Sunday, January 26, 2014

Life After Death?

I think it will come as no surprise to anyone who used to read my blog that I was obviously devastated by the loss of my mother in March of last year. I spent the first 9 months on automatic pilot, getting done what had to be done and ignoring pretty much everything else that could wait or that I used to love doing. My mom would have hated that I did that, but I couldn't seem to get myself motivated.

Then things got really tough when the holidays hit. We were in our own house for the first time in 25 years for Christmas. Even though my dad came up, all of us were missing my mother. I fell into a black hole after Christmas. I know the first year is supposed to be the worst. I don't know how I got through the first months and the first anniversary is coming up on March 12th. The black hole was so deep that I started sleeping more and more until I was in bed at "night" for 12-14 hours and then napping three hours in the afternoon. I couldn't wait to go to bed and sleep, so I didn't have to think about my mom not being there.

I also lost my best friend to breast cancer five months before my mom died of sarcoma. Talk about bad karma. My phone just went silent.

I was mad at a God I wasn't sure existed. Really, really mad.

There is no sense to losing someone you love to cancer. No. Sense. I was with my mother until the end and that kind of suffering is something no one should ever have to go through or watch. It was the worst thing I had ever seen.

My black hole got so bad that Justin got worried and shuttled me off to the psychiatrist, who promptly assessed the situation and got my meds adjusted so I could function. And happily, it worked. It didn't take away the sadness, but it allowed me to get up and face the day, every day. It allowed me to go to stitching camp last weekend, something I never thought I was going to be able to handle. And I had fun.

This morning, I was trolling my facebook feed, because that's so much easier than actually doing anything and I realized something. That God that I've been so mad at? Maybe he has actually been there all along. Maybe he doesn't control who gets cancer. Maybe that's the result of our toxic environment that we've created. But, it hit me like a ton of bricks that some people have come into my life over the last couple of years that have made me realize that I still have things to look forward to. I still have people to rely on. Maybe God puts these people in your path to help cushion the blow of his taking away the people who are so important to you.

Everyone has a life span. We're all living on borrowed time. And we all choose not to think about that because death is scary. I saw somewhere that your life is really that little dash between the date of your birth and the date of your death. All of your growing, loving, living is represented by that tiny little dash. Is that sad?

While I was going through hell losing Malea and then my mom, maybe God was quietly working in the background to help me through it. I had met new women through my sewing group who cared about me. I don't even know how I found the courage with my agoraphobia to join that group, but I did and they were there.

My son met a wonderful girl on the internet. As a parent, of course I always worry about what my kids are doing on the internet, but in this case, he met the loveliest girlfriend I could ever ask to be in his life. He was withdrawn and depressed before he met her. Now, she makes him so happy, I feel that I no longer have to worry so much about him. And bonus. She actually likes me and wants to talk to me. It's almost like having a daughter. They're young and who knows how it will work out, but for right now, I am happy just to think that she might stay in my son's life and in mine, by extension.

While I was in South Carolina when my mom was so sick, another young woman came into my life in the form of my youngest son's assistant. Joey's DD waiver had finally come through and we were looking for someone to come and work with him now that we could pay for it. We found someone who has an autistic brother and knows a lot about how to deal with autism. Sometimes Joey has to fight me for her attention because I love her so much. Did God put her in my path? Another daughter type figure to help me get through the darkest time of my life?

Some of the women who I have met in the last year or two are older. I have become friends with the woman who started our EGA chapter and we went to camp together last year and again this year. She's about my mom's age and actually reminds me of her. Did God put her in my path to help ease the blow?

Before Malea and my mom passed away, I would have told you I didn't believe in God. We aren't church people, even though our neighbors have been trying to convert us for as long as we've lived here. But can it be coincidence that all of these wonderful people have come into my life at a time when I needed them so desperately?

I'm pretty sure my mom didn't believe in an afterlife. But I've still been desperately trying to contact the Long Island Medium, Teresa Caputo, to get a reading. Because I do believe there is something that comes next. (After going to Gettysburg enough times, you start to become a believer.) I don't think it's angels and harps and golden gates, but I do think people stick around to make sure their loved ones are okay.

One last thing. If you believe in coincidences, this is a pretty big one. Every time I go out and go into a store to buy something, my total always comes to an amount that ends in $.99. So I always get a penny back with my change. Pennies from heaven? I'd like to think so. It happens a lot.

I still don't know what I believe. And I'm still not going to go to church to try to find an answer, because I don't think the answer lies within the four walls of a building. But I feel as if there must be a Supreme Being, God or not, something that helps you deal with the tragedies that we all face.

Yes, parts of life are horrible. Maybe that's why we are supposed to live, love, laugh, and get as much out of our time here as possible to make the good at least even out the bad. I think of all of the joy my mother and I had and I know that her cancer was something that just happened. And I miss her every minute of every day.

But I am also thankful for the people that have been put in front of me that are helping me cope. We really do have so much to be thankful and grateful for.



  1. Just passing through to say "Hi". I am glad you are doing better. You are so lucky to have a discerning partner who cares.

  2. This sounds like progress! Glad to hear that you've withstood that black hole and made it out. Take care.

  3. I'm glad to once again hear from you, and know that you are starting to notice the life you now have. I am so grateful for all those who are there for you, and while I know you will never stop missing your mum, I am certain that you will find a way to live your potential and make her proud and visible through the life you lead.

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