Death of my mother
My mom died and i miss her
But in those preparations, I became vulnerable to the randomness in life that kills your mother on a Wednesday in September two weeks before her 57th birthday. So I wrote a book. I am so proud of the work she did with Death with Dignity National Center and her fellow Mainer, Valerie Lovelace , to share her story and raise awareness about the need to provide terminally ill Mainers with greater end-of-life options. She loved to experiment with art materials. I initially coped through alcohol and other destructive methods, but I knew this was only clouding my grieving process. The core principle with which I live my life now will sound, at face value, like one of the platitudes I just eschewed above. They are generalizations -- coping mechanisms in their own way. My mom, she is my everything. For a year and a half, she endured painful surgery and chemotherapy. I flew on one of those giant planes that had three rows of seats: two, three, two. Would she be proud of me or disappointed in my choices?
At one point, a friend who had also lost his mother suddenly called me, and it was only then I thought "I'm using a cell phone without it being hands free. Never regret.
Death of my mother
I received a call from her the morning that she died, we chatted about how she was excited to go to work that morning, as she was an Activity Director at a nursing home and was having a BBQ for the residents. Created with Sketch. Tragedy takes on a filmy surrealistic quality when your grief is that intense, so it felt appropriate that these two businessmen would spend the six hour flight talking over and around me as I bowed my head and cried. She loved to experiment with art materials. My dear friend, Dawn, found me and got me out of the building I must have conveyed the situation to her somehow, or maybe she walked into the building to find me at the front desk amidst a jumble of packages and mailing labels. My mother, the most private and independent person I knew, had to be bodily lifted and bathed, have water dripped into her mouth, and her pain kept at bay by morphine she was unable to ask for. If you have trouble drawing boundaries, find someone who can help advocate for you. Heartbreak is a sign of progress. I knew that everyone there knew how tough my mom was and thought she would pull through. I feel like I am suffocating. Life without your mother will never be what it was, but I promise it gets easier.
It's certainly not the best, but she looks so happy. Grief wants you to go it alone, but we need others to light the way through that dark tunnel. Meditation, yogaand journaling are three practices that help remind me that kindness is more powerful than listening to my inner saboteur.
My mom gave me twenty good years. She loved to experiment with art materials. To do that, we have to be able to take a hard look at what we want, what we need, what we love and what we hate.
Still, it was not enough.
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