My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer 3 years ago.  He battled it through loads of radiation and chemo treatments.  Throughout his illness my mother took care of him.  She drove him to all his appointments.  She handled his whole life for him.  She also had to juggle her own life and needs.  

This past Thanksgiving was the first one I ate at home in a decade.  I have always eaten with inlaws but I knew my dad didn't have much time.  It was the best Thanksgiving ever.  

On Christmas my dad was to ill to get out of bed to see the grandchildren open presents.  At this point I am thinking he is dying in front of my eyes.  On December 26, 2012 mt mom called 911 and had my dad checked in to the hospital.  They thought he had developed pneumonia again.  

I was the only one with him on the evening of Dec 26.  We talked about sports and other seemingly meaningless stuff.  When I left I shook his hand and said to be strong.  I didnt think he'd be around much longer.  Its all I could think.

On December 27. 2012 my whole family is gathered around to see him.  He is struggling to breathe.  He can't talk.  He is in pain.  I want him to rest.  At 10pm my dad closed his eyes for the last time.  I can still hear my mom yelling.  It was a new emotional low for me.

I promised myself I would talk to my mom more now that she was alone.  At my dad's funeral I was elected to do the eulogy.  I am not religious so the idea of standing in the front of a church to speak about my dad totally horrified me.  I'm more outgoing than my siblings so I took the challenge on.  The eulogy was written by my siblings and I. We all added out own twist to it then it was my role to present it.

The eulogy went well.  I had people applaud so I felt my job was done.  I knew that when my mom passed I would be able to do her eulogy as well.

On January 26, 2013 my mother died of an apparent heart attack.  It came as a huge surprise.  She had a valve in her heart replaced 12 years ago and has suffered no set backs since.  She always took her meds.  I got the call at 1:30am.  It was my sister.  She was crying through the phone.  I knew what had happened without her having to say it.

Another casket, wake and funeral.  I prepared to do my 2nd eulogy in 4 weeks.  It was more emotional than my dads.  I had plenty of funny stories but it lacked the closure i received just a month prior.

I miss them both plenty but I often think of my mom more.  Her death was sudden.  Other than that I am lost with out them both.  I wish my last talk with my mom ended as civilly as the last chat I had with my dad.  My mom was angry with me a couple days before she died.  I dont feel guilt.  But I do feel empty and incomplete.  

My mom just finished paying off her house in December.  30 year mortgage and she made every single one.  

I do not believe that my mom died of a broken heart as many have told me.  She had so much more to give.  She finally was able to do what she wanted and not cater to my dad.  She already booked a vacation with friends.  

I have no idea why I thought a blog would help me but I think sharing my experience might lead me to other people with similar experiences.

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Comment by Kathy on February 13, 2013 at 8:14am

We were unable to have a service for my mom. I think thats is where I feel empty like I'm forgetting something. My brother and I were both under 25 when my mom died and we had very unsupportive family memebers who didn't want to be involved after she passed. She was cremated so where wasn't a wake or anything of that nature. Like I said before I can't imagine how it would feel to have lost both parents around the same time. Is it kind of like a feeling of disbelief? Thats how I feel most of the time.

Comment by Mike TWA on February 12, 2013 at 10:34am

I often struggle to think too much about my mom because my dads death is all so fresh still too.  I almost treat them as they died at same time and there was only one wake and one funeral for both.

Comment by Kathy on February 12, 2013 at 9:50am

and rightly so... Its a huge step! Its still hard for me. I had started a blog that turned into 3 and I simply can't finish it. It's too hard to relive that moment. It look me 4 years to take the advice from all my friends and actually get connected with other people going through the same thing.

Comment by Mike TWA on February 12, 2013 at 9:46am

Thanks for the nice comments.  Its obviously just the start of this process for me and my family.   I struggle to talk about it a lot still.   

Comment by Kathy on February 12, 2013 at 9:31am

I lost my mom Dec. 26th 2008 from cancer. This was the 4th year without her and everyday it seems unreal. I was almost 21 when she passed so I feel like I didn't get all the time I wanted with her and thats the regret I face. Since she was fairly young when she passed only 47 years old, my dad is still around. He is doing his own thing though he wasn't really affected by the loss of my mom since they had been divorced for over 15 years. I feel for ya because I dont know how I would be able to handle lossing both my mom and dad a month apart from eachother. They say time heals all wounds. In this case I have always felt like you never forget and you are never truly over the loss of your parents but in time you will learn to deal with it better. I do believe in Heaven and Hell and I know your parents are finally living life and doing everything they always wanted to do. I remember when my mom was on bed rest in hospice and after she passed I used to try to think of all the things she would be doing that she wasn't able to do on her last days. I hope that you can find comfort and peace during this time. This page really has opened up some doors for me helping me meet new people that have experienced what my friends can't understand. I hope that same thing happens for you.

Comment by cheryl Price on February 4, 2013 at 7:25pm

Hi Mike, 

I love your blog, its awesome! I hope you feel better today. I was always told if you write things down, it makes you feel better so I am starting my journal & also I got my tattoo today!! It hurt & I told the guy my mom was probably looking down on me saying what the heck are you doing...LOL..Hopefully you are having a good night & I know you are sad, but I am still hoping you think of those good memories to make you smile sometimes. Talk to ya soon  :)

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