Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. It changes us and paralyzes us in different ways. We all react differently in our own way. Some people seem to cope a lot better than others. Me…no I haven’t coped well at all losing my mother.
I’m going to tell you a little bit of the days before and the day my mother died: It was in the last week of September 2012. My moms boyfriend called me and said your mother wants to go to the hospital, I said I’m on my way. I flew out the door and rushed to get to her. When I pulled up, she was in the doorway. Her boyfriend helped her into my car. I started heading to the hospital and I asked her what was wrong. She said she doesn’t know, she just doesn’t feel right. Her stomach was swollen, she was weak (she had liver problems in the past due to drinking). She seemed to have overcome the past liver problems. She didn’t really drink like she used to, but her teeth were really bad and she ate ibuprofen like candy for the teeth pain. She was broke and I was broke during that time. I called every dentist and college around trying to get them to take her in and help her and that I would make payments as often as I could, no one would help. Dentists are very greedy I have learned,at least the ones where I live are anyway. And the local health dept wanted money up front too. I just didn’t have the money,at most I could’ve paid like $20-$30 a month on any dental work for her, no one would budge. So I prayed like crazy all the time for her. I actually thought the pain in her teeth had subsided, but she told me she was fine when she wasn’t. On the way to the hospital I kept looking at her and I sensed something wasn’t right. She looked so pale to me. We arrived at the hospital and I walked her in holding onto her because she couldn’t hardly hold herself up. I knew something was bad wrong. She got in a room pretty quick and they did her blood work. When those results came back, there was doctors and nurses coming and going out of the room. I didn’t know what to think, I was standing in a corner watching. It didn’t take them long to admit her into the hospital. At that point I was scared for her. Before they sent her to a room they drained fluid from her stomach, that’s why it was so big.
After she got in her room, there seemed to be more and more doctors and nurses coming and going. They were giving her all kinds of medicines. Once she was settled she just laid there in stared, she was so scared. I stayed there with her day and night. One of the doctors had took me out in the hallway and said that I need to get all family members to visit and say their goodbyes because she’s not going to get better this time,her kidneys are shutting down and other organs will follow. I froze, I couldn’t respond, it felt like a heavy warm feeling went through my body. I walked back into her room and she was asleep, I just stared at her and prayed to God..Please don’t take her, heal her, please! I had to go outside, it was overwhelming me, I told her boyfriend and my brother what the doctor said and there was nothing but silence between us. It felt like my whole world was crashing down on me. The next day, I had left for a little while and I was gone maybe 30 minutes before her boyfriend called me and said I don’t know what is going on but they just rushed her to ICU (she never came back out of there). When I got there I had to wait til the next visiting hour to see her. I walked in that room and they had a huge mask on her face and had her little arms tied to the bed,they said she was pulling the mask off. We tried to calm her, and talk to her, but she was so annoyed by that mask. Before we left we hugged her the best we could and I told her that I loved her…she said “I love you too honey”. That was the last time I heard her speak or seen her awake. By the next visit they had already hooked her up to life support, she was sedated and doctors were asking us questions as to when to let her go. For two days I whispered in her ear and held her hand. The last day was the worst time of my life, I being next of kin(my brother didn’t want to decide,he was scared), I had to give on ok to let her go. That morning I couldn’t think straight, I didn’t understand why this was happening, it was so sudden, no time to prepare. I decided when and the doctors took her off life support, me, my brother, her boyfriend, and my husband were in her room. I held her hand and begged her to fight and prayed hard, but she only lived a few minutes longer and I watched my loving mother take her last breath……I have never felt so much pain in my life like I did that morning. I left that room squalling, when I got through the doors and started down the hallway I suddenly couldn’t feel my legs and fell to my knees and wept.
Her funeral was even harder. I couldn’t feel. I was in another place in my mind. When we started to leave the burial site, I stopped walking and was seriously wanting to go with her, I didn’t want to stay here on earth without her. I was lost, confused, hurting, angry…very angry.
Even today I still cry two to three times a week over her. Her death has impacted my life in many ways. I don’t know if anything I say on here can help someone or not. I wanted to share just in case it does. I know I’m not the only one that suffers from a loss. I wanted to share a few things that I do that seem to help me and to dust myself off and try again when I have bad days.
- Prayer-Praying and being in God’s presence is very powerful and calms me almost immediately. His grace is sufficient.
- Talking-Talking with anyone that will listen is a good way to relieve the built up pain.
- For me- Nature is somewhere I can relax and I actually talk to my mother like she’s listening to me, I tell her about my day and so forth.
- Hobbies-Anything really that will bring happiness to you.
- Read-Find a lengthy book and get lost in it.
- Help others-Try helping others that you know or don’t know for that matter, encourage them its going to be all right.
These may not be the best for everyone, but personally they help me. I’m not by any means saying forget or bottle it up with the list above. You still need to make time to release your pain and cry it out or it will affect your life negatively.You know yourself better than anyone, you know when its time to cry.
I hope that I haven’t confused anyone. I really wanted to try and help. I know what I go through on a daily basis and I pray that this reaches those in need. If you have any ideas for me as how to cope, please comment and let me know, I’m open to all the advice I can get too.
God bless everyone!
Linda Mae Billings 3/31/1956-10/7/2012