hispagirl Asked January 2013

After a loved one's passing, then what?

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My beautiful Mother passed on 12/27/12 at 10:45 am. She went peacefully and I know that her last moment on this here earth was a happy one for her as she saw everyone she needed to see.

I didn't like her suffering and I prayed to God that he stopped the suffering and help her. I know unrealistically I was hoping for a miracle and wanted God to make her better to give me more years with her. But instead the decision was to take her to be with my Father (who passed 17 years ago) and her family. My Mommy was 84 years young and looked great for her age. I do thank God for the time these last 4 years with her. After my son went off to college, I moved in with her to be her companion and then be her caregiver in time of need. During this time I learned so much about my Mother as a person, we shared so many special moments, I got to see her not only as the caring Mother and Grandmother that she was, but also as a person. And OMG what a great individual she was, she was a strong, interesting, intellectual and wonderful woman. I miss her more and more as people/family start going back to their own lives and I'm left alone in this house we shared. Everywhere I look I see her, something reminds me of her, what she would say, do, her smile, her special look. It will be a long time before I would be able to now try and make this house my own. She was here for 20 years, so everything/everywhere I look there are things that I know were special to her.

For so many years I have not been "me, Ana Maria" that now I don't know where to start. First I was the "mother of Richard"; then I became "the daughter of my dear Mother, her caregiver". I have many years ahead of me and I have no clue what to do with myself. I know it's a great opportunity to start something, but what?!?! I don't have the financial need to just get up and go somewhere to perhaps "find myself" and since I am unemployed I suppose I should look for a job. But at the same time, I don't want JUST a JOB I wanted to mean something, this is what I struggle with. I worked for so many years in marketing/advertising that it just became a job, i know that it is not my calling. How does one find themselves? How does one get over the hurt, the loneliness, the missing, the companionship? Thank you.

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hispagirl Jan 2013
Crystal, I'm sorry I had not read your post. I'm so sorry for what you and your father are going through. It sounds like your Dad is not yet ready to leave and if I may, I'd like to give you an advice. Please let him know it's okay to let go and that you will be fine and pursue the career you both know you love. He's probably crying not because he's not ready, but perhaps he feels afraid to leave you and that you are not ready to let go. Find it within yourself to say "it's okay, I'll be okay and that he needs the rest and he too will be fine." I find that telling your loved ones that what they've given you while here was just perfect and that they will be missed and that you are thankful and you love them, but that you will be okay and he should be okay as well... to just let go. I do in my heart believe, they need to hear that from you, the ones they are leaving behind. So, please find it in your heart to let go if you can and make sure he knows you'll be okay. I will keep you and Dad in my thoughts. Please keep in touch.
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hispagirl Jan 2013
Nanieine, I'm very sorry for your loss. It is not easy to see them gone even, as you said, we know they are no longer suffering. I think one should cry, scream, get mad, whatever you want to do... as far as I'm concerned this is normal. As you know, my Mommy passed on the 27th and I still find myself speaking to her as if she was here, physically that is, because remember she is with us in spirit and our hearts no matter where we are. My crying has subsided just a bit over nothing, but when I find myself doing something I know she would enjoy or even when taking a shower I remember her saying "the water it's too hot, Anita." I have her ashes in my room until we take her to her resting place back in Chile; so when I look at that box containing my Mother, I instead look at her picture, give her a kiss and say "good morning" as if she were still here.

