Nominated for the WordPress Family Award!


WordPress Family AwardI am so honoured to receive this WordPress Family Award from not one blogger but two!!  How blessed can I be?

Thank you dear Jane @ http://johannisthinking.com and Shaun @ http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/    Both Jane and |Shaun are great bloggers, and their follower figures reflect it.  Jane has 375 followers and Shaun 696……I think the reason why they have such great stats is because they care!!  They comment, email, care and share.  Their blogs are filled with real-world life, happiness, sadness, pain, compassion and laughter… They share their joys and sorrows.

So this award is about being part of the Word press Family!

I started blogging almost a year ago.  It was just after my BFF and Dad’s one year anniversary and Vic had made the decision to let nature take its course.  It was a difficult time for the family.  We were helplessly watching Vic die – little by little every day.  Her pain was unbearable.

My blog started off cautiously focussing on Vic’s pain.  Tracy @ http://ohwhatapain.wordpress.com/ opened my eyes Vic’s pain – I could “feel” Vic’s pain after I met Tracy; Katie Mitchell @http://connectivetissuedisorders.wordpress.com/ – an incredibly brave young woman who encouraged me when she is in so much pain of her own…  I could “see” life through an ill person’s eyes…”feel” her pain through the eyes and words of other Chronic Pain Sufferers.

I grew more comfortable sharing and started blogging more about my fears and emotions… Ultimately about Vic’s death and our grief as a family.

Today I have 210 followers.  Many of them have become my cyber family!  They love and care for me, my family and my precious Vic.  They offer hugs, love, compassion, sympathy and advise.  They care unconditionally.  They do not criticize my writing, punctuation, spelling or grammar…

I have found friendships and love in cyberspace that I did not know existed.  It has also opened my eyes to the fact that there are good people in the world.  People who care….  It enabled me to open my heart and life to real life friends too…

I love my blogging family!  Love you guys.

I know there are slightly more than 10 nominations.  I PRAY I did not omit a precious friend’s blog.  If I did, please do not be offended.  Blame it on the flu.

Now for a description of the award in the words of the Creator Of The Award:

This is an award for everyone who is part of the “WordPress Family” I started this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can show. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honor to start this award.” from Shaun @ http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/

 The Rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them. There is a real problem here since this award spread like wildfire but I think I can find ten who should be recognized
5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people who have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

My blogging friends and family as follows…

  1. http://jmgoyder.com/ Julie
  2. http://thedrsays.org/ – Dear Sandra
  3. http://myownheart.me Len
  4. http://valeriedavies.com/  Valerie
  5. http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/ – Shaun
  6. http://johannisthinking.com – Jane
  7. http://justiceforraymond.wordpress.com/
  8. http://grannyscolorful.wordpress.com/ – Gloria
  9. http://myjourneysinsight.com/  Judy Unger
  10. http://behindthemaskofabuse.com/

10. http://hopethebean.wordpress.com/ – Mel Lefebvre

11. http://maryrussell12.wordpress.com/ – Journey through Grief

12. http://deaconfamilyblog.wordpress.com/ Wendie Deacon

13. http://talktodiana.wordpress.com/

14. http://janevanwyk.wordpress.com  –  chdmum

15. http://mymomsmemoirs.wordpress.com

16. http://doilooksick.wordpress.com/

17. http://furrynuff.wordpress.com/ Victoria Bruce

18. http://grammarofgrief.wordpress.com/ – Uma Girish

19. http://drbillwooten.com/ – Bill Wooten

20. http://jesussavingmefromme.wordpress.com/ – Michelle

21. http://sophieandemile.wordpress.com/ – Lucinda Elliot

22. http://barefootbaroness.org/ BB

23. http://picturesofsilverbyjanice.wordpress.com/  Janice

24. http://connectivetissuedisorders.wordpress.com/ Brave Katie Mitchell

  1.  http://ramblinsofagrievingmom.wordpress.com/

27. http://smilescavenger.wordpress.com/

28. http://whatcherylsaid.wordpress.com/

29. http://dlmchale.com/

30. http://missmorgansmom.wordpress.com/

31. http://idealisticrebel.wordpress.com/

32. http://lymphomajourney.wordpress.com/

33. http://poemattic.wordpress.com/

34. http://wordsfallfrommyeyes.wordpress.com

35. http://ohwhatapain.wordpress.com/

Thank you to all my friends and followers for their support, comments and awesome posts!

You have made my journey bearable.  Thank you for allowing Vic and I into your lives! Thank you for restoring my faith in mankind…

 

100 days of searing pain….


Does time really heal all wounds? Mothers who have lost  a child to death assure us that “it will get better.” Friends and loved ones have started telling me that “it is time to get over it and get on with life.”

Researchers say that a mother never ceases mourning the death of her child. I believe this finding.

In those immediate hours, after my precious child’s death, time stopped.  My life ground to a halt.

