1 (edited by Cherbourg Tue, 26 May 2009 06:20:45)

Topic: The journey with Grief

Dearest friends,

I'm having a very hard time lately.  I lost my Mom on April 3,2009.  I come to the site everyday but it's hard to post most days. 

I had two odd things happen recently.  About three weeks after Mom died I made another trip to the cemetary before I left Greensboro to drive home.  Most of the flowers on the grave had died the week before when I was there.  The day was dreary and raining and it was about 7:15 in the evening when I went.  I parked my car, got the umbrella and walked to her grave.  The tent had been taken down and the dirt had settled down about 4 or 5 inches.  As I looked at the dead flowers I was surprised to see some had opened and appeared as if they had just been placed in the arrangments.  I picked them out to press in a book and then stood there and just cried and cried.  I told God and Mom that I really didn't think I was ever going to be ok and that I really needed some help.

I did fine during her death and funeral and didn't shed any tears.  I was so happy that she died peacefully with just my Dad, my sister and myself there. I was able to call the Hospice nurse, and help the funeral home attendants move her body to the gurney.  I helped my sister and daddy pick her outfit for the burial.  I was so amazed at how calm and collected I was.  My Mom's funeral was a beautiful celebration with 64 people just in the choir and hundreds in the church.  My Daddy sang "Some glorious Daybreak" and I was able to stand up and for 20 minutes give her eulogy without tears....just joy.

I thought I was ok til about a week after the funeral and then it started to hit me hard.  As I stood at her grave that day crying,  I realized how silly I was.  I know my Mom is in heaven and that I will see her again some day.  I finally got over my crying jag and laughed and told Mom I was ok but missed her so much.  As I turned to walk back to the car the sun had peeked out and there, seeming to touch the roof of my car was the most beautiful huge rainbow.  I laughed out loud and thanked God and Mom for this visual expression of their love and a promise that all would be well.

This past Tuesday I went to Greensboro to check on Dad and help with some of the paperwork.  I got on the road to come home and grabbed my cellphone to let Daddy know what time I expected to be back in New Bern.  I had hit a few of the stores when I left his house and wanted him to know that I had actually left later than he knew. 

I was sad thinking about not being able to tell Mom that my daughter had just called to say she made honor roll this college semester and that my son had also made honor roll in law school and was now a 3rd year law student.

I punched the button on the phone and almost had a wreck when my Mom answered the phone!!!!!  Apparently I hit the wrong button on the phone and her answering machine at work picked up with her voice on it still.  Thank God there wasn't a car in the lane I veered into!  I just went nuts when I heard her wonderful voice saying, "Hello!  This is Helen Davis"

I do believe our loved ones are watching over us.  Grief is proving to be longer and harder than I ever dreamed.  Most people seemed to think I'm fine but I'm not.  Grief I'm also finding is deeply personal and has no timetable.  I'm dreading the time when my sister and I clean out Mom's closet.  I'm still writing thank yous for all of the contributions that keep coming in to their church in her memory.  I think I'm still ME somewhere deep  inside but most of the time I'm pushing myself to function.  I know I'll get through the hard part at some time but right now I'm just trying to take care of ME.  I've caught up on the routinue medical tests I put off while Mom was sick and have got them all done except for my pap smear that's scheduled for June 2nd.  I'm trying to be gentle with myself and not expect anymore from me than I can do right now.

Somehow we will all one day be O.K.  I don't think we will ever be the same people we were before but I know we will be better, stronger and more compassionate.

So hang in there my friends......we are all still on this never ending journey together!

Hugs,
Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: The journey with Grief

Hi Pam, thanks for sharing your story. You're Mom was certainly communicating with you through the flowers and the cloud breaks! I'm sure she'll continue to find ways to do so! My grief hit much like yours, when the thankfullness for the peaceful death started to give way to the fact my Dad was gone. He passed just a couple weeks before your Mom, and the grief is still there so strong some days. Dad's cell number came up on the TV the other day, and I almost lost my lunch- until I realized we were watching a taped show on DVD- which  had recorded an earlier call from Dad. He's still on my answering machine, his cigarettes butts are still in the ashtray on the porch, and I wear one of his old sweatshirts around a lot just to feel him a little closer.

You're right, we are going to be OK, but somedays the tears just won't stop coming.... and that's just part of this long journey....

Many hugs coming back at you Pam.

Best,
Tess

Re: The journey with Grief

Dear Pam and Tess,
I can so empathize with both of your letters.  My husband stepped out of this world in mid March and I cannot come to grips at all.  I try very hard, but my heart is so very heavy.  I too feel that Rob has tried to let me know in subtle ways that he is watching.  I pray he is.  There has not been a day that I haven't cried (or talked to him).  I truly wish that inner joy would come back, you know, the joy of just seeing a beautiful day or feeling a gentle breeze.  I knew grieving his loss was going to be hard, but I never dreamed it would be this painful.
Peace,
Karen

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: The journey with Grief

Hello Pam, Tess and Karen, I know you are very sad but isn't it amazing how those who have passed on are starting so soon to be in touch with you? To know they are around you and to love you still?  They are teaching us that the "smallest" things in life are the things that are truly best. Everyone grieves in different ways and in different amounts of time. But to be able to see the rainbow where before everything was dreary, to see flowers with new blooms where all the rest had withered, cell numbers on the TV and voices on the answering machines. How blessed you all are to be able to pick up on these small signals. The present time is what we have and it helps us to appreciate these small but loving moments.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: The journey with Grief

Well said, Lainy.

Re: The journey with Grief

Pam, Tess, and Karen,

   I read your post, Pam, and it evokes such emotion for me, as it describes so closely what happened to me. I was so glad that my husband was able to pass peacefully on that I was fine for awhile - and then it hit me. I am so sorry that you have all had to bear this burdon of grief that we all share.  I truly wish - for each of us - the return of that inner joy that Karen talks about.

Joyce C.

Re: The journey with Grief

Dear Pam,

Reading your post brings tears to my eyes. I feel both sadness & understanding. Thank you for sharing your feelings with all of us.  I lost my husband to this horrible disease almost 9 months ago and everything you, Tess & Karen are feeling I am still going through also. As Joyce said it describes so closely what we all seem to be experiencing.  I think it is never ending and will always be with us, we just learn to live within our grief & try to find some sort of peace and go on.  I too am sorry for this burden of grief that we all share, but am glad that we can share with each other as it is comforting to know that none of us are alone on this journey of grieving. I long for the day when we can all beginning to find some of that inner joy in our lives.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.