i lost my mom last week
i'm having a hard time managing my grief for my mother who passed away last week but reading that others know what i'm going thru gives me strength.
my mom was diagnosed stage III breast cancer (it had spread to her lymph nodes) in 2005. after an agonizing year of chemo and radiation (including a year of herceptin which weakened her heart), she was thought to be in the clear. a cough developed in december of 2007...it was misdiagnosed 6 or 7 times...bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, allergies, etc...finally a lung specialist ordered an mri. the cancer had returned with a vengeance. it had metastasized to her brain, spine, lungs, liver and blood. they told her it was 'treatable' and she could live years but after 3 weeks of radiation and one week of chemo pills, she started to decline. her passing was a slow process...i watched her whittle away gradually over the course of 2 months. she lost her short-term memory. she refused to eat or drink. she could no longer walk. then she was hospitalized for dehydration 4 times and ended up in the icu with congestive heart failure. she was on a respirator for 4 weeks. we let her go on april 25.
i know a lot of people say this about their mom, but she was my absolute best friend, my favorite person and the glue that held my family together. she'd light up the room. she was generous, caring and loving. she was brave and selfless. she was funny, warm and loyal. she loved us more than anything. she was the most caring mom to me and my brother, and even caring and generous towards complete strangers. me and my brother were unbelievably lucky to have her as a mother.
so now i feel shattered. i try to go about my day and i forget that she's gone for 10 minutes maybe, and it catches up with me that it really happened and i feel that tight sensation in my chest and stomach. it's like it's a nightmare and i'm going to wake up. i can't bear to look at her gardening tools, her bike, her clothes, her medicine, her handwriting, her text messages to me...i miss her so much it physically hurts. i'm relieved she's no longer in pain but i didn't know my grief would be this heavy and debilitating.
i keep asking "why" questions that have no answer. why does this disease exist? why do people have to suffer like this? why her? why now? she was only 61. why me...she'll never get to meet her grandchildren? why didn't she get tested sooner? why didn't my family insist she get physicals every year. why didn't she make it the "couple years" the doctors promised? why did this happen so fast...this is a person who was riding her bike last summer and walking thru art fairs in the fall?
this is the hardest thing i've ever had to go thru...actually being there when she passed and then dealing with the aftermath...the giant, gaping hole in my life. anyone else who has lost a loved one, i sympathize with you. i hope to get to a place soon where i accept her death...when it's no longer unbelievable... and i'll still miss her and hurt over it but will want to live my life fully, in a way in which she would want me to.
thanks for listening. "twiddles" was my mom's nickname for me.