At Vic’s Memorial Service I was amazed that people rushed off after the service and tea to meetings, to pick up children from school…I remember thinking that everyone had already moved on…

I stood next to the hearse not wanting it to leave.  I rested my hand on the wood of the casket…I wanted to pull my child out of that darn coffin and wrap her in my arms.  I was not ready to say goodbye.

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Today it is 100 days filled with searing pain and longing since Vic left home for the last time.

I have begun to mark time differently.  I count the number of days, weeks and months that I have mourned and missed my child. 

I know that every day that passes is one day closer to me being with my beloved child again.  I know that Vic’s suffering is over; I know that it is for the best that Vic’s dreadful pain filled life is over…. It does not make my mourning less.

So today I am burning candles for my child.  I am praying that my child is at peace.  I am praying for grace to endure this longing.  I pray that I will have the strength to continue honouring Vic’s memory….

I pray that I will be worthy of the trust she put in me to look after her precious boys.

On the surface it appears as if the boys are coping well.  I heard a comment from a teacher this week saying that, despite the trauma they went through with Vic’s death this year, they are actually doing better than last year.

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It was so difficult watching her suffering!

So today, once again, I say “Rest in Peace my beautiful Angel Child”

 

3 Months Ago


Every day I go to Vic’s Facebook page to see whether someone remembered her… I leave her messages… Today at 14:18 I dialled her mobile number out of habit.

Exactly three months ago I knew my child’s life had been reduced to hours…I knew that her little body could no longer fight whatever infection was raging in it.  Her temperature was off the chart… the thermometer only registers temperatures up to 106 °F (41.5 °C) and then goes onto “HI”.

It was this time, three months ago, that Vic’s breathing changed.  Three months ago it was Vic’s last night of breathing.

Earlier that day I fell asleep next to Vic – my hand on the pulse in her neck.  I was so exhausted I could not think or function.  I just needed to be with her every second of her last hours.

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The boys came to say their goodbyes…

I no longer allowed visitors.

I remember lying next to her recalling a discussion we had when I had flu and was running a fever.  I am a terrible patient.  I am such a ninny.  I remembered saying to Vic “Sweetie, when I am dying please don’t let people touch me…”

“I won’t” she promised.  “My skin also hurts when I am running a fever…”

“Why didn’t you tell me?  It must irritate you when I stroke your hand or hair when you are sick?”

“Because I know you need to touch and hold me when I am sick…” she said.

“I will never to it again.  So next time you are running a fever know I want to hold your hand and stroke your hair…”

“It’s okay Mommy.  You can hold my hand.  I don’t mind.  It hurts but makes me feel better…”

“That’s an oxymoron if I have ever heard one in my life!” I laughed and Vic joined in

That night, three months ago, there was no idle chatter or laughter in the house.  Just the sound of Vic’s breathing.

Tonight, three months later, everyone has gone to bed.  There is no sound of laughter or idle chatter in the house.  Earlier tonight there was.

I keep imaging that I am hearing Vic’s footsteps shuffling down the passage. The boys have lit extra candles for their mom.  I know that they are sad.

I am aware that the dynamics of my grief is changing.  I am starting to function, smile and look “alive”.  The numbness has gone.  The pain is real now.  My sadness is constant.  I go to sleep with tears in my eyes and wake up with tears running into my hair.  My grief has become “mine”.  It has become a constant companion.  I do not want to share it.  I want to embrace it.

I know there is so much to be grateful for, I know I wanted Vic’s suffering to end, I am grateful that she is no longer fracturing vertebrae from vomiting, crying with pain… I KNOW all of this on an intellectual level.  I try to tell my heart to be happy or at least grateful, but my heart won’t listen!

I don’t want to sleep tonight.  I want to lie awake and remember my beautiful baby girl, her warm smile, her tiny little hands and her pure soul.  If I fall asleep I pray that I will dream of my baby girl…

Mothers and daughters


Vic proudly pregnant with Jon-Daniel
Vic proudly pregnant with Jon-Daniel

Oh God, I am drowning again.  I pray that I will go to bed tonight and never wake up.  I know it I stupid because it would kill the boys and cause others that love me so much pain, but I cannot face life without my child.

I was looking at posts on “The Grieving Parent”, a Bereavement Facebook page for parents (https://www.facebook.com/TheGrievingParent ) and it just made me feel so inadequate and weak.  Bereaved parents speak of the healing they have experienced….I don’t know whether I ever will heal.  Tonight, like yesterday and the 82 days before tonight, I fear that my life is over.

All parents love their children.  Some have a closer bond than others.  The mother /child relationship is the closest relationship anyone will ever find.  There is a bond between a mother and child that cannot be broken or destroyed.

Vic’s death cannot “remove” her from my life.  My love for her is never-ending and all-enduring.  For 9 months I nurtured her in my womb. For 38 years I nurtured her in life.  My life revolved around Vic.

Did we have a perfect relationship of never arguing, fighting or being angry with one another?  Hell no!!  We went through the different stages as all mothers and daughters do.

