Dying is a lonely journey. Not only for the sick person but also for the family. As hard as we may try to avoid death, the truth is that we do a lousy job of it. Science and medicine will certainly postpone it, even staying healthy might seem to delay it, but the harsh reality is that death does not wait for you, it does not ask you, and it does not listen to you. Death ignores your feelings and wants; you do not matter to death…Death is the only certainty in life! We need to remember that our existence here is fragile, and we never have as much time with people as we think we do. If there is someone or someones out there that you love, don’t neglect that and don’t put off engaging with them because waits for no-one… Vic's Journey ended on 18 January 2013 at 10:35. She was the most courageous person in the world and has inspired thousands of people all over the world. Vic's two boys are monuments of her existence. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend. I will miss you today, tomorrow and forever my Angle Child.
A year ago I posted this. As I said in my previous post – Chaka’s 2012 is a separate story. I am reposting the separate story…
I have been researching the effect of a mother’s illness on her children. The boys are two beautiful, well-adjusted, honest and compassionate young men. Vic’s illness has certainly deprived them of a childhood in the true sense of the word and prematurely matured them into compassionate, caring, young men far too early in life. At the tender age of thirteen Jared was cooking for the family… This must certainly have an effect on how the boys perceive relationships with people.
Now according to my research the boys have become what is called ‘parentified’ children. These children solve the problem of sick and inadequate parenting by taking care of their
parents. They in effect become parents to their parents, giving to the sick parent what they need from the parent. Now the roles are reversed. This seemingly creative solution is unfortunately too self-sacrificing to be healthy in the long run.
“‘Parentified’ sons who take care of their sick mothers in order to cope with their inability to parent, struggle to suppress obvious needs for love and feelings of loss. They learn to work hard taking care of the needs of others and living off of the scraps that come in the form of reinforcements for their competence and reliability. Their needs for love are overlooked and overshadowed by everyone else’s needs.” The boys, especially Jared, falls into this category 100%. When his little girlfriend was hit in the eye by a hockey ball, he immediately went into caregiving mode, At the time I thought it to be extremely unhealthy that he already has this caregiving character trait. He used to always make the tea and offer to do so much around the house and for his Mom.
I have put a stop to this. I pray it is not too late for the boys to adjust to a “normal” household…
It is however important for them to realize that death is a part of the circle of life and that it is not something dark and something to be feared but rather, if happening in a timely fashion, something that one can embrace. The boys appreciate and respect Vic as their mother. Vic has raised her sons to be respectful.
“The power of a mother’s strength comes from her heart, from her unabashed, unconditional, and unwavering love for her child. There is, as J.K. Rowling wrote in her Harry Potter books, a magic in that love. No matter what happens, a mother is always there for her child. A mother’s love is never to be questioned, and – though she may not know it at first – neither is her strength.”
Vic literally rose from her deathbed to be there for Jared with his operation on Wednesday. When my Mom died I related her final moments to someone jumping from a diving board into a deep pool, reaching the bottom and kicking to rise to the surface of the water for one more breath… only to sink again. This is what Vic does.
Before Jared was wheeled into theatre he whispered into his mom’s ear. She took his hand and said “I promise”.
Vic, drip in hand, walking with Jared to theater!
The surgeon said the operation would last two hours. Vic dutifully went back to bed and rested. One hour and forty-five minutes later she was, IV drip in hand, standing outside the theatre door, waiting for her son. I begged her to at least sit on the chair, but she refused. “Mommy, I promised Jared my face would be the first thing he sees when he comes out of theatre!”
It took a superhuman effort, but Vic’s love for her son drove her to keep her word. It is true that no mother wants her child to suffer in any way, but life is unfair like that. So, we as mother’s do what we can to provide support, comfort, and protection. And we grow strong enough to bear their hurt as well as our own. As Vic did. As I do. Motherhood cuts deeply, brings you to your knees most days; but it also brings a strength that may surprise you.
The vicious cycle of anger truly rose to the occasions on Wednesday. I got angry with Vic because she was not putting her health first! I KNOW I would have done the same but it was terrible seeing my child do herself harm to be a Mother. I want to wrap her in cotton so she would be spared that extra day…
Yesterday Vic said she doubted whether she would see the end of the year. She is however adamant to be at Jared’s confirmation…one more goal…
Well, Vic is home. I am so grateful. She is conceding that she is too sore and ill to go to hospital…Saturday Jared comes home!!
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…
Today was a particularly bad day. For the first time since Vic’s memorial service I attended a Church Service. I dreaded the arms of comfort and gentle words of sympathy that was inevitable. Danie went with me. As we walked into the doors the arms were there…hugging and patting! Our entry caused a little stir among the congregation..
Danie took my hand and led me to our old place in the pews. People actually got up from where they were sitting to come and say “Hello” and “I am praying for you”…. Tears just ran down my cheeks and I COULD NOT stop crying! All I could see in my mind’s eye was my beautiful, precious child’s coffin in the front on the church – surrounded by white candles and St Josephs lilies.
The worship team started singing, and I could not even see the words on the screen through my tears.
As the service went I calmed down. I kept telling myself to “get a grip” which I eventually did.
After the service I cried in the embrace of my minister, church friends and acquaintances.
This evening I opened my emails and found a beautiful email from Jane@ http://johannisthinking.com/. I wanted to post some of it with the beautiful picture and went into her blog to copy her blog address when I found this amazing poem that I am going to share with you.
Jane’s writes in her Email:-
You are NOT alone—-there is LIGHT all around YOU! When I found this…I thought….Yes, this is Tersia! …and your daughter is surrounding YOU with love and light! BELIEVE it!You deserve to live in the LIGHT…..and it is NOT wrong to be happy….Vic is at peace and living in the LIGHT……and one day you will find her again…….until then…be gentle to YOU…..what would you tell her to do IF the situation was reversed? What if you were the ONE who had to leave this Mother Earth ? What would you say to your daughter? You say you “two are ONE”—-and I do believe it is true——— so speak to your inner child as you would speak to her! WE ALL NEED YOUR VOICE!
I cried again. I am so grateful that the goodness and the light that surrounded Vic and radiated from her, is seen by the world. Thank you dear Jane for telling me. Thank you for your words, your poetry and above all the Angel of Light. Thank you for caring!!
Dedicated to Tersia Burger***between the deep sighstears fall one by one
ridding the pitchblende
ever so slowly they formquietly…silentlydescendwater tearscascading
will they ever endwater crystal healersnature taking care of youhelping you transcendfreeing youuntil…you find yourselfhome again…
ice-kaleidoscope (Photo credit: JeremyO\K)
So, today was emotional but healing! I was surrounded by love and compassion. For the first time in a long time I did not feel isolated in my grief.
So to every one who comments and emails; I thank you for your love and support in my journey of mourning my child. For many years I have had a fear of allowing people close to me – I truly fear that they will betray my trust and friendship. I KNOW I must allow people close
to me. Blogging is allowing me see that there is kindness, goodness and unconditional caring out there….