No Time is a Good Time for Goodbye

Early Sunday morning I got the call I had been dreading. My mom passed away after a 3 and 1/2 year battle with cancer. I knew it was coming. They had stopped treatment and she was in hospice care. This didn’t help at all. It doesn’t matter if you are expecting it, it’s still not easy. I’m having more trouble with it now that I am back home and not surrounded by people or thinking about traveling.

I just deleted two paragraphs I had written that was a weird account of what I did the days following the news. I can sum it up with I tried to do what I could to not dwell on my grief. Travel and getting ready to travel helped. On the visitation and funeral day the constant presence of other people helped even though they were all either random family members I had not seen in years and friends of my siblings. I did know a handful of them, so that also helped. I will admit I spent some time feeling sorry for myself because the side effect of living 700 miles away is that I was the stranger in the room who needed to be introduced to all but the handful mentioned above. I know it is self centered, but that made it harder for me. I felt a little alone. Of course, my mom and sister always joked that the reason why I never see anyone I know when I go home is that when I post that I’m coming they all flee. I’m sure she would have a similar thing to say about this as well.

Living 700 miles away also meant that my relationship with my mom was not as close as her relationship with the rest of my siblings. We didn’t have a lot to talk about. Many times when I would visit, we would sit quietly together and watch TV. I didn’t call her as much as I should have because we both hated talking on the phone. She didn’t know my kids as well as I would have liked because we only were able to visit twice a year. There are a lot of regrets I on which I could focus, but that sounds whiny and I’m sure she wouldn’t like that. So, I will focus on good memories: coming home on a cold day when I was a kid and having coffee or hot chocolate, watching the soaps with her, the times we spent as a family at my brother’s house, her jokes even to the end about how she would take the pills that put her to sleep when she knew my older sister was coming to visit…

It will be weird this year to go home at Christmas and not see her. It will be weird to not get up the next morning and head to the OC to spend the day at her house. I’m sure there will be times that I will think I should call her before I realize I can’t. It will take time. It will be weird and hard, but I will try to focus on the fact that her suffering is over and she is reunited with my dad and maybe soon I won’t feel like crying most of the time.

 

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9 Comments

  1. I’m truly sorry for your loss. You will be able to get beyond the grief in time. I can say, however, that it was months before I stopped thinking, “Oh, I have to tell Mother about this,” then realizing that I couldn’t. The holidays will never be quite the same, it’s true. But you do have memories. The hardest thing about having finally lost both parents? You no longer have to worry about Mother’s and Father’s days. I still struggle with that. Silly, I know.

  2. You are in my prayers. I wish I had magic words to help, but I don’t. All I have is empathy and sympathy and a frustrated need to try and make it better. I wish I could have made it to the funeral…it would have been nice to talk face to face after nearly 30 years (once you figured out who I was, lol) and for me to let you know how sorry I am for your loss and how much I appreciate your current, on-line presence in my life.

    Hang in there…it won’t necessarily get better, but in my experience it does get easier because you eventually grow accustomed to the loss and it gets incorporated into who you are. I don’t know if you are a “hugger” or not, but I am sending you a virtual hug.

  3. Tater, I’m so sorry for your loss. Loss is never an easy time. You might cry everyday for a while. It’s okay. It’s a very normal part of the grieving process. You will know you have turned a corner when you think about your mom and the memories you shared together and you smile instead of cry. There might be the occasional tear, but not like what you are experiencing now. Just know that you have a lot of friends who are thinking of you and love you. Keeping your blog and writing out what’s going on in your head is helpful. You can always talk about things if you need to. We are here and we are listening. And we also have shoulders to lean on for crying too. ❤

  4. Losing someone you love is probably the hardest thing we ever go through. Living far away from family and not being present when they die can bring on a sense of guilt. I too live quite far from my parents, and only see them maybe twice a year. In a loving family environment typically, people move far away from home for work or due to their spouse and their lcarion or work situation. We don’t necessarily want to be far from our family, but circumstances have dictated otherwise. Feeling guilty for not being there is a normal feeling. Loving parents understand their children have decisions to make when providing for a family. They know it could mean they move out of state. It is not their preferred reality, but it is reality. I have a feeling your mother knew you wanted to be by her side every second, but it was impossible due to life continuing.
    When I lost my maternal Grandmother, I was not able to be there. She was like a second mother to me in many ways. Losing her hit me really hard. It still can bring tears to my eyes when I think about her, but those are good tears. Tears remembering all the happy times we had. That is what will remain once the initial sting goes away. Those are the memories you will remember and cherish. I will pray that God shows you this path and your heart will heal.

  5. Pingback: My Most Read Posts – The World's Common Tater

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