Archive | January 2012

TFS

As I walked away from the hospital all I could think was, “don’t let yourself throw up.” I could feel the remnants of the breakfast I had just consumed bubbling to the top of my stomach. As it hit my gag reflex I slowed briefly so I could dry heave without my family seeing me. Miraculously nothing came up. I didn’t cry even though I wanted to throw myself on the ground like a child – kicking and screaming. My brother and I slowly crawled into the car. We exchanged glances and I said, “This.Fucking.Sucks.”

Nothing prepares you for the acute pain you feel or the intense sadness you experience as you watch someone you love take their last breath. It’s not like on TV. Music doesn’t play. The machine doesn’t suddenly flat line. At least not for me. It took 4 days. My mother’s beautiful heart was fine, it was simply the rest of her body that was failing. And when that final moment came – that horrible moment in time – my world froze. I had not said everything I wanted to say. I had not demonstrated my unwavering love. I had not made amends for the pain I had caused her in her short life. The only relief came knowing that she would suffer no more.

This.Fucking.Sucks.

No three words have ever summed up an experience better than those three words. They can begin conversations, end them, and generally summarize the pain in three simple words when someone asks how you are. These words were my MO as I navigated the whirlwind of emotions after my mother died. Even now, almost 3 years later, the stabbing pain still tears at my heart. My children do something amazing or funny and I want to call. Oh, to hear her voice one more time. To hug her. To hear her laugh. Losing your mother sucks.

Mum’s The Word

Wednesday was the typical day of the week that I would call my mother.

Our conversations would begin like this:

ME: It’s me.

HER: Hi Me.

Our conversations would range from the important to the random–politics to who got booted off DWTS.

Today I want to call her to tell her that Heidi Klum and Seal may have broken up. (Yes, I know that there was a State of the Union address on, but this is news in my world.)

More than anything, I’d love to ask my mom’s advice on how to deal with the fact that she’s gone. My mom was so wise about matters of the heart.

Perhaps you’re wondering the same thing–what would your mom say?

You Can’t Help How You Feel

This is actually advice Mom has given me throughout the years. When I felt a certain way, rational or not, my mom would always say, “You can’t help how you feel. It’s how you deal with those feelings that matters.” During this time–especially the first few months–you’ll be going through a lot and dealing with lots of different emotions. There’s no right or wrong way to feel. Perhaps you’ve lost your mom to a long-term illness, and you feel relief. That’s okay.

Or, like Bu and me, your mom’s death was sudden, so you feel shock and resentment.

Just know: whatever you feel. It’s okay.

Being Human

Give yourself a break. I can’t speak for Bu, but I can tell you I spent a lot of time over the summer watching The Rachel Zoe Project, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, reading my Kindle, and surfing eBay. I didn’t like crowds, didn’t like going out, didn’t care about what was going on in the world. I’m sure I wasn’t always the easiest person to be around. So, cut yourself some slack, and be kind to yourself. (I was lucky to have the loving support of my Beloved and my Bu.)

Decisions, Decisions

You may find yourself having a hard time making minor decisions: what to eat, what to wear, the best way to handle a situation at work, or even deciding on whether you should hit the Super Target on a Sunday. The decisions you normally made seamlessly on a daily basis may now seem overwhelming. And that’s perfectly normal.

This is not the time to make any major decisions. Quitting your job to tend sheep in New Zealand or deciding to grow oranges in Alaska–not a good idea. Marrying that person you met on a first date. Cutting your hair in a Carol Brady shag. (Okay, I’m projecting Me circa 1999.) It may seem ideal to change your situation to change your grief. Chances are, it’s probably not the best idea.

Hickory Dickory Dock

Time: The problem with clichés is that they are both good and bad. The good: there’s some truth in them. The bad: people want to inundate you with them. People will nod sagely at you and say, “Time heals.” And you’ll probably look at them and say, “Get bent.” When you’re in the raw of your moment, rarely do words help. But, time, simply in the way that time does, passes.

Regift Your Grief

In the fall before Mom died, I signed up to be an e-mentor for books and kids. I signed up too late in the year and was unable to be matched up with a student. (If you’re interested: in2books.com). Two days after her funeral, I received an email from this program asking me to mentor a student. I debated. Would I be able to? Would I feel up to it? I did and was richly rewarded. I also joined a dog rescue group. Being able to focus my attention on other living beings who needed me helped. This is the part of the reason for this blog.

Chat It Up

When my friend, Bu’s, mother died, I remember calling her and trying to find the right thing to say. And I simply couldn’t. It wasn’t because I wasn’t sad or didn’t want to ease her pain–it was simply that I didn’t KNOW. When my mom was in the hospital and dying, she was the first person I called. And she was there–dispatching advice, listening, and simply being there. For me, I find it’s helpful for me to talk to other people who’ve lost their moms and find themselves in similar situations. We talk daily.

Surround Yourself

With the people who make you feel good. Who will listen. Ask. Your friends want to help–but may not know the best way to let you know. People will say, “Let me know what I can do.” Let them know. (I struggle with this.)

Get a Dog

Just get one. 🙂 (Okay, who’s projecting? Me again. :))

Feel Better

If you’re hurting and depressed…there is no shame in talking to your doctor about antidepressants, etc. or seeking the help of a therapist or counselor. (Personally, I did not find the latter helpful, but that was just me.)

xoxo,

Meme

WWMD

My mother was an amazing cleaner (one of her many hidden talents). When I was growing up there was never a speck of dust ANYWHERE. The clothes were always clean and put away, the carpets vacuumed, the silver polished (I was a key help with this)… NEVER was there a ring around the toilet. The woman knew more about cleaning products than anyone I know. She had a list of rules for doing laundry (all of which I follow to a tee — and they work). I can hardly remember seeing my mother make a meal or clean anything, but it was always done. I would love to ask her what I am doing wrong?

She had three children. I have three children.

She was worked inside the home. I work inside the home.

Her homes were immaculate. My house is a MESS.

How did she do it? Where did she find the time?

Only one of many questions I wish I could ask…

Welcome!

Here’s the thing that no one tells you.

Losing your mom just sucks. An understatement to be sure. Because there are simply no words to express the pain and grief.

None.

Your world has completely changed.

And then what?

What happens after?

Bu and I created this site to give you a place of comfort and solace: a place to share memories, express grief, and the healthy things you are doing to take care of yourself. Most importantly, we are offering up a chance to ask the questions: “I need to do xyz, but I can’t ask my mom.”

It could be anything from making a gravy for your Thanksgiving turkey to sewing a button or sharing that “thing” you wish you could have told your mom (family gossip, great new shoe website, her most fabulous Thanksgiving turkey and how to make it).

Also, we LOVE the things you have to share–family recipes, ideas, etc. Your memories are important and deserve to be shared.

Bear with us as we navigate the nuances of our website.

Love,

Meme