I've lost most of my family over a period of a few years, one after the other, including my parents, grandparents, my sister's only two children (which were very close to me) several aunts, uncles, my only two brothers, and even several friends.......my 52 year old brother just died a few months ago in the ICU and I was never even told by the hospital how he actually died. He had an alcohol problem, and all I do know is that he was conscious and aware in the ICU one minute, and then gone the next.
8 months prior to that, our mom passed away from cancer. I stayed home at her house with her so she could get hospice care, but at home rather than dying in a hospice unit, potentially surrounded by strangers (that's not to say that the hospice people are not complete angels, because they are) I couldn't have done it without their help and real compassion.
I did hold my mom's hand as she took her last breath that July early morning around 2 am, and feel like I did make it to the most important engagement of my life (to be there for my mom when she passed away, and not let her pass away alone) and I'm extremely thankful that I got to do that. However, life for me truly changes at that very moment, and has stayed the same ever since. I remember looking up at the sunny sky that morning after mom was taken out of the house, and even the sky looked different. The trees, the roads I've traveled for many years, all just looked different.
I've never felt so alone, and could never have imagined this is how life would be at the age of 47.
I still function like a normal person, but feel different inside, and it's kind of a numbing feeling, mixed with sadness and regret. Why am I writing all of this? Perhaps others have experienced similar situations, and hearing it from other people may help just knowing that, yes, you will feel different. You may always feel this way. You'll still be able to move on. But most importantly, I feel like I should tell my story in the hopes that someone out there that isn't making time for their loved ones will read my words, and understand that it could all change in an instant leaving you alone in this world, just wishing you had one last chance to tell your mom you love her, or take your dad out to that car show he used to enjoy going to in his younger years...............