A year has passed since I lost my mom

I hesitated as whether to share this with you all, as it is truly a private moment of my heart...but there is something so theraputic about sharing this journey with others. So many people have been here with me as I have dealt with the loss of my mom...still I have felt so alone. It makes no sense, but the more I try to figure out how to deal with death, the harder it is...So as I sit here reflecting on the past year of my life, I wonder how I made it through with my sanity….I have been throughout the hardest  time of my life and I have needed the closest person to me to go through it, but that person is the one who made it the hardest time. My mom passed away on Sept. 21st, 2009. 

I was at work and the phone rang  a little after 10 am. When I answered it was a familiar voice, my sister, saying "Moms dead". I screamed, "what??!!!!". She said it again. I immediately left work and raced to my moms house to find my sister  and her husband, the cleaning lady,  the paramedics and the police all there. I was shaking and confused and scared. I went into my moms bedroom and there she was laying in her bed. Her head and her body were covered with a sheet. I stood over her and I pulled the sheet down. She was in her night gown, her eyes were closed, her legs crossed, her skin was full of color. she was oddly still and you could tell something was starting to happen beneath the surface of her skin that was causing a discoloration. It was hot in the room and there were flies trying to come in. 

The paramedics wanted the phone number of my moms doctor, which seemed impossible to find. When we finally did find it on the calendar she had been writing all her dates on, the paramedics called her and she said she would sign off on a natural cause. So they left and the police told us it was our responsibility to call a mortuary to come and pick up my mom.  Thinking about that now, I have never felt so helpless and scared. The reality that my mom was in the next room with no life in her. The woman who had so lovingly taken care of me all these years, was in heaven. Her spirit had departed this world as I know it and was with God.  There was no warning, no midnight call, no struggle for her last breath. 
She was alone as she died. I didn't get to tell her how much I love her, although I am positive that she knew. I started looking around the house for some sign that she struggled thru the night. Some inkling that she was scared or that she didn't feel good. None. She was laying in bed like she a snuggled in for the night and expected to arise in the morning to  her normal routine. She had left her dinner dishes in the sink and her crossword puzzle on the table. Her mail was in the same pile as always.   The reason anyone even new she had passed away was because the cleaning lady had come in with her key. She just thought my mom must have already gone out for the morning or was sleeping still, so she let herself in when she didn't answer the door.   those moments after coming to my moms house were the weirdest, saddest, most uncomfortable  times of my life, yet I cherish them. I often wonder if I hadn't been there to see my mom in her bed, dead, would I carry these memories. No, I would have another memory of that day. A cold memory of her being in a hospital or morgue. What if she had collapsed somewhere, surrounded by strangers, what if she had struggled and couldn't cry out for help….so many what ifs.   Day in and day out I carry these memories. Sometimes they make me really sad and almost traumatized, other times I don't allow myself to think about that.  I wait for the day when the memory that shines the brightest is one of her alive, talking, laughing, playing with my kids.  I want that to be the first thing I think of, not of her laying in the bed, and the feel of her lifeless skin under my hands and the cry inside my throat as I almost expected her to open her eyes and look at me.  If I could have just one more hug from her, one more kiss, one more back rub, one more talk, one more cry….if she could be here now to understand my pain, to hold me and just be that one person that  gets me. God, I miss her. there is an ache in my soul that just down't go away. My mom is truly my best friend. I spent hours and hours talking with her about her life and her heart. Her desires, her dreams, her disappointments. There was never a moment that I felt I couldn't go to her with my heart on my sleeve. I would walk up the stairs and in the front door and not say a word. Just her wrapping her arms around me would break the flood of tears inside me and she would hug me till they were gone. She would hear me when I spoke. She liked me. She loved to be around me and  I around her. We could just be together and it made us both happy. I miss that. I miss that love, that smile, that complete acceptance. I really miss that.

The weeks, the months that have followed her death have been such a painful time. I never really realized how much I depended on her for so many things, still as an adult. Everyday I need her. I wonder if she knew how much she was needed and how much she would be missed. I hope she knows. She is the only one who took care of my kids, she is the only person I could talk to about my finances. She is the only person who knew how to understand my frustrations in life, yet encourage me to go on. Now I just feet frustrated and I really don't know what to do with it. I hope i can learn how to handle it.  Daily I think of the things she taught me about life and about caring for my family, and about being a good person.  Daily I also think of the things she taught me that are not healthy and are not life giving, but are ways she coped with pain, both emotional and physical. Ways she didn't give herself the credit she deserved and ways she always thought everyone elses needs and opinions were more important than hers. Ways she was like a little child inside, not fully matured emotionally, yet playful and naive to the evil parts of this world.  She trusted that people would be honest and that noone would hurt her.  

So this is the first of my mom chronicles. I am ready to let go of the pain of grief and misgivings. The woulds shoulds and what ifs….there is a new chapter that is coming to my life  and I need to step into it. Its hard to step anywhere when I am carrying a mound of the past on my shoulders. So I expect layers to start to  come off. Layer one…please be gone.

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