I love this blog -“Kathy’s Blog: Healing from the Loss of a Parent – Experiences, thoughts & feelings after losing a parent to cancer,” so much so that, with Kathy’s permission, I am sharing it, and its most recent entry. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are in losing a parent. What matters, and what is significant, is the extreme loss experienced.
Like Kathy and many others in our situation – that of losing a parent – I started my blog as an outlet for my emotions, first, as a caregiver to my mother who went from moderate dementia to end-stage in five years, and now as a daughter trying to cope with extreme loss.
Connecting with people who understand what I am going through and who reinforce that I/we are not alone, continues to be therapeutic. You never really get over the loss. Rather, you learn to live with it. That is my challenge.
Everyone Has a Story
Everyone has a story. It’s called life and begins the moment we are born. What happens from that point on affects the we think, what we feel, and how we act or react to each situation we encounter. Moments of life, big or small, shape us, molding each of us into unique individuals.
In certain situations, there is an “expected” way for us to act – the social norm. If we act differently, do not act in the way that is expected of us, our friends or family may look at us differently or say hurtful things. But given any situation, no one acts/reacts in the exact same way. I believe if a group of adults all around the same age experienced the same exact situation, some would act in a similar way. But there would be differences in thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions because of previous life experiences and the impact they made on each individual person.
Everyone has a story. My story has been told in bits and pieces — in the words that have come together to create over 200 posts, along with responses to comments on this blog and comments I’ve made on other blogs. This blog is my story of one of the most difficult times of my life — the death of my mom and healing from that tremendous loss. Before my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, there were so many things that had happened in my life that affected the way I reacted to this most unexpected news and how I continued to act during her illness and after my mom died. My story is one of raw emotion, written from the heart.
My mom lived for 349 days from diagnosis until death. I learned of her diagnosis the day after she and my dad received it. For 347 days I prayed for God to save my mom, then on the 348th day I asked God to relieve my mom’s suffering and take her home. That prayer was answered 2 hours after I spoke it. I didn’t want to lose my mom, but I also didn’t want her to be in pain anymore. She had stopped eating, drinking, and speaking, and was in a lot of pain. Death was the only way to bring her peace. For 348 days I lived in constant fear that I would lose my mom. I didn’t know when it would happen, but I knew my mom was doing to die, and then she did. Living with this constant fear, watching pancreatic cancer slowly and painful strip my mom of life, and the loss that death brings changed me.
Everyone has a story, and some of my readers have shared pieces of their story with me. Through this blog I have learned that people I’ve never met in person understand what I am feeling and why I feel a certain way. For that I am grateful, since there are those who know me personally and do not understand at all. My life experiences have deeply affected the way I think, how I act, and what I feel. And it is the life experiences of others that help them understand me and relate to the words I write.