Topic: Babblings of a grieving person

The thing that always strikes me with this disease is how there don't seem to be any 2 cases the same! Different people, similarities sometimes, but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to who has a chance and who doesn't. Awful. You get some amazing differences. How come some people last YEARS, WITH the disease? Some are diagnozed, and gone within months! Some chemo has little effect on some people, on others it seems to work a treat! What's it all about?
After my Mum had her resection, she had 2 scans. She had the op June last year. She was gone by late April this year. The scan last November was clear. Come January this year, suddenly she had a 10cm tumour and, "numerous lesions" on her liver! Man, how did they get there so quick?! OK, realistically I KNEW she was unlikely to see her 100th Birthday in, let alone her much talked about 75th Birthday. But MY, SO QUICK? HOW, so quick? That's what really hacked me off to be honest. When I read of people lasting years, I did my optimistic thing, and saw her as one of them! She was always so strong and spry. I mean, really. You would have thought another couple of years of more. Not a few months.
It is just so hard to know what to say about it all. How many unknown factors must exist, to make it so hard to give any definitive answers to the questions that everyone at this site has?
I miss my Mum everyday. Some days it hurts. But most of the time I can cope. I have learnt very quickly how to live with the sadness. For the first month after she died, I was a mess. Functioning as best I could, would be how I would describe it. To get through each day was painful. Empty and painful.
I'm nearly 6 months on now.
I will try to add to this again. I haven't got a coherent thread going, I'm just rambling.
Carolann asked me recently how I was doing. I wanted to start a separate thread on some of the stuff that has been going on for me since Mum died. Thanks Carolann!
I still get alot out of coming to this site. I was going to say "I enjoy coming to this site"! Enjoy is not perhaps an appropriate phrase, but I can think of one thing. I enjoy not feeling alone in the world off CC. And what a diverse lot we are! It is a help and a privilege to be able to share our stories and questions. And to know that we are of comfort to eachother. How nice is that?
I offended someone on this site recently, unintentionally. I was glad to see that others understood where I came from. I suppose I read others stories, and just imagine how it would be to lose a child, a sibling, a wife, a husband, a Father. I lost my Mum. It just happens, that when I read some of the stories on here, I am grateful for a lot. During Mum's last year, I spent alot of time with her. Time that I wouldn't normally have spent! I'm in UK, with my husband and 2 young kids, 7 and 9. She lived in Greece. Of course, I find myself wishing I'd made even MORE of our time together! Should have made her write down each and every charm on her bracelet, and what it meant to her. I have the bracelet, and she told me maybe twice where each charm came from etc. Can I remember??!! She laughed at me when I asked her to write it down, and told me again, telling me it was EASY to remember! Yer, right!!
When I have time, at the moment, I am doing a "project". The part I am working on at the moment is my Mum's "potted life history"! When she was first diagnosed, I asked her if she would write me a short brief history of her life as she remembered it. I am pleased to say I now have an exercise book, about half full, of most of her life. Not detailed as such, but a history all the same. She had a great life.
I would urge ANYONE, who has any questions about ANYTHING they want to ask their loved ones, before it's too late, ask!!! I suppose you can never quite believe they are going to die.
Anyway, I have rambled enough for tonight. I will try to add to this.
Thanks for reading.

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

I'm not exactly sure why, but thank you Kate for your post.  I am sitting here with tears running down my cheeks but feeling somehow better, maybe because some of what you have said really hit home, or maybe it's just your honesty, I don't know how to explain it.  I finally got around to seeing a counselor today, I have spent all the time since my diagnosis worrying about everyone else, but never really faced up to how I was handling it.  I wasn't handling it, I was avoiding it.  still am.  I am PISSED OFF.  What did I ever do to deserve this?  I served my country for 20 years, I adopted a little boy from the most abject conditions imaginable and love him beyond words, I am no angel, but I can't think of anything I could possibly have done to deserve this.  why why why?  Why does this happen to us?  to our families? 

Kate, you have a marvelous idea about your book, I am doing much the same thing.  I have picture after picture that I am slowly organizing and scanning so that my son, my family, my friends can relive the memories we all had together.  After being remiss in sending out Christmas cards I am tracking down old friends and reconnecting.  It's a hell of a thing that it takes something like this to reconnect with old friends, but at least we're reconnecting.  I hate telling them the news, but I would hate it even worse if they found out some other way. 
I am grieving for ME, I am grieving for the future I may not have, because even if I am able to beat this thing, something has been stolen from me, and it SUCKS.....

yet, as they say, life goes on.  My son still has to do his homework, I still have to work, I still have to clean the house (dammit, don't we get any breaks?) wink

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

This is grief in slow motion.

