Posted in A Mother's Grief, Bereavement, Death, Death of a child, Grief, Hospice, Terminal Illness, Vicky Bruce

Unimaginable pain


When my beautiful little girl exhaled her last breath, it felt as if my heart was ripped into a million pieces.

One year and 5 months have passed and my heart is still in a million pieces.  But, the pain is no longer that same raw pain.  Sometimes it is a sharp, searing pain; sometimes a dull heartbreaking pain.  At times I feel so alone, numb and at other times I am convinced that I will lose my mind with grief.

But, the pain is more “refined”.  It is no longer that raw, unbearable pain.

There are times that I feel that my nerve endings are exploding.  And yet, there any many things I can no longer remember.  I read today that it is my body is protecting me… I am grateful for it.  I am glad that I have forgotten some of the horror of Vic’s death.  I am clinging to the good days.

I went away with two friends last weekend.  It was amazing.  We laughed until we cried, we spoke about the death of our loved ones, we loved and supported one another.  The empathy stemmed from knowledge.

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On our first night in the mountains I dreamt of maggots.  There were maggots everywhere.  I tried to kill them, but they kept crawling out of everywhere.  I was scared and nauseous.  I am petrified of maggots!

To see maggots in your dream represent your anxieties about death. It may also be indicative of some issue or problem that you have been rejecting and it is now “eating away” at you. You need to confront it for it is destroying your sense of harmony and balance.

Maggots as true to their characters signify similar emotions in real life if appear in dreams. The strongest emotion the maggots dreamer having is the fear of its own death. You can say it as fear or curiosity related to death but the persistent thought of death can be the result of such type of dreams. Maggots in dream also signify that the person is far away from mental and spiritual peace which can prove harmful for him in many ways.
More:http://www.gotohoroscope.com/txt/dream-interpretation-maggots.html

A very common dream of maggots is to see them gathered around you and you are trying to remove them as quickly as possible. This you are trying to do with vacuum cleaner or burner or chemicals. All the dreams suggest the need of your brain to be free from nay complications and guilt. Your attempt to kill them shows that you want to bring thing back in order. This also means that you are facing some troubles in life and standing on your grounds to let it pass
More:http://www.gotohoroscope.com/txt/dream-interpretation-maggots.html

So, which one is it?

I do not fear death.  I fear dying in pain and indignity.  I fear being a burden to my loved ones.

I have often said that when I am dying I want to be dropped off at a hospice.  My loved ones must kiss me goodbye and leave.  I do not want them standing next to my bed watching me gasp for breath… I want a big sign put up above my bed that must read “Do not touch”.

I am facing difficulties in life.  So much has changed in the past 516 days.  I have lost more than my child.  I have lost being a mother.  I lost my best friend.  We lost our laughter… Judy reminisced this weekend about how Vic and the boys would laugh at night when they said goodnight.  I have lost others that I love because our pain collided.

Yet I am alive.  My life goes on despite the terrible void that Vic’s death left.  The boys are so amazing.  Soon Jared will attend his Matric farewell. Next year he will go to university… firsts that his mom will not be part of…I can just imagine the excitement if Vic had been around.

When you lose a child you get caught up in a maelström of grief.  The firsts never end.  Every morning the pain starts all over again.  The grieving never ends.

At a funeral I attended today the minister said “Grieve hard”.

I do.

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Posted in Death, Death of a child, Family, Grief, Terminal Illness, Vicky Bruce

now and forever


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Today at times I felt as if I was suffocating.  It felt as if the grief had grabbed me by the throat and was strangling life out of me.  My heart physically ached.

In the infamous words of Queen Elizabeth 11 “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

Vic was an only child.  I spent the first 16 years of her life dedicated to Vic and only Vic.  Vic’s dad and I separated early in our marriage.  Even in the years that we were married he studied part-time and only got home from University after 10 at night.  Weekends – well that was busy…

When Vic was 16 I married Danie.  He became her dad and she embraced the fact that she now had siblings.  Danie loved Vic with the same pure unconditional love that she had for her boys.  Vic admired, respected and loved Danie for the wonderful dad that he was to her.

Tonight I cannot help but think and remember all the love and nurturing that went into Vic’s life, caring for her, raising her, nursing her when she was sick and taking her to the doctors, teaching her all the things she needed to know to keep her safe in this crazy world, teaching her the art of shopping, watching her get married, fall pregnant – twice, survive 81 abdominal surgeries, fighting for her life every single day.  I loved the mother that Vic was.  Caring and nurturing.

Tonight I remember Vic’s trademark – getting dressed in clothes every day before the boys came home from school, waking up to see them off to school every morning, arranging a party if she had one ounce of strength left!  Vic appreciated seeing the light of day, getting out of bed, seeing the faces of her children.  Every day she breathed was a day that mattered to her.  Every day she used to make memories with her sons, family and friends.

Every day was one more than she had the day before.

She loved driving her little car.  (Vic was a terrible driver!).  Vic was the take-out queen.  She LOVED take-outs!  The last meal she ate was a bit of a Steers hamburger….

Vic was a good, honest, compassionate, caring person who loved loyally and deeply!  She was strong-willed and fought for what she wanted.  She did not tolerate disloyalty in any form.

Vic toured Egypt in a wheelchair and with a cane!  Her biggest wish was to attend Jon-Daniel’s honours evening (4 days before she died) and to travel to Italy.

Vic was brave!  She NEVER complained.  She accepted that pain was part of her life; that being ill was her life.  She seldom questioned the cards she was dealt.  She accepted her life stoically.

I KNOW how hard it was for Vic to get out of bed.  I know how easy it would have been for her to curl up and die very early in her life.  She held on to life until the bitter end because giving up was not an option!

I thought I was well prepared for this period in my life.  I prayed so long that God would release her tortured little body from the hell she lived every day.  I spent years waiting and wondering how it will be.  I have been told that I, of all people, should have been prepared for her death. After all I lived with my child’s terminal diagnosis for 10 years.

The short and the tall of the matter is that there is no way to be prepared.  Researching the stages of death, the grieving process and even preparing her memorial service’s PowerPoint Presentation, in anticipation, could not prepare me for the pain that struck the second that my child died.. 

When I heard Vic’s breathing change I knew she was going.  I knew that within minutes my child would be dead…  Yet in the end, her death was still a terrible shock to me.  How did it happen so quickly?

How do I go on?

Just as there are only some people we can really talk to about our children while they are alive, it seems that there are only a few people we can talk to about them once they have died.

When you lose a child you lose so much more that you may have been prepared to lose.  I have lost my identity as a mom.  I am no longer a Mommy.   I may be a back-up mom to four wonderful young people who love me dearly, unconditionally and deeply but I am no longer a “real Mommy”.  Mother’s Day will come and go…The four kids will celebrate the women who gave birth to them.  The boys will not have a mom to buy a gift for and I will not have a child to wish me.  I do know everyone will try very hard to make it easier for me.  But Vic will not be here to wish me a happy Mother’s Day.

I have a hole in my heart.   My heart physically aches.  I want to die.

Tonight, 21 days after my baby girl’s death I remember a love and bond that was beyond description.  I will continue to breathe; I will honour my promises to my child; I will bring up her beautiful boys; I will cherish her memories; I will grieve for my child.  She was worthy of my love – she is worthy of my tears.

Sweetie I love you now and forever.