Sometimes I am reminded of the last weeks and days of my mom’s life. I was scared all the time. Scared that she would continue to live in pain. Scared that there was nothing I could to help her. Scared that I would lose her. I started writing this after my mom died, but I could never finish it. I wanted to share a part of it because I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way, or maybe is feeing this way right now.
Do you know what it’s like to not only face one of your biggest fears, but have it become part of your everyday life? Ingrained within the heart and mind, you get so used to it being there that some days you forget about the looming threat this fear represents. But then something happens and the fear becomes all-consuming. Its force takes your breath away, brings tears to your eyes, and fills your heart with panic. A reminder of what’s to come. You have no control over your fear, realizing much later that it had control over you. Like a ticking bomb, you know life is going blow up, you just have no idea when. So you live an everyday life because it’s all you can do. Your time is spent waiting.
I lived this way for almost a year. And even after one of my deepest fears came true, I continued to push myself through life because I didn’t know what else to do. I had no idea how to live again because I had been damaged by what I lived through. At first, the fear was briefly replaced with relief, but that faded quickly as shock, sorrow, emptiness, and grief rooted themselves in my life. I was a wife, mother, daughter, coworker, and friend. I was going through the motions, existing, but not living.
It has taken me years to get past this, but it doesn’t take much to bring me back to these memories. To remember how I felt when my mom was dying. I didn’t want to lose her, but I also wanted my mom to be at peace. I had no control over the situation. I was waiting on pancreatic cancer to make its next move.