I know that it will happen, he will die.  Probably from cancer, probably sooner rather than later.

I don't know when.  I don't know how long it will be.  I don't know what he (we) will go through to get to the end. 

I do know he will leave grieving children.  And me, grieving the love of my life.  And others who love him grieving his absence.

When we first told our son that his daddy's illness would cause his daddy's death, he cried.  "I will miss him", "who will take care of me?".  I will always be with you.  There will always be someone (mommy, uncles, older brothers) to  take care of you.

I will always be with you.  He will always be with me.  Mercifully, he is still here right now.  I will enjoy and appreciate the time that we have - be it  one or many years.

What we have right now is all that we really have.  Each one of us (and our loved ones) could be hit by a truck (or a meteor, for that matter) tomorrow; and be gone.  We have no control over the future, only our reaction to the events that occur in the future.  Or the present.  Slow motion grief.  He will not be here as long as I want.  Or he wants.  but he is here now.

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

I can't possibly respond to all three posts, as they are all so moving and intelligent and worthy of intelligent response. LTSO, your post was like poetry, and heartbreaking, and true. CDR, I'm glad you've started thinking of yourself instead of everyone else - you deserve it.  And Kate, I just love your posts and your mom, and I love the book idea - I think I'll try it if I can ever concentrate on anything again. I would add so much more but I'm becoming tedious with my long posts. I appreciate everyone airing their thoughts and giving ME some food for thought and some affirmation. I haunt this board as a kind of twisted tribute to my mother and my grief, but I do get so much out of it because of people like you.

5 (edited by ukmember Fri, 28 Sep 2007 02:23:40)

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

When my husband died I took a box my daughter had made and started to create a memory box for him. I put in all the letters of condolence I received, videos and photos that people sent and I started a special photograph album meself. Have I ever opened it? no I can't. I don't know why. I am scared that I will be overwhelmed. A friend posted a video clip on u-tube and I look at that occasionally. I see all his little mannerisms and way of laughing and his teasing manner but I can't go deep into my own memories.

I feel like I exist on two levels On the surface I am busy and apparently getting on with life. I have recognised that he has gone and am becoming used to being alone - but every so often I get side swiped by the thought that 'He's gone!! How?'

But below my acceptance is a great well of grief that makes me cry when I think about him or as I am writing this now.


Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Thanks Ladies. It's good to share. Joyce, your posts are NEVER tedious! I find your posts very touching and very down to earth and human. Both you and Patricia (and many others) have been a great comfort to me, and I thank you for that.
LTSO, and CDR, it is truly hard to read your posts. So sad. I never thought of the grieving being something that starts BEFORE death, but it is. This CC arrives in peoples lives, and causes havoc. An emotional roller coaster, that unfortunately feels like a big downer much of the time.
Anyway, I have been revisiting the days of Mums illness and death alot recently. Maybe it's because I'm approaching the 6 month mark. So I will have another ramble, as I do.
I was giving more thought to the subject of losing a loved one. One of the things that is a guarantee in life, is that you will be parted from those you love. It is something we all have to deal with, at somepoint in our lives, be it death, or otherwise.
Someone was giving a talk I attended recently. He talked of 3 main types of suffering in life........being parted from those that you love, not getting what you want, and getting what you DON'T want! Seems that CC covers the 3!
I guess for me, one of the things that has helped me, is understanding that the general accepted order of things, is that you outlive your parents. It's not a given, but it's kind of, dare I say, more the natural order of things. We all know we are going to lose our parents, we just don't know when. I'm not saying that it makes the loss NECESSARILY easier to deal with, but it has helped me. I could not say that, had I lost my child, or a spouse, or my Brother.
Also, what helped me, was that Mum was so upbeat about it all! I am so lucky to have been blessed with such a positive Mother! Even when she was in the hospice, the last 10 days of her life, she was looking on the bright side "Just think, I'll never have to go to the dentist again! And I won't be old and decrepit, and be miserable that I can't do all the things I used to be able to do!" BLESS HER!! She always told me she wasn't afraid to die. She said either she would end up in heaven, and be re-united with her loved ones, and if that wasn't the case, then she wouldn't know about it, because she'd be dead! It was heart warming to be able to discuss EVERYTHING with her, down to the funeral arrangements. She made it a whole lot easier for me, and my Brother. I think it was because she'd had such a good life, particularly from the age of 50, when she gave up "normal" life, and chose to follow her heart. What a legacy. She had NO regrets. She was very clear about that. Her whole attitude served to make it all so much easier to bear.
The thing that she DIDN'T like the idea of, was of the suffering bit, in between being told she was going to die, and the actual dying. She didn't want to suffer. But she did, of course. That was what I found so very hard to bear. I am sitting, wondering if I can type more on that. Maybe a purge would be good?
When she was rediagnozed in January, 7 months after the resection, she was told she had maybe 3 months. She bravely left her home in Kefallonia (one of the Greek Ionian islands), and returned to UK, having not lived here on a permanent basis for 18 years. She came to stay with us. In returning to UK, she knew she would have access to better medical care, and to a Hospice if necessary.
The thing is, she accepted it all, so bravely. She always said she wasn't brave, but I think she was. She arrived back here early Feb. In March we got a 2nd opinion, and the Docs said the same thing. She was doomed, basically, but they couldn't give a time frame of course. BY mid March, she was going downhill. We thought it may be the different drugs she was on, or maybe the slightly different diet etc.  We were always so positive, imagining that if she just got the right drugs, her condition would be more manageable. By early April, she was in hospital, and 8 days later she was in the Hospice. I think by that time she was, quite frankly, fed up with the whole thing. Digestive problems, severe bloating, pain. She was losing her quality of life. Just before she had gone into hospital, she had taken a train up to the middle of England, to visit her Brother. A week later she had rung me to say she didn't think she could make the same journey home. I offered to drive up and fetch her, but she ended up coming as far as London on the train, where I met her, and did the last leg home with her. My Aunt said she had spent most of the time in bed, sleeping while she was with them. She continued to do the same when she got home. Her appetite was all but gone, eating sparrow portions, and feeling worse as a result. The pain and discomfort was so bad, that one Sunday, I called the Docs out. They advised that she check into hospital the very next day. Which she did. 8 days later, she was transferred to the hospice.
Anyway, bad to worse.......about 3 days after she arrived at the hospice, I got a call from the nurses. She had had what they THOUGHT might be a TIA. They told me it had left her a bit confused, and had affected her speech. But they said if it WAS a TIA, then she should be back to normal within a day or so. Well, she wasn't. That SO pissed me off. I was gutted. She seemed to be fine, but would just forget the simplest words, and then get frustrated, because she couldn't remember. She KNEW she was not remembering. That was what hurt. Oooh, this is hard to write. Then 3 days later, it got worse. What was so upsetting about it, was that she was being denied the 2 things she could enjoy. One was reading. I think the morphine rendered her incapable of concentrating. But losing the gift of simple chatting, that was what I found hard to bear. I couldn't have a decent conversation with her anymore. And that upset her too. ALSO, she had initially just gone to the Hospice, to get her pain mediaction sorted out, with a view to coming home when it was done. And suddenly, there she was, unable to concentrate, unable to communicate properly. The Docs called me in after the second "episode", and told me they weren't sure if it was a stroke, or maybe the cancer had just gone to her brain. This was 4 days before she died. She died on Sat 21st April. On the Wednesday (day after 2nd episode), she was mostly sleeping, and in between suffering pain, and cussing endlessly. My Brother arrived from New Zealand on the Wednesday afternoon. That was the last time I really saw my Mum. I woke her to tell her Chris had arrived. She had NO knowledge that he was coming! I had been counting down the days and hours with her, and she had totally forgotten. She sat up, and was so happy to see him! "Chris! What are you doing here? How lovely to see you..." etc etc. Then she had a cup of tea, and ate some cake, and told him "You know. This is BULL****! It really is. This is all BULL****! I was supposed to die a dignified death, and I'm having to have all this BULL****!" She talked to him as best she could for about half an hour, and then settled down to rest again. I think, inspite of forgetting that he was coming, she had been waiting to see him. My Brother went home that evening to try to get some sleep, and defy the jet-lag. That night, was the night that I broke down completely. My Mum was such an independent woman. By now, even going to the toilet was a physical effort. And that evening she wanted to go. And she needed help. But when I tried to help, she got so angry with me. She didn't even know where it was, where she had to go. She was so out of it, that she thought the chair next to the bed was the toilet. And I kept saying that she should come with me, and that I would help her(the toilet was in the same room, just separate). But she would not have it, and was so cross and agitated, that I had to call the nurses, because I couldn't cope with my dear stubborn Mum. I had to leave the room, and as I walked doen the corridor, all I could hear was her shouting, and begging to be left alone. It was the worst moment for me, just the worst. I locked myself into one of the visitors toilets, sank to the floor, and just cried, and cried. The nurses were so kind, when they found me. Ther also found it hard. They said that they felt felt bad too, because she needed help, and they wanted to give it, but they felt like they were "assaulting"her, by trying to assist her. It was so so sad.After that night, she never really talked again. She just mainly slept, and then got agitated, by anyone trying to do anything, like change her, or give her her medicene or anything. It was awful.
