Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog 77: One Year Later | The End

July 9th marked the one-year anniversary of my mom’s passing.  This past year has been a time of learning how to live without my mom.  Her death was the greatest loss I have ever known.  As time goes on the permanency of her absence does not make things easier.  Just when I think I have a handle on it and the pain isn’t so bad anymore, something will trigger a memory and I’ll cry without a moment’s warning.  It’s been rough but I keep plugging away.   I’ve heard you can’t put a time limit on grieving and I’ve also heard people say they’ve never stopped grieving.  I keep telling myself it has to get easier. 

My four sisters and I were on a path of destruction when our mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/dementia.  Our differences of opinions concerning Mom’s care, and our lack of communication, caused our sisterhood to shatter.  I mentioned before that we were drowning in our own ocean, sinking in the abyss.  That disease and what it did to our family is something I would not wish on my worst enemy.   I blame the disease, but I also accept responsibility for my part.  Each one of us has to do that in order to move forward in healing those wounds.    We have made some progress in reconciliation.   Some of us have, anyway.  I believe we will get there but it’s going to take a little more time. 

All of my sisters came to my daughter’s wedding last month.  I was so happy they came.  We had a good time and talked and laughed and danced.  We hugged each other as we danced to the song, “We Are Family" by Sister Sledge.  It was the way it should be, and I got a glimpse of what I know it will be like again one day. 

I don’t think too much about my mom’s last years when she was sick.  I focus more on the earlier memories when Mom was vibrant and happy.  I just don’t go to the sad memories.  It’s like my mind reverts to the happiest of times.  It still makes me cry, though.  I’m just so happy to have so many wonderful memories of my mom and our family and pictures to help keep those memories alive.  She was a great mom.  She was loved so very much.  Right now I am putting together a slideshow to honor her.  Every time I work on it, and going through the pictures, my eyes burn from crying.    

I will honor my mom for the rest of my life.  I truly feel her presence every day.   Sometimes I look for a sign and other times she sneaks up on me, reminding me that she is right here, right beside me.   I’ve come to believe that every time my wind chimes make that sweet sound, it’s my mom saying, "Hi, my daughter.  I'm here."  When I pick up a paint brush to paint a picture, mom is watching.  When my grandchildren wrap their arms around me, my mom is in there, too.  I could give you a hundred examples.  Mom took a piece of us to heaven with her and she left a piece of herself in us…so we are together forever.

Before I leave you, I want to thank you, my readers, for sticking with me and following along on my blog.  It’s been almost a year since my last post.  I just couldn’t find the words after my mom died.  It was really difficult to write this one, too.  Some of you have inquired as to how I am doing and I feel so fortunate to have had such caring, faithful readers.  I’ve checked here from time to time and have noticed that some days I still get hundreds of visitors.  Maybe I am helping someone on their journey with Alzheimer’s.  I hope so.  I hope people learn from the mistakes my family made.  I hope new readers will start from the beginning and read all of my posts to know just what can happen when a horrible illness like Alzheimer's strikes and how a loving and close family can fall apart when you stop communicating.  My first blog post can be read here...Blog 1: The Beginning.  Having my blog has served its purpose for me, and been a savior in some ways, but now this chapter of my life has ended, and I feel it’s time to let it go.  This will be my last post.  If I feel compelled to write again, I will.  I am not making any promises.   Thank you again to all of you for your prayers and comforting words.  May God Bless each and every one of you!

Note:  I am adding this in later, but I realized I didn't address the issue of my mom's autopsy report from my last blog post.  The Coroner's report stated that my mom died from a. acute pneumonia (hours), b. recent fractures of the left humerus and femur (4 days), and lastly, other conditions contributing to, but not related to the terminal conditions, is dementia.  Aside from having osteoporosis, my mom's body was healthy.  I had to have my daughter come over so we could read the report together because I was just too emotional.  Reading your own mom's autopsy report is so sad. It's hard to accept the fact that my mom ultimately died as the result of a spiral fracture of her humerus, and fractured femur, that she received when an aide took her in the bathroom to bathe her.  We are still struggling with this.        

1 comment:

  1. Lizzie, this comes with a prayer for healing and for nurture from how loved you were and are by your mom and the Lord. I'm so sorry for your loss but am also blessed for you that you are free from the daily sorrows of coping with Alzheimer's. God bless you and your family.