Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A year later...

Today is...

  • a year later from when my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer.
  • two weeks since her funeral.
  • a week since celebrating her 58th birthday.

Everyone says "it gets easier"...which some days, that is true. Some days it's harder than hell. I found myself crying the other night after looking at the birthday card she gave me this year. She was pretty much already out of it then. She addressed the envelope to me, but signed "Deborah" on the card along with another word that we've yet to figure out. I knew she didn't totally know what she was signing since she would never sign my birthday card "Deborah" any other time.

Unlike my sister Stephanie, mom was alive for my birthday and she won't be around for hers next month. She pretty much lived with mom the 25 years she has been alive so being "alone" is all new to her. We've had our good/bad times and honestly there were quite a few times throughout mom being sick that I couldn't stand Stephanie. Towards the end we made up and we are still getting along. Stephanie was stronger than me towards the end. I couldn't do all the things that mom needed help with...I couldn't adjust her in bed, I couldn't clean her, I couldn't sit by her bed and hold her hand and talk to her like Stephanie could. And when it was time for me to say my "good-byes" I needed Stephanie in the room with me, I was unable to tell mom that it was "OK to go". I'm very grateful to Stephanie for being more involved at the end.

I'm dreading the upcoming holidays. Mom always had Christmas Eve at her house. And the last couple of years we came over, ate, opened presents and spent the night. It's going to be weird not doing that this year. Mike has decided that we will continue this tradition either with Stephanie or at our place. Still won't be the same.

Going to sleep at night has been hard. I stay up much later than I used to. I go to bed, lay down and find myself staring off into darkness for a good hour or more before I actually fall asleep. I'm tired, but I think the darkness and quietness give me trouble. I'm constantly wondering about things and thinking about mom. I wish there was a way that she could communicate and tell us things are OK, she is fine. Death is such a scary thing to me. I can't imagine just not being here. I'm not overly religious so that's probably my problem...although I don't see me becoming overly religious anytime soon either. Organized religion drives me insane!


Christine said...

Hang in there Amanda. I'm so sorry for your loss. It seemed to help me deal with a dear friend's death to write. I couldn't talk to anyone as I got all teary and frustrated and couldn't think of what I was trying to say. Somehow late at night I could write things down, then be able to turn out the light and go to sleep, almost like I put the worries and wonders and spinning thoughts on the paper, therefore out of my head. Don't know if that would help you or not.

So glad you & your sister are able to help each other out.

Autumn said...

Hi. I stumbled across your blog and sympathize with you. When it comes to the time of year when I lost my brother and step-mom I find myself ignoring calendars just so I don't remember the dates they died. This time of year is especially hard because it will be the 3 and 4 year anniversary, respectively. Holidays have been really rough since they died because I don't have that family to go to anymore and I want to carry on the traditions we had bet can't do it.
It's not that it gets earlier, maybe you could say it that way. It becomes a part of your backstory instead of being the whole story, like it was when you were living it.
I've coped with my loss with lots of talking, lots of knitting, making friends so I have people I can talk to about regular things, and lots and lots of crying. When I get lost in my sad I have to stop myself and go do something, anything to get my mind off of things. I take a lot of walks and talk to my brother online a lot. Like you, my sister was stronger than me while my stepmom was dying and now we are kind of distanced and I just give her time to have her space and her thing and know that in the coming years we will get closer again.
So, I don't know if I helped or not, I hope I did. But here I am, I offer you my sympathies, my understanding, and someone you can talk to if you want to.

Virginia Peach said...

I'm so sorry. I hope that time has been helping you both. huge hugs xxx

Virginia Peach said...

PS This is actually Nin from PeachyHollow. I changed to a new blog, too many people I actually know were reading the old one and I felt stifled. Here's the new link: :)

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Gina said...

Amanda, I took a break from the internet for a while, and I just read this post today. I am so, so very sorry for your loss. (((hugs)))

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