faith, grief, losing a parent, parent loss, unexpected death

My Mom Died…My Mom


(written 2/20/16)
My mom died. She’s gone. Forever. (Well, earthly forever). I keep saying it over and over in my head, like I need a reminder that it really happened. I’m sad. Really sad. But this is a different kind of grief than I experienced when we lost our son 16 months ago. I’m not angry. When John Karl died I was so full of anger. Now it’s just sad. I’m a little afraid – of a few things: how my dad will go on, how my sister will cope, if my brother and his family will heal. Please don’t think me a terrible person, but I think there’s an odd feeling of relief mixed in.  It’s teeny, tiny…I don’t think I even recognized it at first, but I discussed it over and over and prayed over and over.
We watched Mawmaw (my mom’s mom) deteriorate and wither away as she succumbed to Alzheimer’s and complications that come along with that. In my last few visits with Mawmaw, here is what I remember. 4 – In the hospital, she barely remembered who I was and flashed back to time before I was married. 3 – She didn’t know who anyone was or where she was. Rolling around a nursing home carrying a baby doll that she cared for. 2 – A new nursing home, propped up in a wheelchair, unconscious. I hope she knew I was there.  1 – Taking her last breaths lying in a bed surrounded by family. We prayed with her and sang with her and she was gone. I am thankful that we didn’t have to watch my mom endure this. Maybe that was a part of God’s plan for her life all along. Maybe He knew it would just be too much.
I didn’t get to say good-bye to my mom. She was gone before anyone knew what was happening. She never woke up. Over the last 6 months it was painful and scary to watch her go through series after series of seizures without explanation. After the last big episode I drove to be with her in the hospital and get some answers of my own from the doctors (who were useless by the way). I treasure that time with her. We spent the whole day talking and doing word searches, and watching soap operas. But one day, she was just gone and my heart was broken one more time.
I’m sad. Selfishly sad. I’m sad that she will miss all the things I wanted her here for. I’m having another baby. She won’t be there at the hospital. Who will hold my head, and help me breathe, look at me saying nothing but telling me that everything will be ok without even words, and then cry motherly tears of joy on my shoulder while we kiss a baby for the first time. One of my favorite things was telling my mom good news. She had the best excited-surprised-happy face of anyone that I knew. You could see her heart just right there in her smiling face. Funny, this also worked when she was UN-happy about something. Gosh, I love her! 
My mom was full of crazy drama, in the last few years she was here she started to tell us parts of her life from her teenage years. Oh. My. LORD. Hilariously funny stories that got more detailed and more crazy every time she told them. Not because she was making it up, but because she was finally brave enough to tell the whole story to her adult children! We laughed until we cried. We teased her so much about this. 
My mom made it so easy to tease her. I think she secretly liked it when we razzed her and poked fun at her a little bit, always laughing and adding her own jokes too!
I miss her. I will always miss her.
After we lost John Karl, I remember coming out of the fog and realizing that peace was overtaking my emotions. I had no idea where this peace was coming from but boy, did I notice it was there! In hindsight I have come to realize that kind of peace only comes from the Lord. Remember, friends, I was ANGRY. More angry than I have ever felt in my life at God. I was obviously not talking to him, at least in any way that would mean I was asking for his peace. But you know what, our family was, our friends sure were, people we had never met before were praying peace over our family.  That’s it. That’s where it came from. I remember talking with my mom about this peace, and she got it. She knew it too. She knew where it was coming from long before I did. But she never said, she knew I didn’t want to hear, she just waited for me to get there on my own, and then said, “I know, Misty.” And now, she really does. She’s experiencing a peace like no other. A heavenly peace that I can’t even imagine.
I spent the last 15 month with a therapist learning how to deal with grief and sad, and so you would think I could do this. It’s a new kind of sad for me. And I can do it. I’ve been glued back together once. I am cracked, but not completely shattered in this kind of sad. I hate to speculate on God’s plans, because they are just so vast and beyond my earthly understanding, but perhaps we lost John Karl before we lost my mom on purpose. (I still think that if He wanted to prep me He could have just left a post-it note with directions instead, but hey – there is a reason why I’m not in charge.)
We are sad and hurt and scared here without her. And it is still not ok that this happened to her, but with peace from the Lord, we will be OK. We will be OK.

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