Tuesday, January 03, 2006

100 days...

Today my mother has been gone for 100 days..

I really expected to follow all of those steps of grief that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross decided we all experience. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance..

I went through the bargaining while mom was still with us.

Depression seems to be a daily occurrence.

I've discovered that I'm very good with Denial. ( I'm so afraid that If I think too much about her, I will fall apart and not be able to function.)

Anger- Oh you bet. I'm angry that such a vibrant and beautiful woman was taken away by this horrible disease. I'm angry that we didn't get to spend more time together. I'm angry that my father is in pain. I'm angry that no one would listen when she told them what was wrong..

Acceptance- I don't believe that will ever happen...

In this day and age, where we hope and wish and pray for miracles,
I keep reminding myself that life itself is a miracle.
Feeling the love my father has for my mother when he speaks of her is a miracle..
Seeing my mother's eyes when I look at my sister is a miracle..
Hearing the music that my children play because it was passed to them through the generations of my mother's family is a miracle..
Watching my grandson grow into a loving caring little boy because it's what my mother taught him is a miracle..

Breathing for a hundred days is a miracle...


Anonymous Susy said...

I completely understand what you mean about the denial. I lost my mother almost exactly 13 years ago (also to cancer), and I still don't feel that I've fully swallowed the loss.

But I've come to realize that denial is sometimes our friend. It's what we use when we don't have the energy to face the pain and when we need to tend to our lives. It's a way we deal with that over which we have no control.

Please believe me when I say that acceptance will come. Maybe not all at once, and maybe never in a clear and uncomplicated package, and maybe not in a very complete and resolute sense, but rather just a peaceful coexistence with the saddness over what you've lost. I know it doesn't sound like much consolation now, but when it comes you will find peace. You may also find a new empathy awakening in you, for people who have been through what you have.

Peace to you, sister.

9:37 AM, January 04, 2006  
Anonymous Susan said...

Oh, my. Memories come flooding back, and with it tears that I hadn't thought were there any longer.

I shouldn't be surprised, while January 7 marks the 4th anniversary of her death, the ache never really goes away, it just gets easier to deal with, and dulls in time, only to pop out again on occasions such as these.

Your comment about the eyes...I miss my mothers eyes too, but what I miss the most is the softness of her hands, how they held mine so proudly...

My mother died from emphysemia. Diagnosed years before she passed, but her addiction was so strong she was unable to let it go. I am finding myself in the same spot, only I don't have emphysemia...yet.

I wish you much strength, much peace. When it gets really bad, just hold on and it will pass, soon you will be able to smile through those memories.


2:21 PM, January 05, 2006  
Blogger margalit said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your love for your mother is apparent, and it will take more than 100 days to come to grips with the loss. In Judaism, we mourn for a full year, and then we have an unveiling, where we put up the gravestone in something akin to a second funeral. Because we mourn for a full year, we have to reckon with each anniversary, each holiday, each birthday, and as they pass, it seems to get easier. Perhaps you might give yourself permission to mourn similarly.

Michele sent me.

5:50 PM, January 06, 2006  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I love what Margalit said..and after my mother died I realizedd that all the rituals of grief and nmourning WERE riituals because they really really helped. Giving yourself permission to feel all that you need top, no matter how long it takes, is a really important componant to this loss, I believe...or, in fact, any loss...but one's mother is just about as primal as you can get...
A year...two years...ten years...whatever....And yes, it will get easier...eventually. My heart goes out to you my dear..and I truly do know, in my own way, the loss you are feeling...Grieving is a very very important part of loss. Be really kind and gentle with yourself in this terribly tender time.

I'm here from Michele this early morning...

3:50 AM, January 07, 2006  
Blogger Marcia said...

I've lost so many people in my life (there's a serious genetic disease in my family) and it never gets easier. All you can do is keep on going. And you'll stop feeling the void as acutely as you do now...

Here from Michele's.

11:35 AM, January 08, 2006  
Anonymous Tania said...