Passing during the holidays is never easy for those that are left behind, but I can tell you my Father passed 18 years ago and his birthday was on the 1st, so after every New Year, we always cheer and sang Happy Birthday to him and we did it without pain. I am hoping that this will someday be true for you as well when celebrating New Year. In the meantime, my friend cry, grieve, and get mad, but know that all this is normal and once our hearts are at peace I believe the hurt will be gone and the great memories will only be the ones we remember. My heart goes out to you.
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Nanieine Jan 2013
Ana Maria, I too just lost my mother on January 1st. The grief is so strong, yet the agony of seeing her suffer is gone. I am thankful for this group of people who are helping me through it. I'm going to take their advice and check out a bereavement group. I know how hard it is, since I had my mom living with me for 32 years. It is so different without her here. I know it has only been a week, but I still cry every day. I know this pain will pass but right now it is deep and I am sad. You have my deepest sympathy.
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crystal1224 Jan 2013
Hispagirl - How beautiful your comment is today. I just got back from the hospital with Dad and the news was not too good. He cried. I cried. He needs blood again. He just had four bags not even three weeks ago. They talked about chemo again and he said no but then he looked at me and I told him it is up to him. He had over 125 treatments of chemo. The Hospice lady came downstairs and talked to him too about going there for respite. I am torn at this moment not knowing what to do. She said a few weeks and I thought he could only go for five days so I think the time is coming as I feel it..maybe I could be wrong. Daddy cried on the way home and talked about my son and he told me to continue my writing poetry. I told him I will try to do that. I have known for months of my fathers condition and it still makes it hard. I am in emotional roller coaster again today. He has not wanted to eat much and I am trying. Thank you for sharing with me your thoughts and feelings as I need to do the same here. You are doing what you can do at this time and yes I also know what you mean about all the things around the house. I gave me father my room two years ago and I sleep in the back of the family room and he said you will be able to fix your room up and sleep in here again and I said no Dad. I will keep it a spare bedroom for a long time. My Daybed is in the back with my computer - it is my little den I call it. I feel numb today. I started my college course yesterday and something tells me I should cancel it until next semester. I will think on it some more tonite. It was my stress relief my schooling and it is on poetry and literature - right up my alley:) Love and blessings to you my friend. Hang in there and know I care!
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hispagirl Jan 2013
Crystal, thank you for your kind words. You know, I continue to speak with her as if she was still here. I even find myself repeating things louder as she was hard of hearing as well. It keeps me calm most times. Other times, I just miss her horribly. I'm going through the motions as we speak... contacting debtors, going through her things, changing things around and I feel guilty about that because when I want to give something away or donate, it pains me to know that if she was here she would not like it. She loved to save everything, I mean everything. But the house is very small and it was always so tight, I would like to make it my own, but without pushing her stuff out, do you know what I mean? As for you, my dear Crystal, please do not feel guilty about what you are doing for your father, but can't for your mother... after all we are only one. What you do is awesome and as you said my Mom is beaming down on me, so will your parents even if you weren't there for the both of them. They know that we too have our limits. I'm sure I mentioned this in one of my posts, but when you lose your patience with your loved one, don't forget to apologize and explain the reason why you lost it so that they understand that it's not against them, but against the situation. They understand and they don't judge you. You know I had a lady come into our home that my Mother used to speak to all the time and she told me that my Mother knew me for my character, but she also knew that I loved her. I'm glad to know that she knew I loved her. It gives me peace. I wish we lived closer to one another so I can come give you a much needed break. It would be awesome if this forum allowed us to meet. We need the emotional support and sometimes just to lean on each other. It's funny, I would need a break from sometimes taking care of Mom, but I know that if I stepped away for an hour to care for someone else, it would have given me some peace, I think.
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crystal1224 Jan 2013
You are so welcome and you know friend I cried when I read your post and your letter. I feel the same way. Somedays I get so frustrated being the caretaker I forget I am the daughter that I used to be. Does that sound crazy? It is hard to watch our parents suffer and I pray to God he forgives me when my patience runs out. I have to step back and compose myself so many times as I know I am just totally stressed out and it is not my fathers fault. Your story touched me in such a way made me think of my own situation. I have an ill mother as well so it is hard that I can not be there at her home for her when I am devoting all my time to my father. I just can not be two places at one time and that alone stresses me out. I pray much. I love much. I cry many. God Bless you for all you did for your mother. She is beaming down on you and sends you healing love.
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hispagirl Jan 2013
Thank you, Crystal. a hug right back at you and take care of you.
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crystal1224 Jan 2013
This is a beautiful letter you wrote and I cried when I read it. You know we go through so much in life with our parents and loved one. No one is perfect. The fact that you were there for her through it all is a testament of your love and heart as a daughter. Know I am thinking of you and praying for your peace. Mom would want that for you. Hugs to you my friend. You are a wonderful daughter!
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hispagirl Jan 2013
I wanted to share something I wrote for my Mommy and read it to her before her body was taken away. I wanted this note to be ashed with her, but now I'm glad I didn't do it. It was written and read to her in Spanish, so this is a translation.

Mommy, I know that you know that I've been missing you for quite awhile now. Since you've taken ill, it was me who took care of you and I felt that you were leaving me a little at a time. I don't blame you and my dear Mother, please don't ever think this. The fact that you no longer wanted to suffer I truly understand and I also did not want to see you suffer. I want to thank you for so many things that this here booklet wouldn't have enough pages. But I want you to know and thank you for having the honor and the opportunity to have been your daughter. You taught me to fight for your children. A lot of what Richard (my son) is today is due to your teachings. You taught me to love above all else. And I know with all my FAULTS, you loved me with all your soul and heart till the end.
I am sorry and please forgive me for giving you such a hard time when I was young and for some of the cruel things I might have said to you lately. It was never my intention to cause you any hurt. I give thanks to God that he gave us the opportunity to enjoyed each others' company since Richard left for college. We had the opportunity to get to know one another like mother and daughter, like women, like two adults. The conversations that we sometimes had ... wow, these were between two great friends, the laughs that we shared, the secrets, the escapades to the casino and even the arguments we had, these are the things I will most cherish and keep in my heart and I will remember each of them every time I think of you.

I love you Mommy, my "little old beautiful lady"; "my little old crazy lady". (these were my pet names for her, she smiled everytime I would say them).

Mommy, we will see each again some day, I know. Till them, Mom. Your Anita, always.
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hispagirl Jan 2013
Thank you everyone for your comments and sentiments. I believe you are all correct about taking this one day at a time. I feel her presence or rather I want to feel her presence and I don't really. I still speak to her. People say that when a loved one leaves this earth peacefully, you will not feel their presence as they are at peace. It is when they go too soon or unexpected that one feels their presence and it's because they weren't ready. This gives me comfort. I went to pick up her ashes yesterday and I felt sad, but I don't know if I am numb to this fact, that she's in a little urn or that I truly believe her body was just a vessel and really she's not really there at all, but in my heart, in my memories. I miss her terribly and can't seem to go through her stuff yet. I love you Mommy, I hope you knew that!
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