As a toddler and pre-teen Vic loved me with unshakeable conviction.  By the time she entered her teens we reached the stage where we disliked one another…  We always loved one another, but we certainly disliked one another at certain stages of our lives.  It was a tumultuous swing in our lives…

Vic was extremely headstrong!  She wanted to go to boarding school and that she did…She married early in life, against our wishes…Not because we disliked Colin but because she was too young.  Vic got married 6 months after her 21st birthday.  Six weeks later she fell pregnant against ALL doctors advice.  She had two children at the risk of losing her own life and passing on the Osteogenesis Imperfecta disease and/or gene.

Vic also refused to die.  Vic refused to be “sick”.  She got dressed into normal day-clothes every day of her life.  She refused to hand over the responsibility of her children’s upbringing to anyone regardless of how ill she was.

Vic did what she did when she wanted to.  If she believed in something she would defy anyone and everyone.  She was driven by her need to grow up and live her life to the full.  The relationship shift from child to adult was very difficult for me to accept.

Our relationship changed after Vic had the boys.  Maybe because then there was a greater level of understanding, by Vic, of the enormity of the responsibility that a mother has to her child…..

Vic was not a saint.  She was a difficult teenager and a fiercely independent young woman. Yet our mother-daughter relationship was ultimately fulfilling. I was certainly not the perfect mother.  I failed Vic on many levels.  We were so different that we found it difficult to understand one another’s choices and needs.

Despite conflicts and complicated emotions, Vic and I loved one another unconditionally.  We complemented one another perfectly.  Vic so often said “God knew what He was doing when He put us together….We are such a good team!”

I am grateful for the time we spent together.  I wish I had spent less time working and more time playing…I wish I had been less concerned about Vic’s financial care.  I wish I had been there when she took her first steps…I got the hospital time.  Her healthy time I spent working – playing catch-up for her hospital time… I wish Vic had grown up in a home with a mommy and a daddy…

In her later life Vic became a child again.  She was totally dependent upon me.  I did not have to “compete” with a spouse to take care of her.  In the final months of Vic’s life she had panic attacks when I was away from her.  In a weird, sick way my life was perfect.  My baby was home.  I could love and nurture her…

I wish we had more time…

Vic writing the boys final letters six days before her death.
Vic writing the boys final letters six days before her death.

In the final days of her life Vic cried “I want to live.  Mommy I don’t want to die… If only I could live for one more year…”

I would give everything I own; every second of my remaining life; everything I love and cherish for Vic to have lived just one more year.

I will not close down my blog


559940_412504292172338_2020785244_nThis is a very emotional time in all our lives.  It is 8 weeks and 2 days since Vic died.  We have all lived on our nerves for a long time and although we thought it would be a relief that Vic’s suffering was over, the grief has been overwhelming.  Not only for the boys and I but also others that loved Vic…

I know the family is concerned about me.  I know their concern stems from love.

I however need to blog.  I need to hear from other bereaved parents that I am not going mad.  That my grief is normal and that it is okay to grieve for my beautiful child.

I have subscribed to several blogs or sites for bereaved parents and it is not working for me.  It is other parents words.

I will however borrow these words from another grieving parent

Dear Clueless

I would like to share with you my pain but that isn’t possible unless you have lost a child yourself and that I wouldn’t want you to have to experience. So with that being said, I would like to say this. I will try to my best to understand you if you try to understand me. I lost my child. My life will never be the same. I will never be the same again. I will be different from now on. I no longer have the same feelings about anything. Everything in my life has changed from the moment my child left to go to heaven. I will, on some days be very sad and nothing you say will changes that so don’t feel like it is your job to make me feel better on those days, just allow me to be where I am. 

When you lose a child you not only lose your reason for living, you lose the motivation to go on. You also lose your sense of self. It takes a long time to come to some kind of understanding for why this has happened, if ever. Of course we who have lost children know we have to go on but we don’t want to hear someone else tell us too. Especially from someone who has not lost a child. It makes me and anyone who has lost a child want to say who are you to tell me that? Did you bury your child? I don’t want this to sound like I don’t appreciate everything you say because I know you mean well, but I just want you to appreciate where I am coming from too. I want you to understand that some of the things you say hurt me and others like me without you really knowing it. I know it must be pretty hard to talk to people like myself, not knowing what to say. That is why I am writing this letter. 

If you don’t know what to say, say nothing or just say I’m sorry. That always works for me. If you want to talk ad say my child’s name feel free I would love to hear his name anytime. You not saying his name didn’t make me forget it, or what happened to him. So by all means say his name. When special dates come or holidays come please forgive me if I’m not myself. I just can’t keep it up on those days. I may wish to be by myself so I can think about my child without putting on a front. Most of all I want you to know I’m having a hard time with the death of my child and I am trying my very best to get back into life again. Some days it may look like I have accomplished that, and other days like I am at square one.

