I remember sitting in the living room when the hospice nurse talked to me about my Mother. “She was one of my favorite people” she said. Mom was under hospice care for almost two years before she passed away. Watching her decline was heartbreaking. Up until that point the word hospice scared me but the hospice staff helped replace my fear with hope. We were told that hospice didn’t “necessarily mean a death sentence.” Some people could be in hospice for years. I kept hope Mom would be one of those who lived years upon years.
“It will get worse before it gets better,” the hospice nurse explained after Mom died. I thought how could it be worse than what I was feeling at that moment? But, she was right. It did get worse. I knew I would miss my Mother but I had no idea it would be this kind of pain. Mom has been gone five years and I have thought about her every day since she took her last breath and have cried more than I ever thought possible. I’ve cried for her and my father.
When Mom died, it was like my father died all over again. Although I’ve been to counseling, tried extra-curricular activities and started writing again, the grief is always there. Some days are better than others. Some days are especially difficult, every day at some point is a challenge. Maybe I am still in my worst before it gets better.
The Holidays were especially difficult for me this past year. Below is something I wrote three years ago. It describes how life has been for me every day. I shared it with my grief counselor and it was posted on their website. If it’s difficult to wrap your head around why some of us seem to really struggle when a loved one has passed on, I hope this helps you somewhat understand what it feels like for some of us.
I’m here to take the place of what you’ve lost.
I’ll be here when no one else understands.
I will be your excuse for not leaving your comfort zone even when you feel uncomfortable.
You can control me. But then, you can’t.
I’ll show you how strong you can be or how weak.
I bring people together or tear them apart.
I can ruin relationships, but help build new ones.
Some of your family and friends may not acknowledge to you why I’m here.
Sadly, you may never feel the same way about them again.
I’ll be here for Birthdays, Holidays and Special Occasions.
Sometimes, I’ll show up suddenly, even when you are not thinking about me.
I’m that constant lump in your throat and that deep pain in your heart.
Among other emotions, I can bring depression, anger, guilt and insecurity.
A song, familiar smell, or even on a beautiful day, I will remind you of what you are missing.
Everyone knows of me, but deals with me differently.
I’ll stay as long as needed, but it might be difficult to get over me.
You probably won’t be the same as before.
I’ll be here waiting.
My deepest condolences,