On the Friday afternoon, she was so agitated, moaning and obviously stressed. My Brother and I were both with her. The nurses upped her doses of morphine. By 7pm, she was sleeping, and calmly, so calmly. None of the agitation she'd been suffering on and off for the last few days. My Brother went home around 8pm, still jet lagged. I watched a film, and wrote my diary, before going to bed around 00.15am. I was woken 12.35, by a nurse, telling me that Mum had died.
I had been writing in my diary, not half an hour before, that I was wishing that the end would come. I couldn't bear for her to suffer any longer, and I couldn't cope with my own suffering any longer.
My immediate reaction was relief, and sadness. But the relifef, oh, I can't tell you. I was just SO relieved, that she no longer had to suffer, and that I didn't have to suffer WATCHING her suffer. Somehow, I can see it would be so easy to feel bad about being relieved that your Mum has died. But I felt none of it. I just felt release, for all concerned.
OK, that is quite enough for tonight.
I thank anyone who reads this, for reading it. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Well, I'm supposed to be at work this morning, but my husband is stuck in London, so I thought I would continue while I await his return.
So, yesterday's post is such a sad read. But it was sad. Can't escape that.
So, anyway, after she died, I called my Brother, and he came to the Hospice. Neither of us could cry at that point. We sat, together with Mum, and shared a bottle of wine, and reminisced the night away. It was really peaceful. We left there around 7am. When I got home I began calling people to let them know she'd gone.
It was like being "in this world, but not of it". Like a bare kind of functioning. Still no tears. It wasn't until later in the day, when I was at my allotment, that the tears came. And when they came they didn't stop. I remember being very aware that I was not only crying because Mum was gone, I was also crying for the suffering she/we had had to experience in her last 2-3 weeks. I just could not seem to shift the images of Mum suffering, they would not go away.
My husband took me home, and ran a bath for me. When I was done in the bath, I came upstairs to the PC, desparate to see photos of my Mum, when she was alive and well. And that's when I found the video clip of her. I had taken it in January when I had been staying with her In Greece prior to her return to UK. To hear her voice, was just SUCH a comfort. And the video clip was of her at her best, feeding all her stray cats, singing silly songs and teeling them all off! Mum at her eccentric best. I sat and laughed, and laughed, and cried some more. But laughter was what helped. It felt as if watching that clip, somehow wiped out the rawness of the suffering we'd just been through. And I sat there, and thought, and realised that the last 2-3 weeks of her life, were such a TINY blot, compared to all that had gone before. I decided to concentrate on the good memories. I can't tell you how many times I watched that clip in the weeks following her death. It gave me a perspective. 3 weeks, out of 68 years. I was thankful to be able to look at it that way, instead of concentrating on the nightmare that we'd suffer prior to her dying.
Another thing that helped, was that I knew for sure, that Mum would not want me to suffer after her death. I knew that she was free of it all now, and I took great comfort in that too. When someone dies, it is so hard to see anything positive in anything. But the kind of thoughts I have described helped me immensely. Also, I returned to my allotment. One friend joked that I would dig through to OZ. Having hard physical work to concentrate on helped too. I'd found that when she was in hospital, the hours I spent feeling utterly helpless, were helped, by spending time there when I wasn't with her. I dug, and planted and watered and nurtured! THe same followed in the days prior to the funeral. It was about the only thing I could concentrate on. Luckily I had husband around to help with the kids, as I couldn't seem to manage even the simple tasks of cooking a meal. It was so hard.
Her will was lovely. Short and simple, splitting her worldly goods between me and my Brother, but I liked the bit about the funeral. "It must be brief, Christian and CHEERFUL, and with wild flowers!
The day of her funeral, the sun was shining. Me and my kids and my Brother drove out into the local countryside, and set about finding the wild flowers! We came home laden! How can you enjoy a funeral? Well, I did! It was a fantastic funeral! It all went so beautifully, and perfectly, just as my Brother and I planned. I read some emailed tributes from her friends in Greece. My Brother talkked about her, as did Mum's Brother, my Uncle. He had people laughing, recounting a few stories from their youth.
It was, dare I say, the perfect funeral, and it was, as far as I could tell, just as Mum would have wanted it! THAT helped too!
The next day my Brother and I collected her ashes, and flew out to Greece. It was really hard going back to the caravan. Both of us spent alot of time there, and did alot of crying. I did my "physical" work thing, and weeded her garden, and cleaned up the caravan, as the cats had taken it over after she left, although they had by the time we arrived, moved on, presumably because of the lack of food. Her ashes were scattered in her garden, and around an ancient olive tree which was part of her view. The rest we took to a spot where several years before, she'd lived by the side of a road on an old boat (wreck)!! The wreck was long gone, but it was a beautiful spot, where she'd been very happy.
Returning to Uk a week later, I felt able to face the world again, having seen little of anyone, excepting the funeral. But after 2 weeks, I just wanted to be back at the caravan, it was like a need to be near Mum. So, I did it. I took my kids, and we went out 31st May, and didn't return till 24th July. We stayed in the caravan, and it was just what I needed. It gave me the time to come to terms with it all. I was able to take my time, clearing out her stuff, slowly slowly. She didn't have much, she was a simple woman. The only thing I couldn't bring myself to do, was clear out her clothes. By the time we left at the end of July, the caravan was left, a bit like a shrine I suppose! I had stuck pictures of Mum to the walls, to replace paintings she'd done (which I brought home), and I left enough stuff, so that it still looks like she is living there! I'm hoping to get out for a week later this month. Then, I think I will try to draw a line under Greece for a while. I doubt the caravan will be habitable after another winter, being held together with string and masking tape, as it is. But I won't be there to see it's demise. I will stick with the memories.
With my Mums memories, and my positive slant on life, I feel I'm doing Ok now. I was away on a camp with the kids a month or so ago, and some more grief shifted there. Lots of meditation and Qigong, I found myself one morning back at square one, crying and crying and feeling the loss all over again. I guess that will happen again at some point. But it was good to get some more out. After she died, it felt as though I had this big black well inside me. Black and deep, in my belly. And slowly it has gotten smaller, and somehow shifted in my body. My black well has shrunk, and moved up to my heart area on that camp, and it is easier having it there. I'm hoping that it will gradually shrink, into something soft and warm and pink, and stay close to my heart.
Thanks again for reading.