This will happen the rest of my life periodically. There are just no words to explain the living hell this feels like. There are no words that could ever do it justice. So please bear with me and give me time and don’t put your own timetable on my grief and let me be the person I am now and not have to live up to the person you think I should be. Allow me my space and time and accept me for me. I will try my best to understand you. 

Love, Your Friend in Grief  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whispers-from-Heaven/604565892890783

So, if you are going to read my blog read it through my eyes and see my heart.  If you are unable to handle the rawness of my words know that you are reading my soul.  Remember that I don’t easily verbalize my emotions and this blog is my coping mechanism.

I have found hundreds of notes and journal entries in a file called “Our Story.”  Vic loved my blog and wanted me to share “Our Story”.  It was her wish.  I will continue to do so.

So, love me in my time of sorrow and allow me to cope whichever way I can….  I love you too and appreciate your caring.

 

Old habits die hard….


Yuri and his beloved aunt Vic
Yuri and his beloved aunt Vic

Today we had our first real family get together after Vic’s memorial service.  It was Esther’s birthday on the 20th of February.

I was uncertain about how the boys and I would handle it.  It was our first family get together without Vic.

I was amazed at how much less time the cooking and baking took….not because there was one person less to cook for, but because there was no interruptions….I was always up and down the passage checking on Vic, helping her go to the bathroom, giving her meds or injections, cleaning up vomit… Sometimes I would check on her and we would just end up chatting or watching Cake Boss….

Vic always tried to help…poor little poppet!  She would ask over and over again “How can I help Mommy?”  If the truth be known she only got in my way but I loved the “us” time… Sometimes I would ask her to add the cheese to the cheese sauce whilst I stirred…  She would take great pleasure in telling everyone that we baked or cooked….

Jared and I went off to Driving School this morning.  I would get home just in time for the boys to set the tables under the trees in the garden and for me to finish off the meal.

Everyone arrived and the house was filled with happy, excited voices and the sound of children running around.  It was a perfect summer day.  For the first time in a long time lunch was ready, not a single dish burnt or spoilt…. My grandchildren are ALL fussy eaters.  For once they ate all their food and went back for seconds and even thirds…

Esther told us that Yuri (6 years old), my youngest grandson, had a show and tell at school.  He spoke about his family.  He showed the class a photo of his mom, dad and brother.  He also showed them a camping photo of him and his daddy.  He told his class he was so lucky to have three grans and two granddads… His “gran number 3 is cool because she builds armoured vehicles and gives him lots of sweets”.  I am gran number 3….He showed his class a photo of Vic and told them that she was his “beloved” aunt Vic who is already in Heaven with Jesus…  Apparently the class of pre-schoolers all appropriately “ooh-ed and Aaah-ed”…

I cried a quiet tear.

Kari and Simone individually came up and hugged me.  “How are you Ouma?” they asked with real concern…All the grandchildren are sleeping over tonight.  The house is alive with their youthful enthusiasm and energy.

It was a lovely day and a wonderful evening.  I missed Vic so much – at times I walked away because I had teared up again… It will always be great to be with loved ones, but it has changed forever.

There was an extra setting at the table and an empty seat….The boys unthinkingly set a place for their mom….Old habits die-hard!

I missed you so much my Angle Child!!

 

I want to be an eagle


Photo Credit:  http://www.google.co.za/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=a4HSdquhxAfXUM&tbnid=bvrLKK8OWwZQ2M:&ved=0CAcQjB0wADivAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdaryl-hunter.net%2Fslideshow%2Feagles-nest-idaho-snake-river%2F&ei=UdAjUYbdBO6a1AWewoAQ&psig=AFQjCNHGyZZ71w_6bQPcV6e5EXHslosATg&ust=1361387985127753
Photo Credit: Google

My late father was pretty advanced in his journey with Alzheimers when I read that AD patients respond well to animals.  We got my Dad a little Maltese Poodle and it was love at first sight.

My Dad absolutely adored Tiger.  He carried Tiger everywhere and Tiger sat with him, ate with him and slept with him.

One day my Dad and I were chatting and I asked him: “If you could be any animal what would you be?”

I fully expected him to say a Lion – he loved the magnificence of lions…I love eagles.  I don’t think Dad quite understood what I was asking and said “You go first…”

“I would want to be an eagle…” I said

“Why?” he asked

“I want to soar high above the sky and experience that total solitude and quiet…” I replied

“Oh” Dad said.  “I would want to be this little guy”

Dad did not remember the name of his beloved dog but he knew that the dog was loved, nurtured and spoilt!

I have always equated the turmoil of teenage and parent relationships as an “Eagle” relationship.  The following is an extract from a site –  http://www.eagleflight.org/cyberstudies/actions-and-attitudes-of-a-growing-church/157-with-eagles-wings.  I have changed some of the headings and removed text that is not relevant but basically the content below belongs to http://www.eagleflight.com

Location is very important to the eagle and it’s young. If possible, eagles build their nests on the face of cliffs. They don’t build a nest in a tree unless they absolutely have to, because a nest in a tree can be easily accessed. They don’t build it on the top of the cliff, either, because on the top of a cliff it can be violated, too. Eagles build their nests in some inaccessible place.

