The last few months have been a bit of a blur.
It's been somewhat like an extended visit to hell.
On August 19th, my only brother died from a massive heart attack...he was only 54 years old. It was shocking...still is really.
That's when the haze started.
It was confusing and seemed very unfair. Our relationship was a love/hate one and I've been dealing with the guilt for that hate, lately. My brother had lots of issues, but he had a heart of pure GOLD. He loved life to the fullest and had a vibrant personality...the kind that takes over a room. His robust laugh was contagious.
My dad, but especially my poor mom was never the same after that. She made a valiant effort, for me I'm sure, during the holidays. I tried to make her happy, or at least smile during that time. She really did try.
On January 9, 2015, my mom passed away. Not even 5 months after my brother...this was beyond shocking...
My mom had health problems, yes. She was diabetic and had lung issues, so to the unobservant eye it should have been expected. But it wasn't. It really wasn't. Her mind was sharp as a tack. Her sense of humor always on point. She was the center of our world. She was the matriarch. As much of a Daddy's girl that I am, my mom was my rock. I went to her for everything. I talked to her about everything. We disagreed a LOT...but eventually the storm always cleared. She was stubborn and sometimes harsh, but loving and cute and funny at the same time. She gave the best hugs.
To say that I miss her would be the understatement of the year. I have always lived with my parents (minus a 2 year stint in Alabama). Is that weird? Maybe...but I've never thought of it that way. I've certainly had a different life than most. When I was younger all I could think about was to move away, far away from my parents. In later years all I wanted was to be there with them, because I knew that time was ticking...more like flying. I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. They've been very good to me. I had a good education because of their sacrifices. They worked their asses off, just for their children...that is something I will never forget.
I've felt extremely lost these past few months...depression doesn't even cover it. I'm no spring chicken...I actually just turned 44 (talk about depressing), yet I feel like a little girl without my mom. I use to call her everyday from work, after lunch and I still reach for the phone to dial her number...it's so hard to believe. I still even hear her voice in the house sometimes...
Now I have my dad to look after. He's strong and optimistic. This has been hard for him, even though he doesn't like to show it. He was with my mom for over 50 years. He lost his son, then just 4 months later, his wife. None of this is easy.
Grief is a very personal experience. No two mourners are alike. I sometimes feel pressured to "get over it already", but my whole world has been turned upside down. My faith in God has been altered (I'm struggling a lot with this actually), life just doesn't seem the same anymore.
I have considered myself fortunate that I had never experienced this type of loss up to now...but now I know that pain. Now I understand what others have gone through, because I'm one of them.
If you're reading this and you've lost a loved one, please accept a warm hug from me. I don't have any words of wisdom or advice. I can only say to be good to yourself. Allow yourself to feel the pain and to grieve. Do not let anyone rush you into "healing"...there is no such thing. Only time is a healer, because it allows perspective to set in. Be patient with yourself and those around you. Everyone will want to say the right thing, but none of it feel right. Get therapy if you feel you can't talk to anyone about this...it helps. Just take your time.