The last month has been a bit of a blur to me. It’s only been a couple of weeks since my mom passed away from breast cancer at the age of 57, on my sister’s birthday. The days leading up to her passing are clear as day. Within a matter of 2 weeks, my mom went from a strong vibrant woman who could hold her own in any conversation, to a lifeless body that could no longer eat, talk or breathe. Funny enough, she passed when none of us were in the room, and I have to think, she wanted it that way. We are glad that she passed peacefully and without pain or struggle.
Mom lived with two diseases, Parkinson’s and breast cancer, the latter is ultimately what took her life. I would never wish it on my worst enemy.
It’s mind-blowing the events that occur when a loved one dies, the people that come out of the woodwork, the family members who believe they know what’s best. There were so many people who didn’t visit mom the entire year after her mastectomy but felt the need to be a part of the events of her last days.
Breaking the news to the grandchildren was heartbreaking, and then of course there’s my dad, a man who has lost his life partner of over 40 years, a man who has lost his true half, a man who needs time to grieve and looks to his daughters for emotional support. Yet, he is overwhelmed by the administration of it all, the forms that need to be completed, the invoices that need to be paid, the bombardment of family and friends who want to see if he’s ok. Thankfully I was designated as Power of Attorney by my mom as well as the lead organizer for the funeral planning and that definitely eased his burden. My sister and I wrote her obituary and eulogy, or Life Story as we like to call it. I must say, it was refreshing and insightful to sit with her brother, sisters, cousins, mother and our dad reliving her life from her childhood days and onward. There were a lot of laughs and of course a lot of tears.
I’m already back at work and busier than ever, my sis is back at school, dad’s beginning to cope and life apparently moves on, but how?
We have to continue to live our lives and be successful in all that we do because mom wouldn’t have it any other way. She lives through us, her spirit is alive and well. We have amazing memories to draw from every day we were blessed with her presence and we will continue to celebrate her life by being examples of her love. We will all make sure the grandchildren do well in school, and also make sure we do not take our health, lives or each other for granted.
Time to set out and do the things she knew we could do with her watching over us and guiding us all the way. One day at a time…