The nest is built with consummate skill—not using little twigs, but great branches woven together in an immensely skillful way. If somehow an eagle’s nest is loosed from its moorings and falls, it rarely comes apart. In fact, eagles’ nests are so big, they have weighed in at half a ton! They’re comfortable, too. Their centers are carefully lined with feathers and leaves, and the eggs are placed there. When they hatch, the mother begins the process of feeding the babies.

After the eaglets get to a certain size, or maturity, everything changes! One day the mother eagle comes back from being gone, but this time there’s no food in her beak, and she doesn’t land on the edge of the nest. Instead, she hovers over the nest.

You may not know this, but an eagle can do almost what a hummingbird can do. Even though they are great birds, they can remain almost motionless in midair with those great wings just undulating in the breeze. They do this about three feet above the nest. I’m sure if little eagles could talk to one another—and maybe they can—one would certainly say, “My, what strong wings Mommy has.”

Why does the mother do this? She is demonstrating that those curious appendages on the babies’ backs have a useful function. Eagles, of course, were meant to fly, but they don’t know that. If we take an eagle and separate it at birth from its parents, it will never learn to fly. It will just grovel around in the dirt like a chicken. It might even look up and see eagles soaring overhead and never guess that it was meant to soar in the heavens.

Eagles have to be taught, and that’s the mother’s job. So first she just demonstrates.

The next thing she does is come down into the nest and surprise her young. One can imagine how warm it must normally be for the little eagles to snuggle with their mother and be enshrouded with her feathers, but this time she puts her head up against one of the little ones, and pushes that little one closer and closer to the edge of the nest. (“Hey mom, mom, what are you doing?”)

All at once she pushes the little one out of the nest, and the eaglet falls down the face of the cliff, surely to be destroyed. But not so! In a flash the great mother eagle flies down, catches the little one on her back, and flies up and deposits it in the nest. (“Whew! Mom, that must have been an accident.”) But it wasn’t an accident. The mother bird pushes the little one out again, and again, over and over.

Why would a mother do that to her young? Does she hates the little one? Not at all. It’s just that those little birds were made to fly, and they don’t know it, so she is going to push them out of the nest. She never lets them hit bottom, but she does let them fall, because they have to learn something they don’t know.

The next time the mother bird comes back she decides to clean house, and so she stands on the edge of the nest. The first things to go are the feathers inside; she drops them over the edge. Then the leaves go over the edge—heave ho! While this is going on, she’s not very talkative, either. (“Mom, what are you doing?”) She pays no attention. Since she built the house, she knows how to take it apart.

Next she decides to take the sticks out of the middle of the nest, and with her great strong beak and feet, she’s able to break them off and stand them straight up. (“Mom, it’s not comfortable in here anymore.”) Then she takes certain key sticks out of the nest and throws them over the edge. (“What are you doing, Mom? You are wrecking my room.”)

She seemingly pays no attention to the concerns of her young as she prepares to pull the nest apart, for she is determined that those little ones will fly, and she knows something they don’t. She knows they will never fly as long as they remain in the nest.

That is why teenagers and mothers fight…so they can learn to fly and “escape” home!

We all go through this stage with our teenagers.  Most of the time we don’t even realize the process….  But Nature is great and takes over from us.

I was never able to let go of Vic.  I wanted her close where I could hear her breathe.  The movie “Terms of endearment” shows a mother who walks into the nursery and climbs into the cot to make sure that her baby is breathing.  When the baby starts crying she promptly climbs out, marches out and says “That’s better…”

That is the mother I was!  I mothered (smothered) my precious baby until her last breath.  I do not regret that she never learnt to fly.  Hell, she never even learnt to ride a bike!

As a parent we can only do our best.  We love and nurture and then we set them free…

I just feel so lost and empty.

Why don’t I just go to sleep and never wake up?


IMG_7151Last year Vic said:  “Why don’t I just go to sleep and never wake up?”

This year – today – I am saying “Why don’t I just go to sleep and never wake up?”

Last year Vic said:  “My boys don’t need me anymore.  I have been sick all my life.  Even my ears hurt. ”

On the 8th of January 2013 Vic said “Mommy my room is full of angels…”

Tonight I reread something a friend sent me as a comment https://tersiaburger.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?p=383&approved=1

Dear Tersia

I have been following your journey now for some time and my heart goes out to you and your family. It is NOT EASY to care for somebody that is terminally ill. It makes it even more difficult if that person is your child.
I would like to share something with you though. It is vitally important that you take care of yourself in this tiring time. Please accept all the help from family and friends that’s been offered to you. This will give you some breathing space. It will also allow Vic to know that it is okay if Mom is just having a little bit of “me” time. Her energy is very powerful and she proved it to everybody up to now that she wants to survive.

