Posted by: Kathy | February 19, 2012

No Timelines, Just Time

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. As I’ve said before, life sometimes gets in the way of things that don’t demand immediate attention, like my family and work. But since I’ve last written, not a day has gone by where I haven’t thought of my mom in some way. She is always in my heart and I keep her memory alive for my kids.

I remember when my grandmother was sick and I watched my mom care for her day after day. I thought “there’s no way I could do this.” But I figured I had many years until I would be in the same situation and by then I would have the “life experience” to handle the situation. Then, less than 2 years after my grandmother died, my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I did the best I could, but if I could go back 5 years, 10 years, even 15 years, there are many things I’d do differently.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about different words, the words that explain how I feel about my mom’s illness and death and how these words relate to me personally.

Loss: a feeling of emptiness that can’t be filled by anything or anyone else than what is gone, but is never coming back

Grief: a feeling of deep sadness that can be seen in the eyes but reaches to the soul

Regret: the heartfelt desire to go back into the past and do things differently, but knowing that it is not possible (this has been the hardest for me to deal with)

Anger: wanting to lash out and blame someone, anyone, for what has happened, even though, in this instance, it was no one’s fault

Heartache: the pain that is a constant reminder of what has been lost; this feeling can be as subtle as a gentle breeze gliding over you or as intense as a wave crashing upon you

There was a time when I thought I had healed completely from my mom’s death. But I don’t think this will ever happen, as I will always miss my mom and what she brought to my life. Her place in my life cannot be filled by anyone else, so I will always feel her loss. I do believe that things will keep getting easier and better as time goes on. When I do take a step forward and then 3 back, I need to keep moving forward.

No matter how much I wish she were here with me today, I know my mom is not coming back. There are constant reminders of this, things that trigger my grief and renew the feeling of loss. But when this happens, I need to acknowledge it and keep moving forward. I know my mom would want me to be at peace. This is something I want for myself too. But I’m not in a race and there isn’t a timeline for healing. There is just time, and I need to make the best of this time in whatever way I can. I’ve learned the hard way that you never know what life is going to throw your way or take away from you.

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