It has been just over a year since I lost my mom August 5, 2008, and dad lost his bride of 54 years. Mom was diagnosed with bone cancer, but failed (intentionally-in order to spare us) to fully reveal it to dad and waited until months later to let my brother or I know to some extent what was happening to her. Not until bones began breaking in her spine when she bent over to pick up a sock off of the floor, fell asleep on the couch, etc. Did we find out from sympathetic hospital staff how serious she truly was (they gave us the diagnosis, and the internet filled us in from there-Muliple Myeloma-you read the possibilities and prognosis, and it just sucks the life out of you!)
Mom set everything up, insurance, attorneys, wills, bank accounts, everything she could think of-to make it easier on all who were left behind. I was so incredibly angry with her, that she took the choice of how to deal with her pain away from me--I applauded and appreciated her nobility, but wanted to be there for her, like she had always been there for me...but until the last few months I did not know...16 months she suffered alone, 2 months I knew and was there for her-but I wanted the other 16 months to help her too. Mom was a beautiful, strong, warm loving imperfectly gorgeous human being, and I truly miss her so much-and love her beyond words. She was my role model, my best friend and most favorite sparring partner...we had it down to an art. There was no shortage of love between us and there was a yin and yang in that love. I am grateful that I was able to be with her for a full week before she passed (the day after my baby brother's birthday--she was always so incredibly attentive and considerate...to insure that she held on until after his birthday---that was just mom's style). Oh my God mom, I miss you so much, and I absolutely adore that you were my mom and such a true gift to us all! It has been a very hard and surreal year...but advice I would like to share that has helped me a lot-find a hospice group, the warmest, most wonderful people you will ever meet (there is no requirement that a loved one was a part of hospice care-my mom died in another state, when I came back home-a friend suggested I contact this group, and they became instant family within seconds of walking in the door and simply saying "help?") Counselors are kind, empathetic and wonderful listeners. They provide reading materials that help a great deal, let you know of the stages you need to feel and allow yourself to go through, counseling sessions, group sessions. Just like this site-they are all wonderful resources to help you see a light at the end of this incredibly dark and painful tunnel. Push through and allow yourself to feel the pain so it can be put aside and allow the wonderful memories to replace them. Thank you mom-I love you!