was in my Caregiver Support group meeting today and we were going over the package. I have had it for over a year but have been procrastinating and so never really read it completely. Well today for the first time I did and when I did, I thought of you and your Mom while also thinking of me and my Mom, Dad, husband and son as probably the 4 people closest to me or the 4 people who’s death would affect me the most.

    Toward the end of the package is a place for you to express how you want to be treated as you are dying. Sort of acknowledging that death is a journey to a new place and a new beginning rather than an end. The woman who runs the group was kind to share how she filled hers out so we could better understand the choices and options. For instance, she requested that her loved ones make sure that as she neared the end, they never let a day go by that they didn’t put earrings on her and rub her with the scented oils she loves. She asked that her family be around her and openly hold her hands, rub her arms and talk to her. And when she died she asked her family to try to focus not on her death and emptiness but on her life and the joys. She asked that they spend each day remembering the good times as it was her wish that her death not leave them in pain and sorrow but filled with joy and memories.

    From all that you have shared about your Mom I think that is her wish for you as well and I think she is so proud of how well you are doing. Sure you still cry, you are only human and you miss her but more importantly you hold her in your heart and no matter how you adjust and move on she will ALWAYS be in your heart. Even when you no longer have those jarring moments when the realization that she is gone comes crashing down, it won’t mean that you have forgotten her. You will never forget her for she is a part of you just as you are a part of her. You see her in yourself and you see her in your kids, that’s what can give you some comfort and peace, the knowledge that in that sense you are together forever and one day you will be reunited again.

    Keep talking about your Mom and sharing your wonderful memories and stories. It’s good for you, it’s good for your kids and frankly your readers benefit from it as well. I know you still hurt and I suspect you will always hurt, even when you are not aware of it. But it won’t always be such a sharp pain. One day you will wake up and yes you will remember your Mom is gone but instead of tears, sadness and emptyness at her loss you will smile and have wonderful fond memories and laughs about all the joyful and happy times you shared. And you will smile at the knowledge that one day you will be where she is and looking down on your kids and wishing them well as they in turn grieve. Its the circle of life and I like your explanation of how you believe, I think you captured the most important elements of what being spiritual is. It doesn’t have a label per se with a ton of structure and rules, it is just a place of being that is good and happy and joyful. That will give you peace in the days ahead so keep on hanging on to that vision.

    Godspeed and take care my friend, just take it one day at a time. Let your emotions dictate your pace and do your grieving and recovery in the way that best works for you.

  3. Kathy, I’m sitting here, trying to think of the right word to express my amazement (that’s not the right word either) at you taking care of your mom since ’98, and not just that but having her live with you; it’s a huge blessing for both of you. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned the VA benefits, if either your mom or dad served in the military during war time, she may qualify for them.
    All the thinking in the world won’t prepare you for how you’ll handle your mom’s situation & when things happen. I spent so much time anticipating things, and that hasn’t helped me 1 bit. My mom telling me to “get used to her not being here.”<— impossible to do.

    • I know you are right. Mom keeps telling me the same thing-to the point that it consumes my every thought. It has been a very long haul. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason – and I know that you have dropped into my life to serve a very real purpose. Just reading your words makes me feel a little more “normal” and a little less lonely. My folks weren’t in the military, but thanks for the tip. I have been struggling since I had to leave my job in 07 and I’m always looking for opportunities. Thank you, Jane, for your kind words.

      • How funny, I’m of the same belief about everything happening for a reason. I get the “normal” thing cuz you do the same for me. I was just imaging what my mom would have been doing right now & can recount almost the entire day, with the exception depending on what time she woke up and exactly what she would’ve done when she got back from dinner. (they ate in a nice dining area)
        It is a long haul, which is why I’m in such awe of you taking care of your mom since ’98. It’s just so surreal for me, being on the other side of that fence, without a mom here anymore. I’m happy for you because I know you cherish your time with your mom – that’s what matters.

  4. OMG. Thank you for this blog. I have had my mom with me since 1998 and I take care of every whim. I obsess about how I will react when the time comes. Your blog could be written about me. It is so good to know that you took great care of her but it just makes the pain more poignant. Hugs2U.

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