Allow all Angels and guides to assist you with the care that you and your family so much need right now. God allows you to call upon their assistance when you need them. When Jacob was struggling with an Angel he called the Angel Michael to assist him and Michael was there not only to help him, but also to guide him with whatever he was struggling with. There are many stories in the Bible and other scriptures about God’s Angels. What still amazes me is that God found it necessary to create Angels. HE knew that we and all other creatures would need assistance and comfort when we are lonely. It took me a long time to work this out. It was only after my mom passed away and I fell very ill that my awareness of these wonderful creations of God was awakened.

Dear Tersia, know they are there, they are with you. You just need to ask for their guidance and assistance. Please know that Angels come in all forms. It might be your neighbour, your friend, nursing staff or maybe a presence! Nurture yourself. Get all the friends, family and help that you can now and trust people. They will be guided and equiped with the knowledge to help you now. You need to be taken care of now and so does your family.

Your friend

Louise xxx

The angels did come to comfort my child in her most fear-filled day.

We have found many angels in human form.  Friends, family, acquaintances, WordPress Friends, Facebook friends…..

Thank you Louise for opening my eyes to the angels.   Thank you for the angels that comforted my child in her hour of need and thank you for the angels that came and took her by the hand and whisked her away to a pain-free, joy filled place.

https://tersiaburger.com/2013/01/08/gramps-was-here/
https://tersiaburger.com/2012/06/17/i-always-pray-for-you-but-you-dont-seem-to-have-a-guardian-angel-17-6-2012/

My Mom is a Survivor


P1100704This poem may have been written by my precious Vic….

She used to worry so about me surviving her death.  Our domestic helper has worked for me for the past 18 years.  Bettie is part of the family.  Over the years we have shared tears for our children…

Bettie went on her annual leave on the 18th of December 2012.  She tells me that Vic asked her to keep an eye on me, after her passing, as she would not see Bettie again…

Vic knew she was dying.  I knew she was dying.  I prayed for her to die!  Why is it so hard now.  I want to scream my anger and pain…I want to lash out at someone and just punch them…

Bettie returned just in time for Vic’s memorial service.

My Mom is a Survivor
My mom is a survivor,
or so I’ve heard it said.
But I can hear her crying
when all others are in bed.
I watch her lay awake at night.
and go to hold her hand.
She doesn’t know I’m with her
to help her understand.
But like the sands upon a beach
that never wash away…
I watch over my surviving mom
who thinks of me each day.
She wears a smile for others,
a smile of disguise.
But through Heaven’s open door,
I see tears flowing from her eyes.
My mom tries to cope with my death,
to keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her
knows it’s her way to survive.
As I watch over my surviving mom
through Heaven’s open door…
I try to tell her that
Angel protect me forevermore.
I know that doesn’t help her,
or ease the burdens she bears.
So if you get a chance, call to her
And show her that you care.
For no matter what she feels,
my surviving mom has a broken heart
that time won’t ever heal.
~K. D’Ormeaux

Rest in Peace My Angle Child 22.1.2013


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Where do I start?  How do I begin a farewell when I still can’t believe you’re gone?  How do I say goodbye to a part of my soul?

The day you were born I experienced this UNBELIEVABLE rush of love.  I was smitten from the first second I lay eyes on you.

You came into my life and changed me forever.  Over the years people have complimented me for being a good mother but I truly cannot take credit for that.  You were born good, and great and amazing.  You were the one who taught me lessons in life.  I believe you are an angel God sent to teach me.

You taught me love.  You taught me honesty.  You taught me to love unconditionally.  You taught me how to forgive and how to be strong.  You are the strongest person I have ever known.  You gave me strength when I was weak.  When times were sad and tough you reminded me to be grateful for the small things in life.  You taught me how to be myself.  Most of all you taught me about life and how to live.

When you were diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta at the age of 18 months and the doctors told me I should wrap you in cotton wool and wait for you to die you taught me it was more important to feel and grow like any other child than to have me hide you under my wing.   It was so important to you to live.  And that you did.  You gave birth to not one beautiful baby but two!  You mothered the boys the way you lived life – with a passion.

You are the bravest person in the world.  You rewrote medical history.  You defied death for so many years… You mocked bad news and a poor prognosis…

 

You made me so proud.  You have always been my greatest pride and joy.  At school you excelled as a pianist.  As a mommy you were an example to all.  As a dying person you were brave beyond words.

I’m not sure how I can live this life without you.  You worried about me just as much as I worried about you.  You told everyone how worried you were that I would not cope without you.  You fought so hard to stay alive.  You fought until you gave your very last breath.  You did not want to leave your boys.  You lived for your boys.

You often said you were scared people would forget you…

No-one will ever forget you.  You made an incredible impact on the world.  You left two monuments of your love and mothering skills.  Your sons will honour you every day of their lives with their actions.

