IMG_8481I am a mess.  I have cried myself to sleep every night this past week.  I tear up without reason.

I have this indescribable longing to see my child, hold her and be with her.  I went onto Vic’s Facebook and went through all her photos.  Most of the photos on her FB are “tagged” photos of mine.  I went through the photos and “spoke” to Vic.  I remembered the wonderful mother and daughter that she was.  I looked at her journey, the amount of photos where she is in bed with the boys lying with her.  The sad thing is that it is truly only the tip of the iceberg.

I found this note on her FB that I had never seen before.   Vic posted this 3 days before my dad died.

17 May 2011 at 23:37

Today Hospice came to access my Grandfather… They dripped him & made him comfortable. He has lost his swallowing reflex, sleeps most of the day, is completely bedridden & can barely talk… The suddenness of his deterioration is very difficult to comprehend. Please could you all say a big prayer for my Gramps and especially my Mom, who lost her best friend of 25 years, age 51 due to a heart attack last Tues. My Mother is one of the strongest, bravest people I know.. How do we say goodbye, how do I take my Boys to say their Goodbyes tomorrow, how do we accept that this incredible man has such little time left regardless of the fact that we all know that its best for him. How can I be strong for my babies when my heart breaks all over again, every day when I see him… Especially my Eunice Friends, you will all remember how desperately my Gramps and Gran loved and spoilt me and how VERY MUCH they meant to me… I don’t want to live without him even though I realise that is extremely selfish, but I love my Grandfather so desperately, It’s not fair… All I ask for is compassion… Compassion for Gramps and my Mother… Thank you to everyone for all your love & support through everything… Love Vic.

Vic and her Gramps
Vic and her Gramps

I understood Vic’s agony of saying goodbye to us better… I have doubted our decision to sedate her during the last few days of her life… Reading this today I was filled with gratitude that we did.  I remembered her emotional agony when her friends left after a visit…  I remember her clinging to Danie and crying “Don’t leave me daddy.  I am scared…”  I am grateful that she gently slipped away without knowing or fearing what lies beyond…

I wonder whether she is around us?  I wonder if she is peaceful and happy?  I wonder if she misses us as desperately as we miss her.

Mothersday 2012
Mothersday 2012

Yesterday a friend of mine celebrated her 60th birthday.  Her daughter posted a beautiful letter on her FB page.  Tears started trickling down my cheeks.  I will never receive another birthday card or wish from Vic.  I will never celebrate another Mother’s Day with Vic and neither will her boys!!

Mothersday 2005
Mothersday 2005

Oh dear God will this agony every stop?



Owkay mommy I will….

The boys and I visiting Vic in hospital last year.
The boys and I visiting Vic in hospital last year.

It has been a day filled with back to back meetings.  I coped well (I think) and managed to focus.  It was strange not checking my phone every couple of minutes to see whether Vic is okay or not.

I sent the boys’ text messages early evening as the meetings continued into the night.

Me to Jared:  “Hi baby – you okay?”

Jared:  “Hey Oumie.  I’m okay thanks and you?”

Me:  “Missing you”

Jared:  “Missing you too Oumie.  This house feels empty”

Me:  “Will phone later just in a meeting”

Jared: “Owkay Oumie”

Me:  “Sleep tight angel!  Pse wake me so I can see you tomorrow”

Jared “Owkay mommy I will!!! Love you!!! Missing you too Oumie”

Breathe in, breath out, breathe in, breathe out…. I could not look up.  I was petrified that that my colleagues would see the tears that formed in my eyes.

These poor boys!  They are stoic in their grief.  They carry on bravely at school and with all their extramural activities.  They are so young to have gone through so much pain and loss.  They lost their childhoods to Osteogenesis Imperfecta and doctor error; they have watched their mother suffer horrific pain, lose her dignity…Yet they witnessed their incredibly beautiful mother fight every second of her life to stay alive…  She showered them with love and taught them independence.  She was strict and her favourite words to them was “I am your Mother not your excuse”

The boys are brave like their warrior mother!  A credit to her!

