Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today's I'm Doing Something Different...

It's a different kind of post from me today. I've had big things on my mind and couldn't bring myself to write the latest review to post and actually give it the write-up it deserves.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of my mother's death.

On the 1st anniversary my Dad was still alive but not doing very well and ended up in the hospital during this week. It kept me from focusing on Mom being gone.

For the 2nd year, Dad was still sick and getting much worse. Taking care of him, making sure he was taking his medicine, dealing with his loneliness and depression, keeping his old house from falling apart - they all kept me focused on him. I had to be strong for him. Couldn't let him see my emotions because I had to be strong so he could be the one to cry, the one to be sad and depressed.

I felt like in order to be there for him - to support him - I didn't have the right to lose it. To just let go and feel it all - all the emotions that for 2 years had been bottled up.

I was being strong.

As I said, this year is the 3rd anniversary and the first since my dad passed away last year.

This year it's different.

This year I'm feeling every bit of the emotion I didn't get to feel before.

A part of me is relieved - I was scared because who loses their Mom and then doesn't grieve? Did I not love her - am I some sort of heartless woman who only thought she loved her Mother more than anything? Shouldn't I be crying?

So much guilt. Honestly, there has been so much guilt. Trying to be there for dad, but feeling like not focusing on Mom and remembering her made me feel so guilty. Would she have understood? Is she somewhere sad that I wasn't crying or depressed those 1st 2 years? Did she get it - that Dad needed me?

I've asked myself those questions a million times. And tons of other questions too. Questions like: Did she know how much I loved her? How proud I was that she was my mom? How much I appreciated her friendship - not just for being my Mom?

So many questions.

Today, I mark the 3rd anniversary and I'm so happy to say I'm crying. I'm staring at one of my favorite pictures of the two of us. I'm sitting at work remembering her laugh, the jokes she used to tell. The secrets we shared.

Most of all today, I'm celebrating the things about me that I think are just like my Mom. On any given day I can say something or tell a silly joke, or laugh a certain way and it catches me by surprise. Wow - I sound just like Mom. Or, Mom would have loved this. I'M SO PROUD TO BE JUST LIKE MY MOM IN SO MANY WAYS. 

I miss you Mom.

Please - I ask all of you to spend time with your Mom telling her how much she means to you today. If she is no longer with us, I'm so sorry but please never forget the special things that made her your special Mom. 

10 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear all the losses you've had to experience, especially so close to together in time. And yours was doubly hard, being the caretaker for someone who was grieving, and putting your own grief on hold.

    Last month was 20 years since my mom died, and she was my best friend, so it felt like I'd lost the person who normally would console me during something so hard. So I think I understand what you're experiencing.

    I also believe there's no need to feel guilt. Grieving has many forms, and takes a lot longer than we're usually allowed--it makes others around us uncomfortable, so we have a tendency to keep it to ourselves. It takes a while to get through it. There's no rules except for the ones YOU make. :) And yours has been delayed, through no fault of your own.

    My heart goes out to you. It does get better, even when it feels like it's not.

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  2. My mom's been gone for over 25 years now, and I still miss her. But, it's so important to get rid of the guilt. My dad has been using dead mom guilt on my siblings and me for years to get us to do his will - this year I finally had the courage to tell him that Mom Guilt has reached its expiration date and it's time to throw it out. Don't hold yourself hostage by guilt like my father did to us. You mom loved you and she'd be proud of the person you are today. Don't ever forget that - I have to remind myself of that all the time.

    Hang in there, you'll make it. It sounds like you're a survivor.

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  3. (((Hugs))) You did what you had to do to take care of your dad. I agree with Donna that caring for his needs before your own is no reason for guilt. I have a friend whose husband died when their youngest was six. A dozen years later, after that child was off at college, she went through a period of deep grief. Her counselor asked if she had ever allowed herself to grieve fully for her husband. Her answer was no because she had three children to care for, kids who were scared and hurting and who had to be housed and fed and clothed and hugged. Only when they were all on their own did she take time to grieve for her loss.

    C. S. Lewis says in A Grief Observed (and I'm paraphrasing)that losing someone you love is not like a person who recovers from an appendectomy and returns to life with no consciousness of loss but rather like a person who has lost a limb. Life goes on for the amputee too, but he/she will always be aware of the missing limb. My mother died less than a week before Christmas thirteen years ago. My sister said at the time that we'd always have a hole in our hearts. I think C. S. Lewis and my sister were right. The grief has grown less sharp with time, and the memories touch the heart with healing fingers these days. But I still miss her, and like you, when someone says, "You remind me of your mother," I feel as if I've been paid the highest compliment.

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  4. Hugs to you, darlin'. I'm going to call my mom tonight. :)

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  5. Next month, it will be 2 years since my father passed away. I miss him everyday, but this year has been harder than last year. The first year our lives were filled with so much change that I don't think I had much time to even think about missing him. We were approved for adoption 2 days before he died and brought three wonderful children into our home 2 months after his death, and 1 month before the first anniversary, we moved into a new house, near my Mom and siblings.
    But this year, things have settled down, and I miss him more. I was a Daddy's girl. Nothing meant more to me than his approval. When I came home for a visit, I wanted to see everyone, but I made no bones about it, I was there for Dad.

    I love my Mom, but like I told her the other day, it was different with Dad. I love to spend time with my Mom, I love talking to her, but Dad and I needed one another.

    Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. She was your mother and you have the right to grieve for her in your own way, in your own time.

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  6. I so wish I could give you a hug right now!! This was such an emotional post to read; I can only imagine what it took for you to write it and share with us some of your most personal feelings.

    I truly believe that your mom would be proud of you for being strong and supportive for your dad when he needed you most! The fact that you couldn't mourn your mom properly doesn't mean you didn't love her or miss her, it's just that your dad needed you more at the time and you did the right thing in being there for him.

    You didn't ask for any advice so I hope you don't mind my saying this, but I think it's best if you just let go of your guilt and embrace those beautiful memories of your mom & dad and your time together. Cry, scream or punch something (not someone, lol) and allow yourself to feel all those things that you held back for so long. I think it will give you a much needed release (and relief).

    Anyway, my heart goes out to you and I hope you find the comfort that you need during this time!
    XoXo
    ♥Isalys

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  7. Pam S (pams00)11/16/10, 7:03 PM

    My thoughts are with you today!

    Pam S

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  8. Sigh. Sabrina...you're not alone, sweetheart. It took me several years to cry for my father and I'm still not done. I'll never be done. But yup, had to be there for Mom. Had to be there for myself since I'd gone through my near death experience not two months before Dad passed.

    You do what you need to do and then...you experience it. Check out my blog on the Chance page...I think you'll see what I saw in the quote I stole from Jeanne Adams...

    Love you, sweet girl.

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  9. Hugs and a wonderful memory post hon!
    Hugs to you!

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  10. What a great post dedicated to your mom. I'm sure that wherever she is she if proud of you and understands that you had to be strong for your dad.

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