Yesterday morning I teared up – again. Danie asked “And now? What’s wrong?”
“Just missing Vic” I said
“Shame” he said with sadness in his voice. “I miss her too”
We spoke about how my grief had changed over the past four months. Today it is exactly four months since my precious child died. I keep using the words “death and died” and not the gentler “passed”… I do that because death is harsh. My child DIED, she is DEAD. My pain is as real as it was 4 months ago. My grief is however no longer as transparent as it was to the world.
Four months ago when Vic died my body physically hurt. My heart was physically aching. The pain was new. Now my grief is in me, part of me as if it is a limb or organ… My grief is hidden from the world. If I did not tell you, you would never know.
To the world – I seem to have adjusted to the loss of my child. I am “functioning, smiling, carrying on with life”… People are so relieved that they no longer have to cope with my raw grief…
Earlier tonight I read this on Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/TheGrievingParent
“I never knew my mind could be dominated by a single thought every day for years and still not get in the way of the progress of my life. The hands on the clock continue to turn, and the sun rises every morning.
Even though the grief is not on the surface, the missing is as strong as it ever was. We can’t explain it, but we want to share it. We might not break down, but the strength of the grief never fades.”
We just keep on living with it and do the best we are able to do.”
I miss Vic more today than I did four months ago. I keep looking at photographs of the past couple of years so I can REMEMBER her suffering; I re-read my blog to REMEMBER her suffering; I keep trying to find solace in the fact that she is pain-free. It is becoming more difficult to see the positive side of Vic’s death. My mind is blocking out the horror of her suffering! I am remembering the good times only.
I hear you say “It is good” No, It is not good! If I forget her suffering I will never accept the “need for her to die” element of Vic’s death.
My sister shared her heartbreak with me…She said that one night when she slept with Vic she woke up to hear Vic talking to me. She said Vic was crying and saying “Mommy I am so sore. I can’t do this anymore” Lorraine said she kept her eyes shut and pretended to sleep because she could not deal with the moment… Why am I forgetting?????? On the 13th of November I posted “Will my poor baby’s hell ever end? If there is a lesson to be learnt PLEASE God show me what it is so I can learn it!! This has come to an end!” https://tersiaburger.com/2012/11/13/signposts-for-dying/
I want my child back with me. I want to hold her, tell her I love her. I want to hear her footsteps in the passage; I want to hear her voice…
I WANT MY CHILD BACK!
Today, the 12th of May 2013, is my first Mother’s Day in 38 years without my precious Vicky.
I attended my sister’s birthday party. I smiled and participated in her birthday and Mother’s Day celebrations. I know that worldwide millions of other mothers joined me today in quietly reflecting on our grief and sadness.
I know that the family and especially Danie were worried about how I will handle Mother’s Day. On Friday morning Danie asked whether he could get me flowers for Mother’s Day as he has done for the past 22 years. I declined.
I know that even though today is dedicated to mothers, entire families will be affected. Fathers too experience grief and yet the world seems to forget about them. Maybe it is because men are so stoic in their grief.
I saw this on a Facebook site – Grieving Mothers, and it really shook me…
I know that Danie is grieving for Vic. He is grieving with the boys and me. He is grieving for us. I know he fears that he lost part of me….
Today I share Mother’s Day with my fellow club members – the grieving mothers of the world. Tonight I will reread 30 odd Mother’s Day Cards and drawings that I received from my precious child over the years. I will cry on my own. I will burn candles for my child and for the moms of Henry, Tommy, Raymond, Phillip, Klysta,Jason, Alex, Matthew, Caitlyn, Morgan, “B”, Jason David, James, Jesse, Steven, Graham, … I will weep for my beautiful grandsons who did not have a mommy to wish a “Happy Mother’s Day” today… I will mourn my Mom – a woman of great strength, beauty and love.
Yet I am filled with gratitude and love for my stepchildren and grandchildren; the messages of love and support that started coming through from friends, family, Vic’s friends and even the boys friends mothers…
My phone started pinging early this morning. I ignored the pings. Danie sneaked into my TV lounge where I was sleeping on the sofa. I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. Then my phone rang, and I could not ignore the call… It was Lee-Ann. She said “HI T, I am just phoning to tell you I love you…” I burst into hysterical tears. Poor lee!
Danie brought me letters that the boys had written me… Jared wrote “Dear Oumie, I know we don’t have a reason to celebrate mothers day, other than to remember Mom and all she meant to us. So I have decided that we are changing the name to Oumie’s Day. We got you a sign that says “HOME” . That is because this is OUR home, and it always will be.”
Jon-Daniel wrote: “Happy Mothers Day Oumie” It may not be the happiest time of the year for you. Although your very own child is up in Heaven, you have GRANDchildren. Nothing will ever fill the gap – Mommy’s gap! This is the first year you will be celebrating Mother’s Day without the One who made you a Mommy. It is difficult,you must know I am always here. After all you are our grandmother. The word says it all, “grand” – great, awesome, amazing. And “Mother” – well, no need to describe that. Everybody knows how special a mommy is.”
