Thursday, July 31, 2014

its been two years since i looked at you

i can't believe it has been two years. two years since my mom was here on this earth. this time 2 years ago today she was here. she was alive, warm and talking to me. reassuring me that her headaches were caused by an ear infection and that she would be fine. william was barely walking - he was for sure not talking, maggie was about to start kindergarten and i was about to turn 40.

today is the day before my 42nd birthday, maggie starts 2nd grade next week and william is running and talking back to mommy!

i can't believe that tomorrow will be 2 years since my mom was about to go in to surgery to have several masses removed from her brain.

two years since i had hope that maybe she would beat cancers ass after all.

two years since i was able to hug her and have her hug me back.

two years since i was able to hear her say she loved me without it hurting her to speak.

two years since maggie was able to crawl in bed with her and watch "a show".

two years since william shared breakfast with her.

so, what have i learned in the past two years?

time does heal...try to tell me that as i was crying on the back deck of my childhood home waiting for them to come and collect my mothers body. but it does. it has too. you will wake up, you will eat and you will laugh again. i had two little ones to raise. and my mom would have been so disappointed in me if i didn't raise them well. she loved those kids more than anything - i know they are the reason she fought as hard as she did. in the beginning, i thought about her all the time. i replayed her death in my mind regularly, i cried ALL the time. i even had a panic attack around christmas the first year - 4 months after she died. and then it slowly started to not hurt as much. all of the "1st times since she died" passed and i survived. and then i not only survived but i began to thrive, i took control of my own life back and started to focus on me and what i wanted. i was no longer a girl with a mom dying of cancer. i was me. i had a family of my own and a husband and kids that needed me. it took a while but i made it back!

people grieve can not judge another person by the way that they grieve. people process emotions uniquely, as unique as they are, and you can not expect otherwise. some people cry, some get mad, some don't talk at all. and its okay. you have to give people permission and freedom to grieve whatever way they need to. and it takes as long as it takes. because...

great love = great pain...i had a great friend tell me once that the reason i hurt so bad is because i loved so much. if i would not have loved her as i did and had her love me as much as she did then i would not feel as much pain. i would take this great pain any day to have had the kind of relationship i had with my mom. she was truly the best fiend i have ever had.

the littlest things will set you off...i may think i am plugging along doing okay and then maggie loses her 1st tooth and i am sobbing on the bathroom floor because i can't call my mom and tell her.

hope is stressful...i didn't realize how stressful until she died. but it is. its stressful to not know what is  coming. to keep trying this and that. putting her through all the things she went through. seeing her in so much pain, but ever hopeful that this would be the thing that worked. she even surged  a couple of days before she died. she started talking and passing out kisses to everyone. and even though rationally i knew she was dying, i still hoped that maybe, just maybe, she would be the one to defy the odds. and then she died.

its okay to feel relief...and once she was gone, as much as it hurt and still hurts, it was a relief for her to not be in anymore pain. to not have to wonder what else she would go through. i remember thinking that i am so relieved that her death was peaceful, grateful that the process wasn't, but could have been much worse. its okay to take all the energy that i was putting towards caring for her and put it towards myself and my own family. its okay to focus again on my marriage and my personal health.

children do feel...when i first found out that my mom had compilations from her surgery, maggie was the 1st person i thought of. they were so close and i just knew that maggie would be devastated. they were best friends...what would maggie do without her. i was afraid to tell maggie. but when i did she was okay. she moved on about her day and even went to the pool. at the party to celebrate my moms life, maggie wrote a note on a balloon and sent it up to grandma. she played with friends and it didn't seem to even phase her. i remember being mad at her. wondering WHY isn't she sad? when maggie would cry over having to leave the dogs at my dads house to go back to our house i yelled at her: you are crying over the dogs, what about your grandmother??? and then a few months ago, about 18 months after my mom died, maggie got upset. she started crying and wanted to talk. now we are able to talk about her and its okay. i don't cry and maggie is able to tell me how she feels. i think she knew I needed time. I needed her to wait to talk about grandma. I needed to be the one to be able to handle it. not her.

i miss my mom and it hurts sometimes more than think i can take...but i don't think about her all day every day and thats okay...

its been two years since i looked at you, put my head on your shoulder and said i loved you


Jenay Green said...

Sometimes just sharing how we made it through will help someone else realize they can as well. As hard as it is to let go it is such a relief to see the pain end.

RB said...

Beautiful... and all so true. Grief is absolutely the most difficult thing I've ever had to deal with and work thru. and you're right, it's different for each of us. I'm so proud of you and how you're dealing with your grief. I'm glad you're talking and sharing about your mom. She was an amazing woman and she gave birth to and raised an amazing woman, and now you have and are raising a girl who's going to become an amazing woman. What a legacy... I love you. so much... xoxo

RB said...

Beautiful... And absolutely true. Every word. I'm so proud of you for writing this and for working thru your grief. I think it's the most difficult thing we have to do in this life- learn to live without someone that we love and need so much. Your mom was an amazing woman, and she raised an amazing woman. And now you have Maggie and you're raising her to be an amazing woman. What a legacy... Your mom and your father in heaven are smiling down on you and your family. I love you... so much. xoxo