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

How special your mother was and how special your remembering of her is. I feel like I knew her from your account.
As you know my husband died without pain so it doesn't always accompany cc. For that I am truely grateful especially when I read your heart rending account of your brave mother's experience. The pain indignity and loss of control are things that I fear about my own death and I can understand your mother's fury at what was happening to her. My husband was unable to face up to what was happening and never spoke of his own death except on 2 occasions, one to say I am not afraid to die but I want to die with dignity. he did. The other to tell me that I should make sure there was a good turn out at his funeral. He didn't have to say that because so many people came simply because of the kind of man he was.

Stay strong and keep your mother's memory strong with her grandchildren and in time with your grandchildren. I think that is the best memorial

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Thanks Patricia. You know, I think all that typing was something I had to do. I feel quite purged, as I'd never written it all down before. It really helped. Thanks to all who took the time to read my ramblings.............and Joyce, SURELY none of your posts have been THAT long!! smile
I'm so glad for this site. I really feel it has helped me so much in coming to terms with Mum's death.
Lots and lots of love to you all xxxx

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Hi Kate,
I think I have you beat when it comes to long posts, and you're a bad influence, because I'm so tempted to just write down every little detail of my mother's illness now, too -- I've always been much more of a writer than a talker, and it really DOES help to purge some of the demons when you write it all down. Don't worry - I won't do that- well, not completely!!

Yes, the last days and the indignity of it all really does stick with you - it makes me angry most of all -- but then you remember all those great years and it's some consolation, but it also upsets me because there could have been so many more years like that. I just can't get past it.

I know you mentioned that we all know that our parents will go before we do -- well, I guess I never really accepted that, and still don't - I'm stubborn.  Funny thing is, I would occasionally tell my mother before her illness that I hoped she didn't die before I did, because I wouldn't be able to go on living without her.  The last time I said that, I mentioned that I was worried that she might not live another ten years with her autoimmune hepatitis issues -- and the phone rang about 20 minutes later and it was the doctor telling her that her blood tests came out abnormal.  What bad timing on my part!!

Anyway, I was the baby of the family in every way even though I'm supposedly all grown up with a family of my own -- and my mother and I did everything together, lived close by and had more of a friendship than mother-daughter relationship. We just shared everything. She was a terribly nervous driver so I drove her a lot of places, and she returned the favor by listening to my complaints and giving me perspective, making me laugh and helping me with my difficult daughter. I'm not saying that your pain is any less than mine, it's just harder to go on with your life when your day-to-day activities involved that other person so completely. That's why the death of a spouse can be so devastating - there's a void there that cannot be filled and the days are empty of meaning when you used to see that person every day and share every little stupid event with them. I spent most weekends and 1-2 days of the week at her house, which was a gathering place for all our misfit friends (we collected stray people and animals) - and now everyone is at a loss, scattered to the four winds. I've had a few get-togethers at my house for everyone, but it's different and my place just isn't as carefree and comfy as her house. We finally have her house sold, the closing should be soon, and I just can't be happy about it - that house was a shelter for all kinds of eccentric beings, myself included!

