We were one


24.12.2012
24.12.2012

I had my first counselling session with the Hospice psychologist.  It was terribly difficult and emotional.

So often when Vic and I chatted Vic would say “I am so worried about you Mommy…”

In November last year when Dr Sue, Vic’s palliative care physician, broke the news to Vic that her organs were failing Vic’s first words were “Oh Mommy, I am so worried about you – How will you cope?”

When our housekeeper went on leave late December, Vic said to her that they would not see one another again…that she was dying…. Vic asked our Betty to look after me because she was worried about me…

My standard answer to Vic was “I will be okay baby!” 

Vic would say “I know, but I worry about you.  Promise me you will see someone professional after I am gone?”

“I will be fine.  I will be grateful that your suffering is over…But I promise I will!”

I did not know what I was talking about when I said I would be fine… Vic knew me better than I know myself.  Nothing could have prepared me for the tsunami of grief that hit me, the void in my life…

So I walked into Alan’s office this morning.  I noticed the strategically placed box of tissues, the crumpled ones in the little wastebasket next to the chair…I crossed my mind that he only deals with grief.

We spoke briefly about the boys, but Alan firmly said that today we would focus on me… 

I bravely started talking without waiting to be prompted.  After all, that is why I was there.

“I knew that I would miss Vic after her death but nothing could prepare me for this” I said

“Vic was diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta at 18 months.  The doctors said she would not live to be older than 12 years.”. 

I spoke clearly and succinctly about Vic’s medical history.  It was familiar territory.  I have share this information with many doctors, research centres, medical professionals… I spoke about Vic’s blotched back surgery and the devastating effect it had on the rest of her life.  I ranted about Drs S + V.  I articulated my hatred of them, my anger at their arrogance.

I spoke at length about how I fought doctors, tried to find solutions, cures… How I would not leave Vic’s side when she was in hospital or ICU.  I told him about the ventilator been switched off and Vic starting to breathe on her own again…

I sobbed my way through Vic’s uncontrolled pain; the doctors telling her that she was a morphine addict…The doctors refusing her adequate pain control post-surgery because of her so-called morphine addiction…

I battled to tell him of Vic’s incredible will to live – sobs wracked through my body.

I share with him my guilt at being the one who administered her sedation at the end of her life.  It took me a couple of minutes to get Vic’s final words of “Mommy, I love you…” out.

I saw Alan look at the clock on the wall.  I knew our time was almost up. 

He sat forward on his chair, his elbows on his knees.  His voice and eyes were gentle with compassion.

“Tersia, it is normal to grieve.  Vic has taken up all your time and energy for 38 years.  You never separated from her.  In your mind you were one…”

That is so true.  That is why I feel as if part of me has died.  Vic and I were so close.  She always remained my baby girl.  I never became Ma, Mom or anything but “Mommy”. 

On the 9th of October 2012 I posted these words

https://tersiaburger.com/2012/10/09/is-there-pain-after-death-post-2/

As a family we have lived with Vic’s pain and her excruciatingly slow journey towards death for the past eleven years.  For eleven years we have heard her scream with pain, moan with discomfort, we hold her hair back when she is doubled up over a toilet bowel, vomiting until she fractures a vertebrae.  We have nursed open wounds, changed colostomy bags…. We have watched our daughter and mother suffer the most horrendous symptoms.

So baby, if you read this post, know that we will miss you.  We don’t want you to leave us behind, but we want your suffering to end.  We will continue to love you until we are reunited one day.  You have to trust us that you will always be “my baby” and the boys’ mummy.  But know that we will be grateful when your little body is freed from its pain and suffering.  You will be at peace…  You will not suffer more pain after death.  We will mourn you, but we will also be at peace…  We will think of you and smile…

It is okay to let go my angel child.

Vic and I discussed this post… We cried then, and I cry now.

I pray that I will find peace.  

15 thoughts on “We were one

  1. oh tersia… what to say? i am so grateful you are seeking counseling. of course i may be biased:) having a place to really express all your feelings without a filter will be life saving. this is going to be a long process and you will always grieve your vic. at some point you will realize you are remembering more of the good times than the bad.

    from the beginning of our journey i have worried about chris. i know there is an end for me, yet he will go on. even though we have family that has made a commitement to watching out for him i know he is going to be lost.

    i hope that he will find a good therapist to talk to since he won’t have me anymore.

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  2. Reblogged this on to that place… and commented:
    I can never explain what I feel for Tersia and her daughter cause these are wordless emotions.. I have never met them yet I feel like I have known them for years and for some reason I can feel all that pain both of them experience.. they are truly angels.. both of them and I really love and adore them..

    I wish to share something for them…

    you belonged to me
    i belonged to you
    we shared love in little cups
    years ago

    so much was left unsaid
    when we spoke like friends
    i still believe in your love
    your trust and
    it keeps me safe to be with you

    forever is a wrong word
    i cannot separate from you
    and although there are obstacles
    we are still as one as light in the sun…

    With love and hugs,

    dedicated to Tersia and Vic.. my angels! :)

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    1. Aarthi, I always read your poems to Vic and we both truly loved it! This poem is so beautiful!! Thank you so much for honouring my beautiful child. I will find a way of putting these words up in her memorial garden which I am busy planning. I will send you a picture when I am done. Your words articulate our love and one-ness… Thank you dear friend!!

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  3. When they first told me that my son was dead. I was calm. Of course I cried. But it was at the funeral that it really hit me that my baby was really, truely dead. I screamed, raged and cried the whole first year. The pain lessens with time. The pain will never go away, but it will lessen.

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  4. Tersia, dearest Tersia. Your soul has been amputated. It is horrible and I cry for your suffering. Remember this – thoughts equal feelings. I love what you wrote with your last line: “I pray that I will find peace.” That is all about hopefulness. With that line, you are lifting yourself up. The more you look for something – the more likely you will find it. You will find peace. I know you will. You did not write, “I will never get over this – I will never feel better.” That is why those words are so beautiful. At this terrible time in your life, grief represents torture. So your words are amazing. Remember them well. As you pray, many others are holding you close. I especially am. So is Vicky.

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  5. That counselling would be essential. When Mum suicided, no such thing. I only see now, the value of putting a person back together again after someone so loved, dies. Sincerely, sincerely, warmth & heart to you.

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