My Mom was my first friend, my first playmate. She was the one who rocked me as a baby, patched me up as a clumsy kid, erased my heartaches as a teen and adult. She helped plan life events, coached me on being a first time mother. She was the biggest part of my life.
Some of the hardest decisions we are faced with in life deals with life and death. A week ago, my sister and I had the task that no one should ever have to endure and that was saying enough was enough with my moms medical care. For two years she had struggled and even years prior to that. She had been in dyalis doing fairly well for a few months, then she had a stoke in December, 2018. This was hard on her, but she was determined as she had always been and fought hard. Then on January 1st, 2019, she had 3 more stokes, these were stokes her body couldn’t fight back from. She tired, she wanted to, but after 3 long weeks of a hospital stay, 3 days on the ventilator and a mind that was no longer there, she was just tired. It was the hardest 3 weeks of my life. Watching the suffering and not being able to help and take the pain away is such a mind blowing helpless feeling.
We were able to have enough conversations with her to make the call that she was done with dyalis, done being poked and done with hospital and rehabilitation center stays. She was tired, her body was trying, but just couldn’t keep up. The hardest thing I ever said to a doctor was, “we are done and it is time to meet with Hospice.”
I knew it was time, mom knew it was time, but deep down this just sucked. It is the worst feeling one can carry in their gut. These decisions were made on a Tuesday and Mom died the following Monday. January 28th, 2019.
Today this pain is crippling and hits me at random times. I know I can expect this for many years or even the rest of my years. I feel like much has been a blur and so far I am functioning to get things done. The funeral, contacting everyone that needs contacted and I have to say, I feel pretty numb. I also know that I need to get back into my routine of life.
Sadly, the world we exist in we have to go through loss, healing and grief. Status, influence, class, position, ideals, beliefs, achievements, all walks of life suffer loss in varying forms and degrees daily. Loss has no special preferences for a specific set of people.
Loss of any kind can lead to grief. The suffering and pain felt comes in various dimensions, mostly at times when we least expect it. I have felt great loss in life, but never the most difficult one of all, the loss of my Mom. The harsh reality of this world we live in, is we will all suffer a loss.
I know with this experience, I must learn to heal, experience growth, pick up and move on with life. Experiencing this type of loss is something no one desires, but we all have the ability to rise above the pain, use our strength to climb to the other side of the pain.
As this is a difficult place to be, it is also an amazing place to be. This is a place of memories, healing and digging deep within and facing this journey of healing.
For two years my family was headed to this great loss of my Mom. No matter knowing ahead of time, and being blessed with the time up to her death, this is a significant loss.
Healing is the gradual process that comes in time. Moving on and finding peace, but forever living with the memories helps the healing process and the large void in my heart. Learning to carry this pain without letting it hold me down, not giving in to unhealthy emotions and making a conscious effort to replace them with healthy ones is imperative. I also know this is what my mom would want.
It would be nice to have a laid out formula in place so when people deal with the loss of a loved one they could simply apply to find healing and have peace in their time of mourning, but that is not our reality. The healing journey is your journey, my journey and for each it will look different. I know it will take time and anyone reading this, it is on our time.
Acknowledge Thew Emotions of Pain and Grief
NO matter the unwarranted feelings, there is no cap on the range of emotions we get to feel while grieving. I am learning that the unexpected responses are normal. I understand that this is a process and the holistic experience of going from pain to peace, from anger to calm and from hurting to healing will happen.
I now have to navigate myself through a new normal. Even though begrudgingly, just getting through each day is a win. The intensity of the pain is real. When people say “it will be alright”, that is great, but right now, I am not alright. I have many firsts ahead of me. Valentines Day, my Birthday, our annual Spring Beach trip, Mother’s Day and so much more that I was blessed to always have with my Mom.
I own my grief. It is mine. I know it isn’t going to go away anytime soon. I know I will learn to live with it, but I also know I will turn it into a positive, because that is what Mom would have done.
Yes, I am a Life Coach, but this isn’t about my life coaching today, or how I can help you. This is just a blog on grief and dealing with something I haven’t had to deal with in my life, I lost my Grandparents early in life that I loved dearly, and I missed them, and I lost my brother to cancer and miss him, but this is my Mom.
I was blessed with an amazing relationship of a mother who loved me unconditionally no matter what life threw at us. Her memory, lessons, words of wisdom is forever embedded within me.
Thank you Mom. Thank you for being one of a kind. Thank you for loving me unconditionally, with no boundaries and giving everything you had emotionally as a mother, for setting goals and working hard and showing me so much more than I could ever write in words.
I forever Love and Adore you.
In Loving Memory
Jeanette Lee (Borer) Thrall
October 16, 1939-January 28, 2019
Becky Gentner/. Life Coach/ Fitness Coach/ Educator