You're lucky your mother had such a positive attitude, as I'm sure that helps immensely - unfortunately, my mother, who had the most wonderful, sarcastic sense of humor and could cheer ANYONE up, was just devastated by the thought of dying. She often said she wasn't afraid of dying, just felt bad for the people she'd leave behind. She just wasn't ready - she had so much to live for - and I think at the end we're ALL afraid of death when it gets that near. And the pain -- yes, that was her biggest fear, and it didn't rear its ugly head until the end but it was enough to make me give her enough morphine to probably hasten her death. I'm grateful the pain is gone, but I still want her back, healthy and whole.

I admire your mother and her adventurous spirit (loved that clip of her!)- though my mother didn't go anywhere exotic, she was a lot like yours - she sowed her wild oats when she was younger, though, and then turned her house into a carnival of fun and silliness. They both lived their lives they way they wanted to, on their own and on their own terms, so they definitely had lives that were well-lived. I know all this and I'm so proud of my mom, but the child in me refuses to accept any consolation. I just want my mommy back, irrational as that may be.

Anyway, I'm done purging for now.

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Joyce, what a lovely post! It was nice to hear more about your Mum!
If I had had my Mum around all the time, I think my loss would be harder to bear. Losing a loved one is the pits, whichever way you look at it. But I feel other peoples losses very much, because so many of you have had your loved ones around on a daily/weekly basis. I can only imagine what the loss of that regular contact must feel like. It must be absolutely devastating. My Mum moved to Greece about 18 years ago. I would see her every year, but it is not the same as sharing your life with a person, and having them die. It must leave such a gap in your life. Like Patricia with her husband, to name one of a few. And Jules who has spent the last 2 years battling this on a weekly basis with her dad. I do not mean to leave ANYONE out of this, each and everyones stories touch me deeply.
I guess I could be upset that I didn't have my Mum around for the last 18 years, but the thing is, she was doing what she wanted to do. When she first left, I used to feel angry at times that she wasn't around to help me with the nitty gritty parts of life, when I could have done with her being around. But, that passed, and I just felt proud of her, that she had followed her dreams. Funny thing is, even though she wasn't here physically for me, she was in later years (she was homeless, by choice for at least the 1st 9 of her years away), contactable by phone, when she eventually decided to get a mobile phone, and that was somehow enough. Her love and unconditional acceptance of my life, was always with me.
However, I digress. The point is, when you have a week by week existence with a loved one, their death must surely be harder to cope with. How could it NOT be?
I feel very keenly how much losing your Mum has affected you, and your everyday life.
Bloody annoying really! Yes, I also get the feelings about "TOO SOON! SHE SHOULD HAVE HAD MORE TIME!!!"
Grief does seem irrational sometimes. But is it what it is, ultimately. Grief.
Much love to you Joyce!

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Thanks, Kate - your posts always bring a smile to my face - you have such a distinctive voice that comes through. You sound like a very well-balanced, upbeat and hardy person!

I don't want you to think I'm downplaying your own grief, as I know it is just as painful as mine as and that grief just can't be quantified or compared.  I think you know what I meant, and it's just harder to fill the time and the days when your time used to be shared so completely with another person. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if my husband or daughter died -- but then I have to think of something else, because it's really unimaginable and horrifying.

You had a special bond with your mother and your love for her was so sincere because you understood that she needed her freedom and her independence, and you let her go without rancor. And she respected YOUR freedom -now THAT's love! Not your conventional mother-daughter relationship, but just as deep - even more so, because you each valued the other's happiness over everything else. It sounds like she was very much your friend as well as your mother, which was my relationship with my mother, too. No hierarchy, no guilt trips. My husband's parents are very much into the "we're your parents and you owe us and we still lay down the law," which is totally repugnant to my individualistic spirit. My mother and I would laugh and laugh when I told her about the way my in-laws would try to lay down the law and give my husband orders about how we should live our lives, because if my mother ever did anything like that to me, I'd tell her to go to hell - and she would certainly have said the same to me!

Here's to our mothers - so special and so missed.


Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Don't worry Joyce, the thought that you were trying to "downstage" my grief never even occured to me! I'm just very aware that my suffering could be alot worse.
Yes indeedy, here's to our Mums, hip hip HOORAY for the wonderful lives they led!!