Henk, second eldest grandson wrote “Ouma, it was a difficult year but you are always here to help and love. You always have a smile no matter how bad things are for you. We are grateful for it, and that is why we love you so much and always will do.”
Yesterday little Simone put her arms around me and said “Thank you for being my Ouma. Thank you for spoiling us. I love you very much. My words are your Mothers Day present.”
I have had beautiful messages of love and caring from all my stepchildren. It has truly filled me with joy.
I also read a card that Vic gave me in 2000 “We have all changed a lot through the years Mommy but one thing will never change – and that is the love between us. It is a special bond that keeps us close no matter where we are. I love you more than words can say.”
I know that today my precious child and Mom are celebrating Mother’s Day together. I am grateful for all the years we were able to celebrate together. I love you and honour you both today. Two amazing mommy’s…
Thank you God that today is over!!!!!
In honour of Mother’s Day I would like to share some of my favorite Mother quotes.
Pilgrim Peace “Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return.”
No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a MOTHER’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star. ~Edwin Hubbell Chapin.
A MOTHER is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.~Washington Irving.
A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest. — Irish Proverb.
The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children. Jessica Lange.
MOTHER’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path. Agatha Christie.
When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway. –Erma Bombeck
A mother’s love is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking, it never fails or falters, even though the heart is breaking. -Helen Rice
A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s. –Diana, Princess of Wales
The hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world. -W. R. Wallace
Mother’s Love for Her Very Sick Child
I know that I would do all things for you.
My spirit would always take care of you.
And when I die and leave this world behind.
You can be rest assured that my love will stay behind.
Even though sometimes we’re far apart.
You have always remained right here in my heart.
I will forever whisper in the wind
Unconditional love that’ll forever stay within.
If only I could go wherever you go
So I could do things I need to do for you.
Since I can’t, the best sacrifice I can give
is keep you in my heart and allow you to leave.
I’m lifting up the burden in your heart
‘Cause I know that you don’t know where to start.
I’m transferring all the pain inside of you
Into my care, into my heart, and now it’s through.
I love you so much and I know that I can bear
This greatest pain to let you go, I swear.
Know in your heart that my love will forever stay
Even though I would seem so far-away.
I’ll be your strength that’s why I’m relieving you
Of all the pain and tears inside of you.
No need to worry for all your pain will be gone.
It will be with me now, and I shall carry on.
You may think I’m letting you go without a fight.
If you only knew how I fought for you each night.
Just remember that there are signs everywhere.
So look around and acknowledge that they are there.
God said to me that love will always prevail.
And each day there is a tale for you to tell.
If you could already see the signs before your eyes.
Embrace it now. Let it stay. It is your guide.
God said the signs may be a word or two
When you least expect it, it is said to you.
It may also be the people that you have met.
Places, names, or things that you kept.
God told me to tell all these things to you
So happiness would set in and peacefulness, too.
I’m always here, and I’ll always love you.
I never wanted you to be in pain. It’s OK for you to go.
I come from a long line of exceptional mothers.
My Mom died 15 years and 11 months ago. She was tiny and petite. I remember my school friends telling me that my Mom reminded them of a fairy princess. My Mom dressed beautifully, had perfectly manicured nails and hair…. She taught us the finer things in life.
My Mom always worked…she was bright and diligent in her profession as a bookkeeper. She was proud to be a career girl. Mom knitted beautifully and made glorious tapestries!
The surprising thing is that we did not ever feel deprived because Mom worked. I was proud of my mom. As a family, we went on wonderful holidays every single year of our childhoods. We were always the well-dressed kids on the block…We got new bicycles, and we had a beautiful home.
As a child, I thought we were rich. Of course, I knew that many of my parent’s friends lived in seriously nice homes, but somehow I never thought those people were wealthier than we were. Today I realize that I grew up in a middle-class home. As a child, I felt protected and RICH! How amazing is that?
My mother was a remarkable lady. She brought us up to be compassionate, honest people; to never let the sun set on an argument; to love unconditionally, to protect our own… We learnt from her strength, her respect for others, her courage, faithfulness and her love for God. Mom was around for the happy and sad times.
“As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”
― Kristin Hannah, Summer Island http://denacronholm.com/
My Mom died after she developed septicaemia post-operatively. It was two agonizing weeks! We sat next to her bed willing her to fight, get well…. To die…
When my Mom died I thought my life was over. The grief was overwhelming. It was my first “real” death. My gran had passed many years ago, but that was my mom’s grief… I was young, ambitious and climbing the corporate ladder. My life went on. I remember my Mom crying at silly times because she was missing her mom. I remember thinking “surely it can’t be that bad? Old people die…”
After my mom died I read these words, “A daughter without her mother is a woman broken. It is a loss that turns to arthritis and settles deep into her bones. ” ― Kristin Hannah, Summer Island. My mom grieved for her mom until the day she died.
I must add that my father was an amazing gentleman. He supported my mom on every level. He treated her like a queen and tolerated no less from us children. I adored my dad! But today’s post is about my mom and motherhood.
