That is the only phrase that I can still hear so clearly from that horribly sad day September 16, 2013. The day my mom, the most amazing woman I know, took her final breath. I remember briefly standing there in that 6th floor hallway of St. Boniface Hospital shaking my head in disbelief.
GRIEF IS REAL
I ran into that room so quick, touching her face, her hands, watching to see if her chest would move. Is this really happening? The matriarch of our family gone at only 57 years of age? Yes, this is the reality and disgusting result of cancer.
Diagnosed in Sept 2012, gone in Sept 2013.
Even after all of the chemo and radiation, I suppose the docs didn’t see that even after the mastectomy, those cancer cells were hiding in and behind her sternum. Once cancer took a hold of her, it ravaged her body without mercy. When mom entered the hospital for what was a lingering cough, who knew we would be told she had cancer in her liver, blood, Lord knows where else and that she wouldn’t be leaving the hospital.
It was quick in every sense of the word.
GRIEF IS PAINFUL
Watching my mom literally die in front of my eyes over the course of 3 weeks. That’s pain.
Watching my dad lose his wife, partner in crime, and best friend of over 40 years. That’s pain.
Watching my sister lose her mom on her own birthday. That’s pain.
Watching my kids lose their grandma, knowing how much she wanted to see them grow up. That’s pain.
Watching my grandma lose her eldest daughter with whom she had such a unique relationship. That’s pain.
Watching my aunts and uncles, lose their wise and encouraging sister. That’s pain.
Everyone who came into contact with my mom had the same reactions, she was so funny, she was so encouraging, she was so wise, she was so strong. And that smile!
She’s left a hole in the hearts of many.
GRIEF IS EVERYWHERE
So many people tell me they see my mom in me, my physical features, my smile, my kindness and I am so grateful to have her genes. I’m blessed to call her my mom.
The constant flashbacks torment me at times. Whether I’m driving past the hospital, hearing her favourite songs on the radio or slicing up an avocado, I remember her and cherish the time and memories I had with her.
Every day our family, immediate and extended, are reminded of what a wonderful woman mom was and I truly believe we are all doing our best to walk in the loving, happy, and fulfilled journey she prayed each of us would have.
GRIEF IS RENEWAL
Although she won’t see her grandbabies graduate, they are blessed to have been old enough to soak in her teachings and advice. They know what they need to do. Education is key.
Mom was a huge supporter of so many charities locally and abroad. Continuing in her footsteps is an absolute must.
Making lifestyle changes, enjoying life and the relationships within it are the focus now. Who cares about the material things? She didn’t.
Care about your quality of life. Care about the quality of the relationships you have and the people you surround yourself with. Care about the things that make you happy. Just Care!
We will all endeavour to listen closely to her words about living life and caring for others. She was a visionary that mom of mine…there aren’t enough adjectives to describe her character.
We will press on. We will move forward. We will never forget.
We will love!