{Before / After This} Moment

“There are moments which mark your life. Moments you realize that nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts ~ {before this} and {after this}.” ~ Unknown

I stood beside her bed, looking down at the face of the woman I had the privilege of calling “Mom”. Every thought I’d had, emotion I’d experienced, tear I’d cried in the 8 months {before this} day wouldn’t compare to the thoughts I’d have, emotions I’d experience, tears I’d cry {after this}.

{This moment} was one I’d dreaded since I was a little girl; I cried myself to sleep every night for an unknown period, my young mind filled with thoughts of how awful my life would be without my mother. Here I was, some 40’ish years later, feeling just as vulnerable as that child; yet somehow, I felt a million times worse knowing that my lifelong fear would soon be a reality. It never matters how old we are; losing a parent is like no other experience, prepared or not.

Of course, I had the maturity and understanding to handle the loss and feel conscious of the gratitude that I would never have “gotten” as a child experiencing the same loss. I felt grateful for being blessed with my mom’s physical presence in my life for 49 years and that we were able to forge a wonderfully close relationship; for knowing that, during her final hours, she was surrounded by her family; for the relief that her suffering was almost over; for the full life she’d lived; for the wonderful legacy she was leaving behind; for the love everyone had for her and, because of that love, she would always be remembered and honored with good, positive thoughts.

In {this moment}, however, the feelings of gratitude would keep for awhile, so that I could focus on the emotions I needed to feel and the “in-your-face” reminders that we tend to push aside when we don’t have to think about the finality of death.

To facilitate the end of her suffering, I had to say what I didn’t want to say or mean:

“Mom, I want you to know that I’ll miss you more than I can ever express. It’s okay for you to let go whenever you feel ready, but my kiddos and I will be okay. I love you so very much. Rest in Peace.”

I hated having to say that to her because it meant {this moment} would pass and change my life forever. Everything {before this} would exist only in memories and that it would take a bit of time {after this} to heal, knowing that her light continues to brighten my world because she’s in a better place.

{This post was inspired by a quote I posted on Facebook on 6 September 2015.}

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7 thoughts on “{Before / After This} Moment

  1. I’m glad you had chance to be with your Mom and give her your blessing and that you had such a close relationship. I agree it’s very much a {before} and {after] situation, but she will always be with you, just in a different way. That kind of closeness endures.

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    • Thank you, Susan. I am so grateful that I returned home from the UK when I did because I was able to spend a year with my mother before her diagnosis. Although I wish we’d had more time, I am grateful for the time we had.

      I’ve followed your blog and look forward to reading more from you. Thank you so much for dropping by and for your kind comment. {Hugs}

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  2. I actually found this difficult to read, and to be honest, I still haven’t read it in one go. It is just too close to home for me. I am so glad you got to say goodbye to your Mum. I said goodbye to mine at her funeral, but I have always felt I never had closure like my sisters, as they were able to say goodbye in person. I couldn’t. I was the other side of the world, on my honeymoon. At least my Dad was able to hold off the funeral for a month. I have found it increasingly hard that she is not around, especially since having kids of my own. My eldest son arrived 2 years after she died. He was the first son born in our close family (blood relations) for 62 years. Mum always wanted a boy. I have had 2. I wish they could have known her and she them.
    Thank you for writing the post.

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    • I’m so sorry you didn’t get the closure you needed and I understand that my post is difficult to read because it was very difficult to write.

      I miss my mom more than I can ever express and I spent 16 years of my life thousands of miles away from her. I got back home a year and a half before she passed away and I feel like I missed out on so much. After I got back, I cherished the chance to be around her again and will always be grateful for that time with her.

      I can relate to your wishing that your mum had gotten a chance to know your sons; my mom never really got a chance to know my daughter. I try to find comfort in the belief that she is watching over us and I hope that {if you’re spiritual}, you find comfort in that same belief.

      Take care and reach out if you feel like talking. {Hugs}

      Liked by 1 person

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