I played the "what if" game so many times after my Mom died....After all I'm in the medical field and my Pathologist and I diagnosed her. I wondered (still do at times) what did I miss?....What did I not see or follow up on?....
You've been on autopilot for several weeks now. The hard part will come later
I diagnosed my Mom in May 2008 and she died April 2009. After her death I was on autopilot for several months, busy with all the things a death brings. I gave her eulogy, wrote all of the thank you notes, cleaned out her closet, and when everything was pretty much done and grief really hit...I discovered the world had moved on and I most certainly HAD NOT! I really thought all of the anticipatory grief would have prepared me for the reality of losing Mom. I'm here to say....IT DOESN"T!!!
I missed calling her on my way home from work everyday. I missed telling her about my children's accomplishments. I would have given anything to just hear her voice! I was appalled when my best friend told me to get over it and move on....grief would not bring her back or change things. (As a side note here, it was only my Southern upbringing and my fear of prison that kept me from killing her....) Most people did not want to talk about even the good times much less my loss!
I discovered I was mad at pretty much everyone....even God. My support came from some of the most unlikely sources.... This board was a godsend. I was able to rant, rave, ask questions and draw on the experiences of those who had traveled the road I was now embarked upon. I chose to be very kind to myself and gradually let go of those I felt were not supportive of me or my grief. Grieving is intense and personal. No two people will grieve in the same way or in the same timeline. I surrounded myself with people that truly cared and most of those had experienced the loss of a loved one. My husband was amazing. He had lost both of his parents and was so loving and supportive of me in my most crazy, insane moments. He and God pretty much took the brunt of my grieving. I'm pleased to say both loved me enough to put up with me!
I've found embracing my grief and being open and taking the time to grieve has been the best road for me. I can still be reduced to tears catching a whiff of my Mom's perfume in a store but each day the good memories are becoming the ones I remember most AND first.
Our family has always been involved with church and charities. I spend a great deal of time outside of work being a volunteer with the USO and the Marine bases near my house. My son in love is a Marine so it's personal as well. I view my volunteer work as a living tribute to my amazing Mom.
I smile now as I come across my "Pennies from Heaven" and keep all of them in a jar on my desk.
You'll find your pathway and if you are kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve, you'll be OK. I've learned lessons and believe I'm kinder and more compassionate. I think I value the small things more. Remember.....if you had not loved so much you wouldn't be grieving so hard.... Personally the love was well worth the grief.....
We're all here for you....take care!
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.