Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Handling Loss & Moving On
You may all be wondering where I have been. Well sit back, relax and I will tell you about the last few months of my life. Let me just say that it has been a very trying for me and as I venture forth into this new year, I am having to adjust to the absence of someone in my life and it has been an interesting transition that is still happening to me.
If you have been keeping up with my blog, you will know that in July I had to make a difficult choice. A choice that left me feeling all sorts of emotions but the main one was guilt. I had to make the decision whether to put my Mom in hospice care or not. I chose hospice because her liver disease had reached the point that she was in incredible pain and that was the only way to get the medication that would give her some relief. Once the decision was made her health began to really deteriorate. We had also made the decision to remove her from all medications that were no longer helping her. We also chose to stop her diabetic blood draws because she had always been a difficult stick, and as each new blood test came she would be fearful of the pain.
My guilt came from wondering if I had held off she might be a bit more lucid, better able to engage with the friends and family that came to visit. Once she began the pain medication, she began sleeping a lot. It also seemed to enhance her dementia because she began to have trouble recognizing all of us. Here again, my guilt was pinged because it was tearing my niece apart to see her only remaining Grandmother not be able to say “I love you” to her. It became a common thing to see my niece run out of Mom’s room with tears in her eyes as her heart broke anew with each visit.
Five days after Thanksgiving and one hour before her seventy-fifth birthday; my Mom passed away. We had been talking about how we hoped she would make it to such a milestone age but in my Mom’s true fashion she missed the mark. The nurse who called to let me know said she didn’t suffer. She just went to sleep and then she was gone. At that point, it was still fresh and as I got dressed to go sit with her while we waited for the funeral home to arrive, I was a bit in shock but also relieved. After ten plus years of living with terminal liver disease, her pain was truly over and as bad as this sounds; I was free.
Yes, I said it and that is what I felt. A burden had been lifted from my shoulders that I hadn’t realized was so heavy until it was gone. I am no longer trapped by a promise. I can leave and not worry who is going to take care of Mom. It is a revelation. I am still figuring out just what this means for me. Do I stay here or do I start making plans to leave? I will have time to find out because I have to save money before anything can happen.
I notice subtle differences between now and when I lost my Dad. Yet the biggest one is I have yet to lose a single tear. After my Dad died, I cried all of the time. I felt abandoned and lonely. My ex-husband told me that I even cried in my sleep. I still catch myself sobbing like an overgrown baby when something happens to remind me of him. I don’t know if it is because I have known Mom was going to pass and had time to prepare or if I’m just a cold heartless bitch. I have almost broken down a few times but yet something always prevents me from my release of grief. I wonder if my sense of relief has overshadowed my grief. I just don’t know. I may never know.
I do know that life goes on and even though we miss those who have gone before, that we still have our life to live. I am learning to live again without worry for my Mom as my companion. I no longer worry about always having my phone attached to my hip just in case there is a call concerning her. As I said before this is freedom. It even scares me a little to know that my life is my own once again. I am determined to rediscover myself. I am prepared for the next chapter in my life. With each new day, I awaken ready to take on all challenges.
I hope you keep journeying with me as I go forward and stay tuned for my next post which will let you know my goals for the coming year. Until then I hope you love fully and laugh often.