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Well, a year has passed, officially tomorrow in fact, but a year ago last Friday night was when Mum finally left us.
On Friday I got out the letters she sent me over the years from her travels. I sat up till 3 am putting them in date order, and filing them! Then yesterday, it was raining, so I took my kids to town to a play centre, and whilst they were off frolicking, I sat down with a flask of tea, and began reading them! What a treat! I'm not even half way through, but it is so nice to read back on the last years of her life. She left UK in 1989, and wrote to me regularly from wherever she was (mostly Greece/Italy). What a woman! What an inspiration! Needless to say I still miss her, but I don't feel so bad now. My big black ball of sadness that I previously described is now a small pink smooth one, and no longer lodged in my stomach, it is now firmly planted in my heart! I just feel very very lucky that she was on this earth as long as she was. NOT LONG ENOUGH mind, but I am thankful for knowing her as long as I did.
I have sent her picture through to Faces of CC today, so hope she will appear there in the next few weeks.
Much love to you all. I don't visit here so often now, but I will always be grateful for all the support I was given from everyone, and most grateful that I found this site when I needed it, because I feel that with all that went on, it would have been so much less easy to bear without your support.
Lots and lots of love to you all
Kate x

15 (edited by JeffG Sun, 20 Apr 2008 06:25:52)

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Hi Kate, Long time no hear!  Just want to say Hi and tell you your Mum and her video painted an ever-lasting picture in my mind.  Living on a Greek Island in a casual, free, and simple way.  Living with the beauty of nature and enjoying the peacefulness of it all is so serene to me. Kitty Cats and birds galore. Your Mom was a special one of the kind Mum who won't be forgotten. What you shared and how you introduced and spoke of your Mum is like I've known her for years.  I really envied her style of living care free as the wind blows.  She was a women full of wisdom; I'm lucky to be able to color in a coloring book, let mine paint and sell my own paintings. Kate just wanted to say you were a loving and caring daughter and took the bull by the horns at the time it was needed and you came through with flying colors or colours(proper English you Know).  Because of you, your Mum left this world feeling loved and with great dignity. Keep on smiling!

God BlessYou and Family,
Jeff G.
P.S. I think you and Joyce have a close match going for the longest post. Ha! tootles! Cheerio! for now.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Hi Kate-what is your Mum's name?  I have looked all through your posts but can only find "my Mum" and I would love to connect a face with her but don't know which face to look at.  LOL  Best to you-

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Hi Patrice... Jeff here... Click on Kate ... then show all posts... then page 4... My Mum.... In the post is two links Click on the first one and there is a picture of kate and her MUM.
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Her name was Prue Corlett, Patrice! She wrote a book about her travels called These Vagabond Shoes! Still available on Amazon, but horribly expensive for some reason, considering it was never a best seller! Here are links to photos of her.
This one is of me and Mum shortly after she came out of hospital having had her resection in July 2007
This one is of Mum at her caravan on the Greek Island of Kefallonia … I_2814.flv
This is the video that shows Mum at her eccentric best, with her animals! Never fails to make me smile!

Thanks for your kind words Jeff, and Patrice.
Jeff, Joyce and I have always vied to have the longest post ever on this site!! I'm pretty sure you are in the runner up bracket!!
You keep smiling too Jeff, and keep on enjoying your life!

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Hi Kate,
Nice to hear your smiling e-voice again! I just wish I was feeling verbose so I could win the world's record for the longest post and put all of you to shame!

I've said before how much I love your Mum, Kate - and like Jeff said, that video of her really struck me. I even showed it to a few family members, who probably thought "Why am I watching this video of a woman I don't know?" But it's beautiful and inspiring.

Glad to hear you're collecting all the precious memories. I still have work to do on that score.

All the best!


20 (edited by celoi Mon, 21 Apr 2008 14:13:48)

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Hello All,

It's me, celoi, (Charlene), David Cook's daughter,

This "Grief Management- Babbling of a grieving person thread is a great idea... I know my mind wonder WAY BACK......

My father passed Dec 30, 2007 and my life has not been the same officially since diagnoses June 21st, 2005. 
I did ALL I could humanly do. I am actually still in totallshock that I do not have my father....I never ever imagined in my life, I would be with out him. EVERY Sunday morning, betweeen 9-10am, I relive being at Hospice- ALL the drama from previous days as my father, lay taking his final 'baby breaths! My dad was a very dignified man, with a large heart and always cared about others. I am very angry that its my father in a box! He was tired though....I can only imagine.  My father passed at 9:50am on Sunday morning and I can not get out of my mind, his breathing, so softly and there was nothing I could do, but just watch. Every Sunday morning, I relive that moment!
Its not one day, or hour that pass, which I do not think about my father.  We were so close. I try to think of the happy times with him, that keeps me going. He loved me so, so much and I will never forget him.
I personally think 'people' think you are stupid when you do not speak up..thats not the case.
When my kids cry periodically about losing him, it saddens me even more that they do not have such a warm person as my father in their life now. My youngest said he missed PaPa laughing at him.  Yes, my dad was so full of life.
He wrote me a letter which I found after he passed and I read it over and over....
My dad was a wonderful man...

