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My Experience With Grief . . . . 


Until you've experienced true grief, you have absolutely no idea what it really is.  My entire life, I had heard the word ... grief. I never thought a lot about it even after I was grown. My parents were healthy, my children were healthy .... as were my husband and I.  And then ..... in 1995 .... my whole world changed.

I was working late one Thursday night at my office and got a call that my Mom had collapsed and that I should meet them at the hospital. She was being taken there by ambulance. I didn't really get that worried at first. My Mom was only 62 years old, in good health, and I had just talked to her on the telephone that day and she was fine.  In fact, she told me during our conversation that she had had a headache for a couple of days, but that she was feeling better today than she had in a long time.

I drove to the hospital as quickly as I could and found my entire family there. They led us to a small room and a doctor came in to talk to us. He explained that the situation was indeed bad. My Mom .... my healthy Mom .... had had an aneurysm. A blood vessel in her brain had burst and she had bled, a lot, into her brain. He explained to us that he could operate on it and stop the bleeding but that it was so extensive .... she would probably die on the operating table .... or ... if the operation
was successful, she would probably be a vegetable for the rest of her life. Then he left us to make this decision as to what to do ... operate ... or do nothing.

There was really no decision to make. My Mom had said all her life that she never wanted anyone to have to take care of her. We all knew that she would rather be dead than be a vegetable in a nursing home for the rest of her life. So .... the vigil began. We sat by her bed all night. She never regained consciousness .... and she died at 5:30 the next morning .... very peacefully she slipped from this world ... into the next.

The next few days are even now .... just a blur to me. Funeral arrangements ..... family viewing ..... greeting visitors ..... going through all the motions of laying a loved one to rest. And then .... after the funeral ..... everyone is gone .... and you're left alone ..... with grief.

 

Sea Oats Divider
 
The next few days I can hardly remember. My Daddy wanted me to go through my Mom's stuff and clear it out because it hurt him so badly to see it there. This was such a hard thing for me to do. I felt like I was violating my Mom. Touching her things, throwing things away, giving things away. This was one of the hardest things my Daddy had ever asked of me.

Every night I would fall asleep crying .... and every morning I would wake up crying.  I was consumed by grief. My son finally insisted I go to the doctor who put me on Xanax and so for the next several days .... my life was a blur. I don't function well on drugs like that. After a few days, I decided that the drugs just weren't what I needed so I stopped taking them.

I was so sure I could get through this .... but over the next few days, it only got worse. I felt like someone was standing on my chest and I couldn't breathe.  My stomach hurt ..... I had constant diarrhea ..... I had a lump in my throat so bad that I couldn't swallow food at all without choking ...... I was so weak and tired that I could hardly get out of bed. I could not sleep at all ... and when I did sleep, I dreamed of my Mom.

I went back to work the next week but I sat down at my desk and just could not function. I couldn't think .... I could hardly remember what I was supposed to be doing. I was overrun by people who meant well .... who cared a lot for me ....but everytime someone came over to tell me how sorry they were .... it all just became too much for me.  My boss finally told me to go on home ... and I remember almost running out of the building. When I started to drive away ... I was crying so bad that I could hardly see to drive.  I just knew that I had to get to the cemetary where my Mom was .... where I could feel close to her. I was driving down the road and kept hearing a loud, horrible sound. I remember thinking ...."what is that unGodly sound" ...... and suddenly ... I realized .... it was me. I was screaming and crying and sobbing .... almost in an animal state of mind.

I finally reached the cemetary and must have sat there for hours .... just talking to my Mom and trying to figure out what I was going to do. That's when I finally realized ..... I had to get some help .... I truly thought I was going to die from grief.

 

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