The title of this post is in response to a post recently written by JC called “A Sign?” In the first lines of the post, she says “I have been absent for a couple of months. I think I’m taking this as a sign of healing — that I don’t feel the need to pound out my feelings on the keyboard as much.” I completely agree.
It’s been 5 years since my mom died. Hard to believe. Some days, it’s like she was just here, but then there are others when it seems like she’s been gone for a long time. As I think of my mom right now, there’s a twinge of sadness in my heart, my mind drifting to the smile on her face, my ears hearing the sound of her voice. But I know that the sadness won’t last. It took me a while to heal from my mom’s illness and death, but I’ve done it. For me, that’s a huge step.
When my mom was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I was in shock, and for almost a year I lived in fear of losing her. A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is often referred to as a death sentence. If sheer will power and love could have kept my mom alive, she’d still be with us today. However, the cancer was stronger than anything anyone could throw at it and we lost my mom to this horrible disease.
After her death, I was filled with sadness, grief, anger, guilt, and an emptiness that echoed with pain. All these emotions, and I had no idea what to do with them or how to process anything. All I could do was cry. For me, because of a bad past experience, counseling was not an option. I talked to friends, but there weren’t many who understood, since their moms were still alive. One friend even called me a downer and was surprised that I hadn’t gotten over my mom’s death after a few months. What our family went through is something you don’t get over, it’s something you heal from slowly.
I found solace in writing. Day after day, week after week, I pounded my feelings into the keys of my laptop, as I poured out my emotions into words. These words showed up as ramblings of pure grief and loss on this blog. A blog dedicated to the loss of a parent. A blog dedicated to my mom. A blog through which I met others who understood my grief and pain, and these cyber friends, like JC, helped me to heal. Slowly, I came out of the fog of grief and pushed off the weight of guilt. The pain that echoed inside me lessened, and the tears of loss became less frequent. And then, I started to put the pieces of my life back together. I found myself and began to live, finding happiness once again.
I miss my mom. I miss her smile. I miss the love she gave to my kids and the time she spent with them. I miss her Christmas dinners and the way she made every holiday special. I even miss her “nagging” me about things she wanted me to do. I can never get any of this back. But now, instead of remembering my mom with pain, I remember her with a smile and a warm feeling in my heart. There’s not a day that goes by that I do not think of my mom in some way, and there are many life moments I wish she was here to share with me. Even though my mom is not physically here, I know she’s watching over her family and these moments are not missed.
So much has happened in the past 5 years. There are times when I feel like I’ve been on an extended rollercoaster ride of emotions. But I no longer have the need to pound my feelings into words, which were often written through a waterfall of tears. Even though I have healed from my mom’s illness and death, I don’t think I will ever really get over it. She was my mom and I miss having a mom in my life. There are days when I still need her. I need my mom. But I’ve learned to figure things out for myself, and I think she’d be proud of me.
There are several quotes and Bible verses that I read during the eulogy I gave for my mom. Most will always apply to my life and the death of my mom. Today, this quote comes to mind: “I dropped a tear in the ocean. The day you find it is the day I stop missing you.” I will always love you, Mom, and you will always have a place in my heart.