*I apologize if some of this is a "repeat" of another blog. This was a tough one for me*
When my mom passed away, I took charge if EVERYTHING. I helped make the decision to "unplug" the machines, so she could have a peaceful passing. I took a lot of deep breaths to help my dad and my sisters come to terms that mom was dying that day. *she was diagnosed with cancer and the doctors told us she had 9 months, it was 33 days from diagnosis to death* I called funeral homes. I talked to nurses, the florist, the priest, fielded calls from relatives and friends. I did this, not because I wanted to, but because I felt it was the right thing to do. My father just lost the love of his life after 30 years of marriage. The last thing he should be doing is talking to florists, when he can barley sleep.
I was always known as the "strong one". I'm the one who had the stable marriage, the "well behaved" children, I made the right choices and I was always there to help out when needed. My mom even told me the day before she passed "Danielle, you've always been the strong one. I can't thank you enough for that". She said that as I was taking the clothes out of the washing machine and put them into the dryer and smacked my head on the washing machine door. *It was a stacking unit* Apparently I can be the strong one, but I'm still a ditz *laughs*. So, when the time came for me to "step up", I had no problem doing it, nor did I think twice about it. I was more then happy to do it for my father and my sisters.
After the funeral, the weeks passed in a haze. I remember going shopping for a bra and my husband was asking me what color I wanted and it took me a few minutes to answer him. I didn't care, all I knew was that I was sad and I didn't know how to deal with it. I joined a few online groups, but they didn't help. I didn't get any help getting through this pain, all I got were more stories of sadness. I couldn't bear anymore sadness. I was barley dealing with my own. I went to a therapist and totally faked my way through the whole 4 weeks. I did not want to go back to that day. I couldn't go back to that day. So I didn't. I told everyone I was fine and after awhile, I believed my own lie.
December of 2007 and January, I made the decision to face reality. I will never forget that day, the day my mom died for the second time. My husband and I were having a few problems and we weren't sure if we were going to make it * we did*. My life was absolutely crazy. I had no perspective on anything. I felt alone, and maybe I was. I felt nobody understood how much pain I was in. I tried so hard to be strong for everyone, I ended up failing myself. I found myself that day. It was the second hardest day of my life and I made it through it. I realized I wasn't alone. I realized I lied to a lot of people in my life, thinking I was sparing them the burden of my grief. In reality, everyone knew I was in pain, but knew I wasn't ready to deal with it. I was making it difficult for my friends and family to love me.
In January, the day before her second "anniversary",I sat on my daughter's bed and read all the cards that were sent to me after my mom passed away, I read the memorial pamphlet, I looked at pictures and faced all my demons. I cried for hours. I wished for my mom to come back to me. I wish for her to see all her grandchildren again. I played the "what if" game. I blamed myself, I got mad. I got mad at her, at God and all the others in my life who still had their mothers. I asked "why" more times then I can count. In the end, I came to terms with it. I realized I can't stop living because she has. All mothers want to go before their children and mine was no different. This is the way it should be and who am I to question it and be mad? This is the cards, me and my family were dealt and me not facing it, will only make my life a living hell, literally.
Since that day in January, I have done a lot better. I let my family and friends know when I'm having an "off" day. I talk to my husband because he does want to know and he wants to help me. I am not a burden, my grief is not something I need to hide, nor is it something I can hang on to. I must work through my grief, not drag it around with me for the rest of my life.
For some reason, this week has been especially hard on me, emotionally. I cry easily, I have no control over my emotions this week. I thought it was PMS at first, then I realized *a few hours ago* this is a "wave" of grief. This is my first wave of grief since January. It may be that my son will start school in a few weeks and I won't be able to call my mom crying because he is "gone" from me all day. It may be because the Olympics are on and it was always a big deal in my home growing up. It may, also, be I saw Mamma Mia and I can hear my mom singing some of those songs. I can hear the way she could enunciate her "s" in a song and almost every song I can hear her singing along with the song. I can see us in the car listening to the mix tapes my dad made for our trips and listening to ABBA and her singing along with the song. It's a great memory, but right now, that memory brings me to tears.
This time I am not stopping the tears, I am letting them roll down my cheeks. This is a huge step for me. Also, I talked to my husband about being emotional. This is another huge step for me. I realized I am not a burden and he won't get irritated with me for having a "moment" no matter how many years pass.....
Because, she is my mom and I will forever miss her and there is NOTHING wrong with that!