Your dream of a Hospice for Alberton has been realised in Stepping Stone. Thousands of people will benefit from your dream and compassion in years to come.  It is ironic that you were Stepping Stone’s first death…

Two weeks before your passing you  started seeing angels.  You saw Gramps, Uncle Dries, your father and Auntie Marlene.  Then a week before your passing you said “My whole room is full of angels”  You fought to stay alive every single day of your life.  Eleven months ago you called a family meeting and told us that you had decided enough is enough.  No more surgeries.  No more hospitals.

Over the past 11 months you made your final wishes known.  You planned your memorial service.  You spoke to the boys about what was important.  I personally got a long list of do’s and don’t’s.

Just before Christmas you said you were worried about me. That you could see I thought you would bounce back again…You said you were dying…You could feel the changes in your body.  But like 95% of the people in this church today I honestly though you would bounce back and defy death once again!

The day you were born you filled my entire life.  You were always my first and last thought.  I feel numb and as if I am in a bubble.  You will be happy to know that we have been surrounded by love and support.  But it still feels as if the world should have stopped because you left it.

Vic, I miss you so much already and I don’t know if I can take this pain anymore.  But then I think, how can I be sad when I know you’re in a better place?  How can I be sad when you brought me so much happiness?   How can I be sad when God is already working miracles through you?  How can I be sad when I feel like the luckiest person on earth to have been chosen to be your mother?  How can I be sad when God gave you to me for 14,019 days, 20 hours and 15 minutes?  I thank God every day for the time we shared together.

Baby I promise you today we will be the support system for the boys you wanted.  We love them so much.  No-one in the world can ever take your place.  We promise we will keep your memories alive.  We will honour our promises to you.

So now we must bid you farewell.  It is your time to run, free from pain and suffering.  We will always love you.  We will never forget you.

Rest in Peace my Angel Child. 

 

 

Gramps was here…..


Vic and her Gramps 1.4.2011
Vic and her Gramps 1.4.2011

Monday 7.1.2013  was a crazy day.  Vic was not in a good space.

Angela, Vic’s BFF came to visit.  She is not only beautiful but also a calm and serene person.  She radiates goodness.  Angela being here gives me some time because I really trust her.  I am able to get some essential chores done knowing that she is keeping an eye on Vic.

“Gramps was here” Vic said.

“How is he?” I asked

“I don’t know.  He just came to tell me how much he loves us all…” Vic replied

My Dad forgot how to breathe on the 15th of May 2011.  He died in our home (in the very same room as Vic) surrounded by his beloved family.  At times he was a stranger in the world.   Some days he woke up in a room he could not remember from one nap to the next, lived with “strangers” and thought I was my Mom.  Despite the advanced Alzheimer’s, he never forgot who Vic was and that she was ill.  At times he forgot whether she was in hospital or out but he never forgot her or that she was ill.

“He has come to take you by your hand Sweetie…”  I said

“I KNOW Mommy” she said impatiently.

Lee, Jared’s BFF mom popped around with a huge basket of exquisite flowers.  Of course, Vic immediately got a bee in her bonnet and had to get out of bed.  Always the social animal!

Esther arrived and Vic burst into tears when she saw her sister.

“I am so scared Sis” Vic cried in her sisters arms.

Esther has become Vic’s “coach”.  She has the love for Vic to ask her what is holding her back; she tells Vic to run towards the light; to let go – the boys are safe are cared for.  She holds Vic and dries her tears….

Danie took the boys for a haircut and new school uniforms.

In the afternoon Joanna, one the Jon-Daniel’s primary school friends’ Mom, popped in for a visit.  It was touching when she spoke with Vic and apologized for coming to visit too late.  Vic was sleeping and not aware of the visit.  Joanna left with tears streaming down her cheeks.  She left a little gift for Vic

“I wrote your name in the sand
But the waves blew it away
Then I wrote it in the sky
But the wind blew it away
So I wrote it in my heart
And that’s where it will stay.”

 Siza arrived and told me that Sue would be in tomorrow morning to assess Vic.  She said Vic’s colour is very poor and the circulation in her legs bad.  Siza is of the opinion that the most humane thing to do for Vic would be to sedate her…  Her body is building up so much adrenalin fighting death that it is preventing her from dying – despite the organ failure.

I am torn.  My poor child’s anguish and pain sears through every nerve ending in my body.  Not only mine but also the rest of the family’s…..I want the emotional side of her journey to end.  But when I think that I will never hear her voice again, that I will never hear her cry and plead again… I want to die.  Sedation can end her emotional anguish, but deprive us of last words.

When I walked into Vic’s room after Sr Siza left Vic said “I just saw Dries.  He came to visit.  I have thought of him the whole day….”

Dries is a dear family friend who died last year…

In the evening Judy (Dries’ widow) popped around for a visit.  When I told her that Vic had seen Dries she burst into tears.  She said, her sister Lida, a deeply religious woman, told her earlier in the day that she had dreamt of Dries and that Dries was going to come and “fetch” Vic…

I pointed out to Judy that Dries, who was a tour guide by profession, would take Vic on the scenic route…

We laughed.

