Forgive me if this does not make sense.
This is a blog that has nothing to do with stroke recovery but plays somewhat of a role that when we are faced with the fight for a life, life finds a way to slap us back. Last week I was in the middle of writing my blog about where my life is at now. It was transitioning up to better things after issues that seem so trivial now.
Life slapped me in the face when my husband came out of his office and asked me to stop working. He struggled to find words. My heart was racing anticipating what he was about to say. When he told me that my mom passed away, it was the last thing I expected to hear. I immediately wailed like a child. I screamed no, no, no, no. My best friend, who I called every single day to talk about random stuff for hours, is gone.
Suddenly the illness came over and I began to vomit. I sat there wishing for another ruptured aneurysm to join my mom. I didn’t want to live anymore. I was over it with everything that has transpired since 2020 and my mother’s passing was the nail on life.
Somehow, I got myself together after my dad gave the clear for the family to come over because he didn’t want us to witness them taking her away. I walked in the door and I nearly collapsed on the floor. I couldn’t speak. I looked at her stuff where she sat. I saw her water bottle, pile of shoes, her iPads. I couldn’t do it. I cried to the point where my head was going to explode. I had to leave the house. The rest of the family was tasked to get stuff to put many of my mother’s things away because it was hard on my dad too. They have known one another since middle school. He was lost. He cried and I have never seen him cry. He couldn’t look at stuff. So everyone aside myself did the hard work and got everything possible packed in place in a room.
That night I went through every emotion possible. I yelled in my head, “Why did I survive my stroke?” all I have been through since then is agony. I’m told I was saved for a purpose and right now in this moment, I don’t believe it. I wish I was gone so that I would not go through pain and suffering. How fair would that be though on my mom if she had to bury her child. So I was spared to spend almost two more extra years.
I couldn’t sleep that night and I was running off no food. In fact food doesn’t not have a place in my life. It’s hard to eat. I believe after listening to misery songs for hours I finally fell asleep around 3am. I went through nightmares and I woke up hoping that everything was a complete dream. It wasn’t.
My brother and sister had the hard task of going to the funeral home because my father and I are too weak to handle this. I remember speaking of death with my mom and her telling me her wishes. I let them know what she wanted. Afterwards I threw up again. I went through countless hours of shock, denial, crying, horrible thoughts, and then I went into a zone of not knowing where and what I was.
I had outpouring support from people, so I kept myself busy reading, knowing that many of my friends have also lost their parents recently. It’s a crappy club to belong to. Suddenly, a memory popped up with my mom. I shivered. I wanted to get in my car and drive off a bridge because I couldn’t handle it.
The holidays are coming around and it’s very special for my family. My mom makes each holiday extra special. I always felt spoiled rotten with how much effort she put in to make everything beautiful. My father, understandably, said no holidays this year. It hit me again. I agree with him. I can’t celebrate the holidays this year. I don’t want to look at a Christmas tree, lights, movies and anything else. I want to be a scrooge and curl in the fetal position on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
To get myself out of self-harm and wanting to die, I said start looking ahead and stop with making these threats that only hurt people and most of all my mother. So, I told my husband that next year when we have our home, I want to start the same traditions my mother had and invite family. I talked to my sister and she said she had the same idea. We talked about alternating holidays. It was the first healthy talk I’ve had since the news broke.
Yet, as grief goes, as the night went on, I began to cry, think about her, curse whatever God took her away from me. You see, my mom vocalized to me that she didn’t want to die. She was sick last month and it lingered. I noticed she was getting worse and begged her to go to the ER. She said she was feeling better. I told her I can’t have her die because I need her. She told me not to worry because she doesn’t want to die either. With those words, it has placed a massive wall for me to get over and process because she said it herself.
I call my dad and I know it’s difficult for him to talk to anyone right now because he loses it. Thankfully he has his fire department he retired from, that he stills spends time at to go to for a distraction. Firemen are a brotherhood and they take care of one another.
I will not go into details of her death because it’s awful. I wish I never heard about it. She did stop breathing in her sleep and the EMT’s did everything they could. My dad said the sounds and watching and sitting with her is something that will never leave his mind. I can’t even imagine. I can’t even place myself in his shoes when the woman he has known for over 50 years passed away. It’s different when it’s at a hospital. I can’t pinpoint it, but there is something different. When it’s in the home, you are haunted with those memories. I fear for him because he said he has lost his purpose. I told him that he has several kids that depend on him and that’s his purpose. Us kids don’t replace the love of his life. I get it.
I’m writing this and I have been brutally honest with everyone about my emotions. We often bottle our emotions when someone asks how are you holding up. That’s okay to say I’m making it. For me, I’m blunt and I’m going to tell you every single rotten thought that comes to my head so if this happens to someone else and they have these feelings they don’t feel guilty or wrong.
It’s okay to scream, be angry, bargain, think dark thoughts of ending it, crying, and cycle over and over. Feeling guilty if you crack a little smile.
I am going to allow myself to fully grieve to the max for three weeks and then I’m seeking grief counseling. Even though I don’t want to go on anymore in life, it’s a horrendous and stupid thought. It’s not fair on my husband, family or friends. Most importantly my mom would be crushed.
I hope one day I can smile, crack jokes, make fun of myself and get back on track. For now, I need to work on myself. I have a hard week ahead of me with going through pictures and her service. I have to keep my blood pressure in check so I don’t have another stroke. I need to be there for my dad.
So while I may not be present giving motivational words, please know that I will return to my passion project with the stroke world and mental health. I hope to be stronger and more insightful than ever.
If I could, I would go back and get a degree as a therapist for trauma. I think when you go through something you want to know that person has insight. Perhaps they do, but I feel like if I can save myself from going down a rabbit hole, I can save someone else. That’s my purpose in life- to save a life and make sure they know they have purpose.
Now I need to keep saying that to myself.