There is a commonality amongst us all in which we all grieve and we all fear. No one among us is able to escape the unfortunate and eventual fact that life ends.
This fact is no less true than it is inescapable; and in the stun of the painful news when we lose a loved one, we grieve, and we feel, we lose our breath, and instantly, the world changes because a part of our world is no longer with us.
On the day of Mom’s death, her ending was no surprise to me. I knew this day was coming. I just didn’t know when.
I suppose there was relief in the fact that her suffering was finished. I found solace in the fact that at last, Mom could finally rest.
There were no more medications and no more confusion. Her loss of memory was restored. Her loss of mobility was solved and her frustrations were resolved because at last, Mom was at peace.
I suppose the hardest part was gathering Mom’s things together. It was hard to see her bed and her nightstand where she kept her things. It was hard to see her notes that she left herself as a reminder, which, she still struggled remember anyway.
It was hard to see Mom’s phone book and her pictures. It was hard to see the facts of Mom’s life as it was in her room at an assisted living home down in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Mom’s back was in poor condition. She had several diseases in her spine. Each disease was painful. Each one warranted a pain management, in which, all this did was mask the pain. This never solved the problem. Instead, opiate after opiate, operation after operation, and procedure after procedure, Mom drifted away long before she passed. She was more medicated than alive.
In fact, opiates weaken the bones. Mom’s bones were already weak as it was; however, add a heavy routine of pill after pill, pain patches, and an internal pain pump that delivered medication directly to the spinal column, and in the end, Mom had contributory, and almost self-induced osteoporosis. In simple terms Mom’s weakened spine was almost like marshmallow held together by steel rods, wire, and tiny cages.
I took comfort in the fact that this was over. Mom’s pain was no longer able to limit her to a walker or to be pushed in a wheelchair. I was comforted by the fact that I would never have to worry about elder abuse, which happened in another place up in Port St. Lucie. Mom was free now. I didn’t have to worry anymore.
Moments after Mom passed at a hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, the realization hit me. Mom was gone. Even though she was only a glimpse of her previous self, at least I still had that glimpse.
Even though some of our conversations were troublesome and problematic; at least I still had the chance to call her. And sometimes, I was able to make Mom laugh. Sometimes, I was able to work through my frustration with the situation. And Mom and I were able to joke and laugh and talk about things that happened in our life.
I suppose the toughest part of losing Mom wasn’t just the loss itself; it was the energy I felt, but yet, I could not see.
I felt Mom’s energy in her room as I went to gather her belongings. I felt her energy when I looked at her things, which was in the exact same order as she left them before she went to the hospital. It was eerie yet comforting yet sad yet beautiful
When Mom was gone, I noticed the clocks did not stop. People still walked in the hallways. No one did anything different from what they were doing. Meanwhile, my world just changed.
The adult in me understood the facts of life. The grownup in me knew this was coming and knew this was about to happen.
But the child in me was like a child punished by life on life’s terms.
I was still.
Inside, I could not move. I could not look at Mom’s face, but yet, I could not look away because the child in me was hoping she would somehow wake up.
Wake up, Mom . . .
Wake up . . .
We all grieve in life. We all lose.
No matter how much we gain, we all lose in life.
Love however is this thing that can never die. Energy can never cease; it can never be created nor destroyed . . . it just changes.
Above all there is nothing so string as a mother’s love; therefore, a Mom’s love is unstoppable. This means Mom is still with me.
There is supposed to be a natural order of things. There is supposed to be rules on how things work. No one is supposed to be sick. Everyone is supposed to grow old and be healthy, and when the time comes, we pass in our sleep, comfortably, and while dreaming of what an incredible life we’ve lived.
Unfortunately, life does not follow our terms.
Life has its own terms, which we cannot change or fix.
There is nothing more unnatural than a parent burying their child. There is nothing right about a child dying young and there is no escaping the fact that pain like this is unlike any other pain in the world.
I am praying now—
You can pray with me if you’d like to but not everyone has the same faith; therefore, I will remove the religious sentiment and change my attitude to one which honors life.
I am writing of a loss.
A child has gone too young because of a word which we all hate.
That word is cancer.
I write to honor you and pledge to do something this day in your honor to keep your life as bright and youthful as you are and always will be.
I am writing of a teenager that has passed by their own hand because depression was this insurmountable and inescapable thing.
I will honor you today and reach out and help someone that believes they are beyond reach.
I am writing this in honor of a friend of mine that lost his son at the age of 2. I am writing this in honor of a man and woman, or better yet, a husband and wife that lost their daughter before she reached the age of 2.
I write this in honor of them because they have taught me how to be, and in which case, I will honor them in a quiet whisper, which I call a prayer.
I am writing this for Mom and for The Old Man. I am writing this for you and your loss. And I am writing this for all of us because in the end, like it or not, the end comes for us all.
And all we have now is each other.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all honor this?
I cannot say anything that would comfort anyone in a time of loss. o one can. Furthermore, I have famously said time and time again; there are no right words to say at a time like this. The only thing to say is I love you and I’m here.
It would be inaccurate for me to define my loss as different or more intense than any other. It would be inaccurate for anyone among us to judge the broken sentiment in anyone else’s heart. We are all unique individuals. Although we relate and we weep, we all mourn in our own way. This above all things is our right.
We have the right to grieve. We have the right to feel. We have the right to quit (if we choose) but in the honor of those we love; I know in my case, Mom would never want me to hurt and she certainly would never want me to quit.
Therefore, I have chosen to fight back. I have chosen to feel. I have chosen to weep and I have chosen to rise up (just like The Old Man would have wanted me to) and I choose to honor their love by living my life to the best of my ability.
I have friends which I lost along the way. The reasons behind their passing are unimportant. I only know their suffering is through and at last, they are whole again.
I cannot suffer. I cannot choose to fall because the life of my loved ones has stopped. I cannot give in because although a piece of my life has passed away and gone, the rest of my life is still here, living, and out of all lessons death teaches us one thing: Time waits for no one.
In my process to replace thought with action, I honor my love by living exactly as my loved ones would want me to.
And sometimes, I let the child in me come out. Sometimes, I talk to Mom. I talk to the Old man. I let them know this hurts me. I let them know I miss them. I tell them everything I need to say. And sometimes I weep (like now) and sometimes, I smile because I find something extraordinary in an ordinary place and take this as a sign.
To my friends that have gone; I know I will see you again.
Real friends are friends forever. Real Moms and real Dads never leave. Love is undeniable and unbreakable. And so long as I believe this; I believe our love will live forever.
“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
If you or
someone you know is suffering from depression, please reach out.
If you or someone you know is struggling with terminal sickness, please reach out.
No one should ever feel alone
And if you do, then please, reach out to me.
I promise I will get back to you.