Oh, I certainly know what you're going through, and I wish you strength in dealing with all this.

I lost my mother to cancer on July 1, 2003. Sixteen years earlier (almost to the day), I lost my father to cancer. I was really young when I lost my father, and I've found that my mother's death hit me much harder and in more ways than I ever expected.

I don't think we ever totally get over the loss of our mother, but we can learn to cope. Feel free to email me if you ever want to chat!

11:42 AM, January 08, 2006  
Anonymous Tania said...

Oops...forgot to mention that I'm here from Michele's today!

11:45 AM, January 08, 2006  
Blogger Laurie said...

That was a beautiful post and the comments were amazing, too.

10:23 PM, January 08, 2006  
Blogger andrea said...

What a wonderful way to remember your mother! But so sad. Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis are so unnecessary so I understand your anger. I thank my lucky stars every day that I switched to an uber-vigilant GP.

12:19 PM, January 09, 2006  
Blogger noodles said...

I will be covering your blog on www.thecancerblog.com, thanks for everything, your work here means so much. Keep it up.

7:26 AM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger Anne said...

Your blog broke my heart. I cannot tell you how much reading you talking about your mother has just brought everything that I had buried up to the top again. It has been almost 4 years since my mother died. She had a cancer on her tounge. It was her third bout with cancer, first was breast cancer and then with ovarian. I have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer for 7 months. I am lucky that mine was caught early. I have a blog as well. It does help to write it out.

Thank you for writing this. It has helped me.

3:58 PM, January 11, 2006  
Anonymous Spike said...

I'm so sorry.

If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

This whole ovarian cancer crap sucks so much.

I am really sorry you lost your mom.



1:21 AM, January 12, 2006  
Blogger utenzi said...

Michele sent me, Dee-Dee.

My Mom's had cancer also but so far it looks good. It's been dormant for several years. I remember what I felt when I first heard her tell me the news about her diagnosis. Bloody scary. I'm in cancer research so I know the numbers but still when it's your own family--it's painful and frightening.

100 days isn't very long to get over a loss like this. Denial slows the process down, but I'm quite sure that's how I'll handle the death of my parents when that happens. Denial is very easy to fall into.

Good luck, Dee-Dee. Try to live your life as best you can...

11:38 PM, January 12, 2006  
Blogger jeni said...

as with everything, it takes time. i'm so sorry about your mom. and you're so right about doctors not listenting. they never do & probably never will. you'll be in my thoughts :). take care.

oh, michele sent me by.

11:40 PM, January 12, 2006  
Blogger WendyWings said...

My mother was only 49 when cancer claimed her life,give yourself time 100 days is not really long in the greater scheme of things.
Michele sent me today.

6:52 PM, January 13, 2006  
Blogger cmhl said...

visiting from michele's.
I am so sorry about the loss of your mother!!!!

6:52 PM, January 13, 2006  
Anonymous Shelly said...

Thought about you today...dropped by for a moment, soaked in your words, felt a hell of a lot of my own conflicts and left what positive energy I have left for you. I only wish I could give you peace.

8:59 PM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger Carmi said...

I wish I had read your work before losing so many close members of my family.

I would have had a much easier time of it. Your courage in sharing your grief is inspiring.

10:38 AM, September 17, 2006  

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(written September of 2005) I have learned much in the last nine months. I have read that ovarian cancer whispers. I say it screams. It just needs someone to listen. The American Cancer Society statistics for ovarian cancer estimate that there will be 22,220 new cases and 16,210 deaths in 2005. This is a death rate FOUR TIMES that of breast cancer.Almost 70 percent of women with the common epithelial ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced in stage. The 5-year survival rate for these women is only 15 to 20 percent. This is unacceptable. Women need to be made more aware of the symptoms, and doctors need to listen to their patients. Especially when the patient tells them that they fear they have ovca, as my mother did for almost a year before she was finally diagnosed. It’s so sad and senseless when a woman knows the symptoms but can’t get anyone to listen to what she is saying.