How I overcome the grief of losing someone.
I hope this post does not upset or offend anyone. That’s not my intention. Grief and loss are a difficult subject to deal with and these are only my views and thoughts. I wrote this article for two reasons. One was to get the thoughts out of my head and the other to maybe try and help someone going through the same thing. It’s not the happiest of subjects but not all blog posts are fluffy.
It’s difficult to write about certain aspects of my personal life. I have been thinking about my mum over the past couple of days, mostly when I wake up in the middle of the night. I can’t think why I have been thinking about her. I guess I just miss her?
She passed away around about 10 years ago now. It’s strange because I have a terrible memory but I do remember certain things with crystal clarity. Like the day that she passed away. The mind is a large muscle that processes tons of information every micro-second. Maybe I am programmed to remember the bigger events that unfold in life? Like your wedding day, births and deaths. It kind of makes sense.
It was truly awful, probably one of the worst days of my life. She was only 60 and from out of nowhere she had a massive stroke. I remember speaking to her the weekend before it happened, about nothing in particular.
My dad rang me up out of the blue, which was unusual at the time. If anyone rang, it would always be me, mum. He told me that mum had taken a funny turn and she had been taken to the hospital. It felt like I had been punched in my stomach, it’s hard to explain. It’s almost as if your body reacts and somehow knows that something is badly wrong.
I’ve had this feeling a couple of times in my life, normally when something bad happens. Once when my granddad died and the other when my wife had a bleed on her brain. Maybe this is what is described by a gut reaction?
We arrived at the hospital, and the rest of my family were there. My mum was in the hospital bed asleep. She looked pale, the heart monitor beeping. The doctor told us in no uncertain terms that she had suffered a massive stroke, and if somehow if she was to wake up she would be completely paralyzed and non-responsive. The chances where that she would not last any more than 48 hours.
It’s hard to explain how this makes you feel when you get told something like this. How can someone who was relatively fit and healthy one day have something like this happen to them overnight? I felt completely numb.
God knows how my dad felt? On the outside, he seemed his normal calm self. We all gathered together and tried our best to deal with this. The machines were keeping her alive. I remember mum telling me that if she was to ever get Alzheimer’s like her mum, she wouldn’t want to go on. The words came to mind as I looked down at her. It was truly heartbreaking. Why could life be so cruel?
I remember getting very little sleep that night. It made me question my belief in God. I prayed for her to get better. I begged God. Why would he do this? What had she done? I cried and hardly slept.
I was brought up a Catholic but wasn’t practising and I suppose its hypocritical of me to pray to something that I didn’t practice. It changed my views on religion which I have always been cynical about anyway. I believe in some form of God or some being but not religion. My prayers were in vain.
We returned to the hospital and nothing had changed. She passed away later that day. I do remember the details but they are not to be written just filed away into storage. I would like to forget but I don’t think I can?
I started this post not knowing why I started to write it. I just needed to get stuff off my mind. I don’t want it to be sad. I want to share some happy memories of my wonderful mum and how I dealt with her loss.
She was a great mum. I suppose everybody could say that about their mum? Then again, I do know some people who have not been so lucky as me. Her name was Josie. She had a smile that lit up a room. She had a mole near her nose and I remember when I was a kid she would pretend to bite my fingers whenever I tried to touch the mole. It was a stupid game but one of my earliest childhood memories.
She cared a lot, I think she cared too much. I think I broke her heart doing some stupid things when I was younger. Like the time when I was a teenager and for no apparent reason, I decided that I would run away. God knows why? I had no reason too. I remember being questioned by a Police Officer. He asked me why I ran away. I couldn’t answer. They rang my mum, who then rang my dad who was working nights. He wasn’t happy. I just remember the look of relief when my mum collected me. I felt so bad for letting her down.
She was always there for me.
During the breakup of my relationship with my ex-partner of 11 years. Which was a horrible and very bitter experience for me. We were living in Wales at the time which was around a 100-mile drive from Liverpool. I was in a very bad place at the time. My ex wouldn’t let me see my 2 sons and it was a bad period. I had friends who were there for me but it was only mum that I could cry down the phone too. She would listen and console me.
I could go on and on about the way she supported and helped me throughout my life but I would bore anyone reading this
Dealing with her loss
As we get older, each time we lose a family member or a friend through illness we get familiar with grief. I was about 11 when we lost my granddad. I remember the phone call and that feeling in my stomach and hearing my mum breaking down. It was the worst, I was close to my granddad and I cried and cried. A few years later we lost another granddad, then both nans. Each time it hurt and the same helpless feeling returned.
When mum passed away I had already been through the process. It hurt like hell. I blamed God and was angry at him. Time is the healer when somebody passes away. At first, it’s like a cut, it hurts a lot but then eases as the days go on.
It wasn’t God’s fault. It was horrible and cruel. A sudden illness that came from nowhere. Mum would have cursed us if somehow, they resuscitated her and she was paralyzed or brain dead.
I cried many, many tears. My heart truly broke. We all pulled together as a family. She was our rock. As much as I missed her. I could hear her telling me to stop crying. She taught me to care. I am far from perfect and I have made plenty of mistakes but I have always worked and tried to provide just like she did.
Losing people makes me realise that life is precious. It’s very fragile and can be gone in the blink of an eye. There is no magic wand and everyone has their own way of dealing with grief. Some people want to be alone, others need to share their grief.
The one definite thing about life is that you only get one chance. That’s the miracle. Without your Mum or Dad, we wouldn’t be here. Life is so precious and when you lose somebody that you love it can be the worst feeling in the world. Cry out and scream if you need too, but just hang in there. Try and stay calm. Enjoy the people around you. Learn and love. Time heals and so do smiles. We are all going to slip off this mortal coil at some point. Try to do something with your one life. Appreciate your parents, your kids and your partners. Most of all appreciate LIFE.