Later in the evening Bella, one of the ministers in my Church, and James, the senior elder, came to visit.  Bella, a dear friend over the years, spoke to the boys with so much compassion.  He grew up in a home with a mother who was ill.  He said that the congregation has never stopped praying for us as a family.  He said the congregation carries us in their hearts.  (One day I will still blog about Bella and his amazing ability to “pray Vic out of the claws of death”…)

We all stood holding hands around Vic’s bed whilst Bella said a beautiful prayer for Vic and the family.  Someone stifled a little sob.  There was absolute peace and a Godly presence in Vic’s room.

Related posts:

Rest in peace dear friend    https://tersiaburger.com/2012/08/07/rest-in-peace-dear-friend-7-8-2012/

For some dying is hard work   https://tersiaburger.com/2012/07/18/487/

Thank you God


I just finished a batch of choc-chip cookies.  The house is quiet and sweet smell of the biscuits has permeated the air.  The Christmas tree lights are flicking and the first batch of gifts beautifully wrapped.  It is the season of Christmas. Two weeks ago I despaired that Vic would not live to see Christmas. Dr Sue came and saw Vic this morning.  She lanced the cellulitis
abscess on Vic’s arm.  My baby girl was so brave!! Sue told us of a young man who came to see her in her rooms with a small abscess in his face.   He cried with pain.  Sue told Vic what a brave person she is…I was so proud of my little girl. Vic’s heart and pulse rate is very elevated.  She has a kidney infection.  Kidney infections make her tired. I just checked on Vic and she is sleeping so peacefully.  She has a serene expression on her beautiful face and she is truly pain-free tonight. Sitting here I am counting my blessings. My baby girl is home.  I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it would have been if Vic lived elsewhere or if she was married or involved.  I can now care for my child without having to consider my “position” in her life.  I am able to be her mommy and take care of her. The boys are settled and happy living with us.  We love having them so close to us.  They are such well-behaved, kind and helpful boys!  Before Vic moved home the boys, mainly Jared, had to cook most days.  Now they are able to be children. Life has settled into an easy routine.  We have laughter and fun.  We cry and despair.  We hug.  We talk and constantly affirm our love for one another. Vic is spending a lot of time with her boys – talking.  She helped with the preparations for Jared’s 16th birthday party.  Vic passed me the spices when I baked this year’s Christmas cakes.  We laughed when we decided the cake needed another “splash of brandy”.  Vic “chose” her Christmas Cake. My wonderful husband is such an amazing person.  He is my rock and pillar.  He loves and protects us. I am happy and content with our lives. Thank you God for this time of closeness.      

Life is good, life is great!


My beautiful husband and child

The most beautiful man in the world….

I have traveled to 50 odd countries.  I have filled up quite a few passports.  I am a seasoned traveler   I suffer from airport rage.  I hate the “hurry up and wait” part of travelling.  I hate queues and I HATE sitting so close to other people!

I have spent more hours that I care to remember sitting at airports.  I love watching families reunite, lovers melting into one another’s arms, fragile old people being wheeled out in wheelchairs to meet their loved ones.  I recognize the detached “I am on a business trip” air that the professional travelers have surrounding them.

I have spent a lot of time waiting to be collected, or for coaches, buses and trains.  I have seen thousands of loved ones being met with “Welcome” balloons and bouquets of flowers.  I do not have a romantic bone in my body.  I am quite a serious person who loves deeply without conditions or expectations.  I have never been met with flowers or balloons only my name on a hotel ID Board.

This morning when I disembarked the aircraft it was a glorious sunshine day in South Africa.  I was one of the first off the aircraft and went through passport control within minutes.  I could not believe my luck when I got to the carousal and my luggage was already there!  Customs was a breeze.  I walked out of Terminal A and no Danie….  I knew he was minutes away from the airport when we landed because I phoned him to tell him I had landed…. He was minutes away from the airport….

I phoned him and there was no reply….  I phoned him three more times and still no reply.  I shut my mind down.  I did not want to think what could have happened in the 30 minutes since I had last spoken to him.  I phoned him again and left a message….  I kept glancing around.  A couple of taxi drivers started offering their services.

Then I saw him.  My beautiful, handsome husband carrying this huge, beautiful bouquet of flowers!   My unromantic heart was touched by this beautiful gesture.  It was great feeling his arms around him and hearing him say “I really missed you”.

Vic is looking great.  Her pain control is optimal!  She is enjoying the pain free time she has been given by Hospice.  I missed her so much!  I am at peace being home. Image

Despite the fearful trauma and pain of Vic’s journey we are happy as a family!  I cannot imagine going through this painful journey without Danie and his beautiful, wonderful children and our grandchildren.   We are a family of love.

Life is good.  Life is great.