This is my time of year for reflection. It begins around Halloween, the last “holiday” we celebrated with my mom; the last picture I have of her was taken on this day. Then comes the anniversary of mom’s death and with it memories of her last days with us as pancreatic cancer slowly took her life. My reflection continues through Thanksgiving, the first true holiday we celebrated without my mom and ends with the passing of Christmas, which my mom so loved and made special for all of us. During this time, I think of my mom a lot and about life and loss.
This is not an easy time for me, as the longing for my mom deepens and I so wish she was still here. But I realized something important, which has brought me a small sense of peace. I saved all of the e-mails I received from friends and coworkers during the last days of my mom’s illness and after her death. Yesterday I realized just how much these e-mails meant to me during that time and the person who inspired me to start this blog.
As I wrote in the About My Site section of this blog, a friend told me that “the untimely loss of a parent can be best understood by someone who has shared the experience.” I mentioned that this was the main reason for my blog site, but I never realized that my true inspiration for starting this site was this friend and the support and compassion he showed me during one of the hardest times of my life. During this time, he checked in with me regularly by e-mail, asking how my mom was doing, asking how I was doing, and providing words of comfort. He truly understood what I was going through and it helped me immensely. I later found out that he’d lost his dad to cancer.
The empathy he showed me was gift, as what I was going through may have brought back painful memories for him. This empathy moved me to want to help others who may be going through the same thing I am. Through my posts I have openly shared my deepest feelings. Writing has helped me to heal, and many of the comments I’ve received from visitors to my site let me know that I have helped others as well. I deeply appreciate these comments, as they have touched my heart and inspired me to keep writing. I’m going to share with you some of the words of comfort I received from friends:
- “I only wish there was more I could do to ease your pain”
- “It is so true how much you miss them when they’re gone. I had a hard time believing my dad was really gone, and not on some extended vacation away from me.”
- “This was a most difficult day for you and you handled it with much grace and strength. Your heartfelt words at the ceremony this morning moved everyone in attendance. Your poise was an inspiration for all. I was proud of you.”
- “I hope as time goes on you will continue to find comfort in her spiritual presence as your guardian angel.”
- “I am so very sorry for your loss and I know that you emotionally broken. Keep your head up and take baby step’s at a time. I love you.”
- “One of the biggest things I learned through the death of my parents was how to allow myself to feel the love that was expressed by those around me…Through the years I’ve also learned how to keep my parents with me through my thoughts and my actions. Their gifts continue to grow within me.”
- “I can only barely imagine your feelings of emptiness just now. Please know that you have many good friends here whose hearts are with you.”
- “I know this is an incredibly difficult time for you, and Christmas will be especially tough. Know that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers – let me know if I can do anything for you.”
- “I can’t even express in words how sorry I am to hear about your mom…It must so difficult for you and the rest of your family. I wish that my positive thoughts and energy could reach you and help you to get day by day. I know how much she will be missed.”
- “While life will never be the same I can assure you that your memories will never fade and the place in your heart where your beloved mother resides will grown stronger as your life continues. To this day I think about my father every day….literally every day, in different ways.”
- “Please know that our heartfelt prayers are with you and your family. We are here for you in any way that we can be. May God Bless You & Keep You Always.”
I hope in some way these words of comfort that were offered to me provide you with comfort as well.
(Please check out my blog Words of Loss, Words of Comfort)