I’m struggling to find the words. It’s all so new, so raw. For many months, I forced myself to not think of what “might” happen because I simply couldn’t accept the idea that you might lose your battle. There were many times when, after we came to visit you, I would come home and cry my eyes out. I simply could not allow you to see that I was struggling with the concept of your physical absence from our lives. I wanted you to feel comfortable with saying the things you needed to say; I wanted you to draw strength and positivity from me; I wanted you to feel assured, by my brave smile, and comforted by the knowledge that we would all be okay.
I know that there was really nothing more that I could have done. I feel glad that I always made sure you knew how important you are to me. Our hugs took on a whole new dynamic, after you got sick. Yes, your nurturing and affection had always meant the world to me but, in your final months, I noticed that we held on to each other longer, tighter because…we knew.
The last month has been such a roller coaster of emotions. I still feel as though I am in a state of disbelief. On the day they transferred you to the hospice, I saw the sadness in your face and my heart broke into a gazillion pieces. I know it took a lot for you to smile, dear Momma, but you have to know that I will cherish those last smiles and those whispered “I love you’s” forever. In your final days, I wanted you to be without suffering and to feel the presence of those you loved. Your sister, your daughters, your grandchildren, your niece were there until you peacefully drew your last breath. You were surrounded by people who love and miss you so very much and, for that, I am truly grateful and comforted.
Saying “good-bye” (for now), was extremely difficult, but we got through it, just as you would have wanted us to. We received a lot of love and support from family and everyone we hold dear in our hearts. You taught us to be such caring, loving people and, as a result of the way you raised us to be, we find ourselves blessed with many who care for us and our family. You left us such a marvelous legacy of love and, for that, I am so very grateful.
Your wonderful rocking chair now sits in my room, offering me the same comfort it gave you. It took me a couple of days before I was ready to sit there; I suppose it was because doing so meant that it was “officially” mine, which was another step in gaining closure. The chair did give me some comfort, but it also gave me the inspiration to create this blog for you. You see, our phone calls have been a constant in our lives for so many years. It meant a lot to me to know that we set aside time, every week, for each other. Talking to you, telling you about my life, hearing your voice, hearing about your life was of great comfort to me. That time we spent talking provided a realm of safety for me to confide my innermost feelings and I can’t express how much I miss hearing your voice on the phone. You were my pillar of support, during the difficult times, and my pool of wisdom, when I didn’t know what to do. Sitting in your chair made me realize that those conversations must continue.
You know me ~ I want to help others who may have lost someone very close, which is why I’m sharing my grief experiences in this blog. I write these letters to you, in the hopes that someone will find comfort in reading my heartfelt words to you and know that they’re not alone in their grief. I always strive to turn my experiences into something positive because you taught me what it means to have compassion and kindness. I believe that those of us who are grieving for our loved ones may need the comfort and understanding of those who have experienced the same thing.
So, here ends my first letter to you. Next time, I’ll tell you about the balloon incident because I’m pretty sure you giggled as it was happening.
I love you, Momma. Always.