I wish I could wipe the pain from their hearts and memories.  There is however no Ketamine Infusion for emotional pain, only for physical pain. I wish I could protect them for pain and loss but I cannot.  I must continue with the phenomenal work their mother started in their upbringing.  I must help them to continue growing and individuals on this path Vic put them on…

I miss my child more than I ever thought I would.  I honestly thought, because of the extended “Anticipatory Grief” period, that we went through, the grief would be less after Vic’s death.  That anticipatory grief is however NOTHING compared to the pain we are experiencing 17 days after Vic’s death.  I don’t know whether I will ever get used to this void in my heart.

Will I ever be able to breathe without pain again?  Will I ever sleep again?  Will I ever laugh spontaneously with joy again?

I actually just don’t want to live with this pain…..

OCVCC – Day three

IMG-20130130-01513It is day 3 of OCVCC (Operation Clean-out Vic’s Clothing Cupboards.)  Today was unbearable. 

Day one I packed up Vic’s clothing I did not like.  That is the sexy stuff that showed far too much cleavage.  I was forever saying “Vic – Your boobs are showing!  Cover yourself!” or “Boob alert – the boys can see….”  I know I was stupid but in my mind’s eye I always saw that little girl who needed to be protected from the world and it was difficult to see the adult, sensual young woman…vicbaby

Day 2 was the “Fat clothes” day.  There was not too much of that although Vic was overweight from time to time.  The Addison’s cortisone treatment played absolute havoc with her weight.

Day 3 – today, was unbearable.  It was the clothes that she liked and wore that had to be packed.  As I was folding her little T-Shirts my tears dripped on the cotton.  I held her favourite clothing items against my face and tried to smell her on them.  I could see exactly how each item fitted her disease ravaged little body.  I could hear her say “Don’t I look fat?”

I cried when I packed four drawers of pyjamas.  There were dress-like nightgowns for after abdominal operations when nothing could touch her abdomen; three-quarter pants with T-shirts for good days; long pants with T-shirts for when she was cold and of course the stuff she never wore…the sexy stuff.  I picked up the silky stuff and I knew that they were worn seldom if ever.  We should be able to sell these quite easily in our second-hand Hospice shop…

The boys made up their memory boxes on Monday night.  I started with wonderful intentions…I too would have a small memory box.  I already have two large cardboard boxes plus my memory box filled with precious memories.   

As I wept into Vic’s clothes I decided that there is no rush.  I do not have to give the clothes to Hospice immediately.  I will keep it all in storage until I am ready to part with it. 

Never again will I see my precious Vic wearing any of it. 

Every handbag I picked up had been cleaned out properly with the exception of a tube of lipstick.  Every single handbag had lipstick in it!

Jon-Daniel has started moving into Vic’s room.  It is the 2nd largest bedroom in the house with the nicest bathroom.  Yesterday we moved two single beds in and put Vic’s bedroom furniture in storage.  Tomorrow we will move the lounge suite into storage.  The dining room suite has been sold and delivered today.

All Vic’s earthly possessions have been moved as if she has never existed.

The lounge will become a games room with a pool and table tennis tables.  The dining room we will convert into a dedicated study and computer games room.  We will furnish the rooms with contemporary furniture.

In my heart I know Vic would approve the changes.  She would HATE the fact that her furniture is in storage.  I feel like a grave digging weasel but I am complying with her final wishes.

My Vic was a little squirrel!  She accumulated STUFF.  Vic was a compulsive shopper.  In December, knowing that she was in the final stretch of her journey, Vic bought new clothes…  Some of it she never got to wear.  But it brought her joy buying it.

This weekend I will tackle the other cupboards.  The cupboards that contain all tax and warranty related documents going back to 2001…. All neatly filed in plastic sleeves… I will keep the boys school files that she so lovingly kept up to date.  Every drawing, school report, newsletter filed per boy by year…  When they leave home one day and have kids of their own (that they will moan at for not studying….) I will hand my great-grandchildren their dad’s reports.

There are tons of papers to dispose of!  There are boxes of educational toys and games from when the boys were toddlers; thousands of photos and piles of albums; ribbons from her childhood; diaries and journals; love letters from Vaughn, her first love; get better cards, birthday cards and goodness alone knows what else.

In the weeks before her death Vic occasionally said “Oh Mommy, promise me you won’t get angry with me when you clear out my cupboards…”  If only she knew how many tears I have shed clearing out her cupboards.

I must confess I have always had a memory box with Vic’s first little outfit ever, her first school uniform, all her report cards, a lock of her baby hair…  I will add to this box the lock of Vic’s hair that Esther cut after she had died.