I only understood my mom’s love for us after I gave birth to Vic. It was an all-consuming love. I held my tiny baby girl in my arms and knew that she needed me for every one of her needs; she could not survive without me… My mom and I were so close after Vic’s birth. We shared a selfless love that only mothers can understand. As mothers, our children come first; nothing is more important than our child’s comfort, happiness and safety.
“Womanhood is a wonderful thing. In womankind we find the mothers of the race. There is no man so great, nor none sunk so low, but once he lay a helpless, innocent babe in a woman’s arms and was dependent on her love and care for his existence. It is woman who rocks the cradle of the world and holds the first affections of mankind. She possesses a power beyond that of a king on his throne.
…Womanhood stands for all that is pure and clean and noble. She who does not make the world better for having lived in it has failed to be all that a woman should be.”
― Mabel Hale, Beautiful Girlhood: A Timeless Guide for Christian Adolescence
I know there are mothers out there that really suck… I know because I have been told by friends that they were never protected or defended by their moms. I am so sad for people who do not have a good relationship with their mothers. I was blessed with an amazing mother and that enabled me to be a good mother to my child. My child was an amazing mother to her sons. She loved her boys with every fibre in her body. She suffered excruciating pain and indignity to stay alive… Vic could have given up much earlier in her life. She fought to live right until the end…why??? It is easy – to bring up her beloved boys herself!
I am so proud of the mother Vic was. She packed a lifetime of parenting into the little time that she had with her boys. Jon-Daniel’s (14 years) BBM message this morning read “I really do miss you Mommy. I miss the laughs we had and the time we spent together, and I miss talking to you. Love you Mommy.”
The boys are level-headed, clean-living boys. They have taken their mother’s words to heart “I am your mother not your excuse”. Academically they are doing well. Emotionally they are coping. They are beautiful boys and truly do Vic’s memory honour.
I am the last mother alive…there will be no next generation mother to carry forward this miracle of motherhood. The boys may become fathers, but I am the last of a long line of great mothers.
I will think of it on Sunday when millions celebrate Mother’s Day all over the world.
I have flu. I get ill once in 5 years and I am a ninny. I do not handle pain and discomfort well… I whinge, moan and groan until I am better…
This time I have embraced my flu. I can stay in bed and there is no pressure for me to get up…. I can just lie in bed with my eyes closed and it is okay! For the first time since my precious child died I don’t have to communicate, talk or pretend. I can just be sick!!!! I have spent four days in bed not having to talk, smile or pretend….
I am sick to the core of my soul – not only from the flu but from heartbreak. I was able to feel the loneliness and emptiness that permeates my life since Vic died. For four days I have not had to smile or live – I could lie in bed and hope to die.
There are days that I really do cope. There are days that I am able to smile and laugh. Most of the time I live a lie…
I have made peace with the fact that my precious child’s suffering is over. I know that never again will she fracture vertebrae from vomiting, scream from pain, whimper because she does not have the strength to scream… But all I have done is learnt to accept that Vic was amputated from my life. I still have to learn to live without the amputated part of my body; the pain of the missing part of me continues to taunt me…
I miss my child so much! I want to love and hold her. I wish I could have protected her from the ravages of Osteogenesis Imperfecta and doctor error! No, I don’t have guilt…I did everything I possibly could for my baby girl. I just desperately miss her! I miss her company.
I am hoping that the pain will pass…I do remember the beauty of my precious Vic all the time. The wonderful mother and daughter that she was; kind and gentle; incapable of malice…Her beauty will remain with us for ever.
Tomorrow I will get out of bed and carry on living.
I am finding it difficult to see what I am typing. My dear friend Dennis McHale posted this beautiful poem as ‘n tribute to Vic. I am touched that this talented man would take the time to do this. Dennis has been such a great friend. http://dlmchale.com/2013/05/02/in-memory-of-vicky/
Today has been such a mixed day. I have been filled with the deepest sadness and sorrow and yet I have felt at peace that Vic’s suffering is over. I miss her terribly.
I am feeling flu-ish and fell asleep on the sofa. Jon-Daniel covered me with a blanket, and I woke when he gently kissed me on the forehead. The way his mommy used too…
I want my child back! It is too hard trying to live without her.
Dennis thank-you for your beautiful words. Thank you for your love and support over the past year. I am too teary to write so I shall post this beautiful poem for the world to read and enjoy.
I love you my Angel Child. You have touched people all over the world.
This poem is dedicated to my dear friend “tersiaburger”
In memory of her beloved daughter, Vicky.
You and I
are touched by one star.
Wherever you are
we stand together in one light
which no depth or height or distance
can ever dim.
Wherever you are
your light shines;
past time and space
past flesh to thought,
I feel your power.
Wherever you go
the day will dawn
and the star will appear;
for you are a child of this light
and it fosters your heavenly dreams.
In this light, I have found ways
to heal, to bind up,
to tear down the feeble structures
of fear of your absence has
carelessly constructed within me.
You and I
are touched by one star.
In its glowing embrace
we find our true selves;
we find our peace.
Today I may stand alone,
missing you with all my heart
be I stand strong.
Through the corridors of our courage
you have helped me to
discover those eternal lines
of love within myself;
my birthright discovered because
Vicky and I are
touched by one star.