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Hya Kate,

Jeff , Joyce and everyone.

I too found your moms life so uplifting at this time in our lives.
In a funny sort of way she made me smile when I didn't want to smile.
Her life was a great story and reading about it all made some sort of sense to me and I am sure to many others on here about the gentleness of living life as it should be. She was a very brave woman.

My special time will be on the 30th April and it will be 2 years.
Alan's partner dina still visits, but has made a fairly new relationship and I am happy that she can go on with her life. His friends continue to phone and talk and tell me things about alan. Many things a mother doesnt know but make me laugh and feel proud that he was a good, honest, healthy, clean living son.

My grieving still goes on, but I know in my heart nothing could be done.
My lovely boy never stood a chance.
I have been lurking on here most of the time but not able to write too much.
I read on here of the joys (when things are going well ) and of the sadness when all of our lives, our loved ones and the people left behind are suddenly cut short by cc.

Even in these  last few days one of our hospitals has sent me a letter and could not even get the name of cc correct.
( chorio. carcinoma) This would be a miracle.
The letter is so badly written and states that the medical staff had seen this before it came to me. This person is the deputy chief executive of the trust.
If they cannot get a letter right how could they have saved my son ?

I am now in the process of losing my husband of 49 years. Not to cc I add.
He has end stage kidney failure and other stuff due to 56 years of insullin.
Very, very poorly now.

Betty, I remember you describing about Sam and how he became and I am now going through pretty much the same. It is once again a terrible time in
my life and I feel so helpless. Very weak, very tired and really tearful.

As a family we have managed to raise


Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Thanks so much for bringing me up to speed Kate ( + Jeff )  I loved the video of your Mum and her pets.  What wonderful memories.  There was a day when I could have read all these posts and been stoic about it all but those days are gone.  I cry all the time reading other peoples stories.  Thanks to all of you for sharing your joys, memories, and sorrow.  what a wonderful community we have here! Every moment in life is precious and many of your stories have helped me to live in the now all the time.  Patrice

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Teresa - my heart just goes out to you.  I can't imagine going through this unbelievable hurt more than once in a lifetime.  About four weeks ago I lost my job after 42 years.  It was really a more reorganization and since Sam was the plant manager there, I seemed to be a thorn from the past; they wanted their own people in key positions and I guess I can understand that.   Together Sam and I had over 80 years.   Everyone seemed to think it might take me "over the edge" but there is no hurt that can ever compare to losing Sam; losing my job was just one grain of sand on an entire beach compared to what we went through.  It has made me miss him so much more because Sam and I were workaholics and now I have all of this time on my hands and no family close by.  I have been doing a LOT of yard work; I should get "yard of the month" - ha-ha.     It does seem that I have been in a nightmare for so long and I am sure you feel the same way.   But Teresa, I truly believe that when God closes one door, He WILL open another for me and for you.  I just keep hoping.  Please know that you are in my prayers and I really hurt for you.  God Bless.

Re: Babblings of a grieving person

Hello everyone, Betty, Patrice, Charlene Teresa and Joyce,
Gosh, what a lot of different replies!
Charlene, it is still so fresh for you. It took me several months to recover from the horrible bits. I just kept reminding myself that in the bigger picture of Mum's life, the suffering at the end was a small blip compared to all that had gone before. It is so so painful to watch someone you love suffer. I hope that time will give you the healing you need.
Teresa, I cannot imagine for a moment how it feels to lose a child, oh my, I love my kids so much (like we all do) and the thought of out living them is one of the few things that scares me in life. To now be losing your husband TOO. Oh love, what can I say, I can only send you love and strength. My heart goes out to you.
Thanks for enjoying my Mum Patrice! I also know what it is to cry reading other people's stories.
Betty, life must be strange, losing your man, and now your job. Maybe you can find some voluntary work or something? I hereby award you the official Yard of the Month cup!!
And lovely Joyce, I know how hard losing your Mum hit you, and hope that life is slowly getting better for you! If I ever ever come to New York again in my life I will be looking you up for sure!
This site is another place that always reminds me of the kindness of strangers! With conditions like CC, status/country/nationality etc are rendered unimportant, and we are reminded that we are just people, families, helping to support eachother. Out of the ugliness of it all there is beauty too.
Much love to you all, those who have added to this thread, and all who come here.