Grief, part two

     My dear mother passed from this life to the next on Friday, November 11, 2016 at around 9:00 am.  I arrived to see her at about 9:05 and was the one who found that she had gone.  The nurse had been in to give mom medication about 10 minutes before I arrived and mom was comfortable and breathing calmly and without stress.  Then, between the nurse visit and my arrival, she decided it was time to go,
     Since my mother's death I have been struggling with exactly how I feel.  I seem to be split into many parts, my version of grief.  One part of me is relieved that she is no longer suffering.  Dementia had robbed her of so much.  One part of me is happy that I was able to spend time with her the last few days before she left us.  I was able to hold her hand one last time.  A part of me feels so excited that mom has finally been reunited with the love of her life, my father.  Mom died just two days after what would have been my parents' 77th anniversary.  Then there is the part of me that feels extremely sad.  I have lost my mother.  I will no longer see her bright blue eyes and her warm smile.  I will not be able to sit quietly and hold her hand as we watch the world pass by.  I guess the sadness is gradually becoming the strongest of my feelings.
     My mother and I always shared a special relationship.  We always were happy when we were together.  We could talk for hours, often we did talk until late into the night.  We shared a love of art, music,, nature, animals, laughter and so much more.  Mom enjoyed teaching me things, for instance crocheting.  I remember once wanting a homemade afghan.  Instead of making one for me, she decided to teach me to crochet so that I could make my own.  I worked for abut a year and the result was not the greatest but not only did I have my afghan, I had the pride of making it myself.   I still have the afghan and it is a reminder of lessons taught by my mom.  Mom taught me to be proud of myself not only in her pride of me but in helping me to have the tools to be proud of what I could accomplish.  And I was proud of her and proud to be her son.  I won't say that we didn't have our disagreements, we certainly did, but they never strained our relationship.
    Today memorial plans were finalized, flowers were ordered and the headstone engraving was ordered and paid for.  Things went smoothly with my sister, brother and I seeming to know exactly what needed to be done and how to effortlessly accomplish the "to do: list.  Still, at times I felt as though I was on autopilot, not really there, not really saying the words that were coming out of my mouth.  I was glad that those we worked with were patient as I struggled to find the words that were close but seemed to be so hard to reach.  My nerves seemed to be on edge and I struggled (at times not very well) to restrain my temper.  I also had issues with exhaustion.  All, I think, were a result of my suppressed grief.    
    Now I grieve for all that has gone, for all that will no longer be.  I have not yet shed many tears but I know that they will come.  I will truly miss my mother as I do my father and all the other loved ones that have gone before.  And I grieve for the part of me that has been taken with the life of my mother.  A bit of sunshine is covered by the small cloud that is the death of my mom.
     Many words of comfort, love and support have already been flooding in.  I don't remember ever feeling that there were so many people who cared.  Even with my own illness and near death, the love and support came only from a few.  I can honestly say that the love and support I feel now is so very helpful and necessary for me to go on with my life in spite of my grief.  With love and support I know that I will make it through this fog, this cloudy day, and eventually the grief will be replaced with happy memories and pride in my parents, my family and my friends.  For now however, I will  grieve.

I Love You Mom
And I Always Will

Ida Elizabeth Bandel
Born August 28, 1918
Died November 11, 2016
Lived over 98 FABULOUS Years


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