A friend just had the anniversary of her Mom passing and shared that she felt that it shouldn’t hurt this much since it happened several years ago. I wrote this right after my Mom passed. No one can tell you how to grieve or how long it should take I am sharing this so that people will stop telling us to get over it and move on. When you reach our age life stops giving you things and starts taking them away. Like loved ones.
This I write for me. It isn’t funny or cute. But it is something I feel so here it goes. When you loose your parents it forces you to grow up whether you are 57 or 17. I was what they called a perma-child. Dr. Phil is turning over in his grave. What he isn’t dead? Well, that is how much attention I paid to him. I lived with my parents and they helped me raise my son. (Single Mom) but a strange thing happened. While my son was growing up my parents were growing older. When Peter graduated High school, my parents needed help from me. Mom and Dad had to take out a reverse mortgage. Please don’t let anyone talk you into that. Mom and Dad only got about 110 thousand out of the house and the rest of the 250 thousand came in fees and interest. OK, enough of the soap box.
With Dad’s heart and lung problems – the reverse mortgage seemed the only way to go. Mom did get the windows and air conditioning put in. Dad’s chemo wasn’t covered by his insurance. So most of it was covered by Mom and Dad. With Dad being in ill health and the heart valve replacement failing during chemo, I am just happy that they got to do everything possible for Dad. I am not sure which would be worse the rapid decline that Dad had with his lung cancer or the long lingering illness my Mom went through. Dad was diagnosed with lung Cancer in Feb and in April he was gone. The chemo therapy damaged the “pig valve” and he was too sick at that point to have another surgery. I still think that the Oncologist lied when he said that Dad’s valve would make it through the surgery and the chemotherapy. But that is why they call it practicing medicine. Mom was so sick we always thought she would be the one to go first. But nature is funny that way. My brother’s wife unexpectedly passed just five weeks prior to the day that Dad died. Harvey, my brother, moved in with Mom, me and Peter (my Son). Then came the long succession of hospital and rehab facilities. That made it so hard on Mom. She tried several times to come back home, but somehow she would get worse and have to go back to the hospital. The last trip was made just before her 84rh birthday. We teased her that she needed to out live her parents, they both died at the age of 83. After her birthday she joked and said that she had made it. She took out a burial plan that she paid every month. Bizarre thing is that the final payment and her birthday happened the same month. She turned 84 on August 4th and passed on August 20th. I had been up to see her that afternoon. I tried to make it every day but my chemotherapy left me with debilitating migraines. That afternoon I was there and she asked me to help her off with her wedding ring. A very strange request at the time but I asked the nurse for some hand lotion and we lathered up her hand and after some tugging and pulling it came off. My Dad had been gone for 4 years by then. But Mom never took her wedding ring off. I should have known that something was drastically wrong. But she said she was tired and gave me her ring. I thought that she just didn’t like having it in the hospital so I told her I would keep it for her until she came home. I kissed her forehead and said I love you. As she dozed off. I should have stayed but she said she was tired so I just let her go to sleep. I didn’t sleep well that night so when the call came at 3:30 am I was already awake. The doctor asked me to what extent did Mom want to be revived. He said we aren’t to that point yet but she is having some problems. The floor nursed called at 4 am and said if we wanted to see her we should hurry. I really feel for the people that have to make that call and the people that receive that call.
When Dad passed it was with the nursing staff in the hospital, we were snowed in at the house. My brother Byron tried to get Mom to the hospital. Then the phone rang. We were too late. He passed. The doctor on the phone that I was talking to could hear the distress in Mom. She called 911 and they arrived with the intent that they take Mom to the hospital, She said all she needed was some time to catch her breath. Which she did.
The funeral that we had for Dad was very nice. We kids got Dad an urn, he was cremated. The urn was shaped like a pair of cowboy boots and a lasso. I asked Mom if she wanted me to make arrangements to have Dad buried at Fort Logan. She said no she would keep him with her until her death. Which she did. There was an old movie with John Wayne titled “The cowboy and the angel” fittingly enough Moms urn was an angel. Now comes the hardest part. When Mom went into the hospital she was given a stack of papers that spelled out what steps should be taken. She told me she was so tired of the pain. Her heart had gone into fibrillation which meant that her heart was in spasm. But not beating enough to pump her blood. He asked me if I wanted him to use the defib on her. I asked would it hurt. His rather cheeky reply was “well, it doesn’t tickle.” So I knew I had at least one last thing I could do for her. So I signed the paper that let her go.
Don’t ever let someone tell you how to grieve. I still cry for my parents. I have had to move to the outback of beyond because the house that I spent 50 years in was foreclosed on I had to rehome Mom’s two dogs. You can’t have big dogs in Federally funded housing. Things have gone to hell in a hand basket. Growing up at 57 is not fun. A big dose of reality came my way. Thank goodness for my brothers and my son. I think I would have done something stupid. But my big brother has been a help more than he knows. He left home and joined the military right out of school. I have leaned on him for humor, counseling, and of course money. Like I said growing up sucks. Doing it when you are ready for Social Security sucks even more. I have Mom’s wedding band. I actually have what I call my family necklace. My Dad was from South Dakota so I have a black hills gold angel. For him, I have a heart with rubies on one side and sapphires rubies are my
I have Mom’s wedding band. I actually have what I call my family necklace. My Dad was from South Dakota so I have a black hills gold angel, for him, I have a heart with rubies on one side, my birthstone and sapphires on the other side my son’s birthstone. And of course my Mom’s wedding band. When I say that I have had some tough times it is and understatement. Mom’s ring spent over a year in the pawn shop. I have had to sell a couple of engagement rings that I had. Several items that I would love to have but I never let Mom’s ring go. I know now that Mom had given up when she asked me to take her wedding ring.