Life After Death

Taking it back to the year of 2008. What was supposed to be one of the bestyears of my life, turned out to be the worst. My year was set. I was gettingmarried in March and welcoming a baby girl in June. The events in between and after left an everlasting affect.

It all started in March, the week I was getting married. My grandma who was like a second mom to me went into the hospital with a “diabetic attack” Ok no problem this has happened before so she will be back home in no time I thought. We were informed that her kidneys were failing and the only way for them to improve was to do surgery for dialysis. Ma was 79 years old. The surgery would be a lot for her to bare and besides she wasn’t going for it anyway. She was content with the end being near. I remember vividly our last brief conversation. Things happened so quickly before we knew it, she was on life support and passed away a couple days later on March 15th,the day after I got married. I remember being so hurt and lost.  Yes, she lived a long life but that still didn’t change the fact that the one of the back bones of our family was gone. So what do we do now? The very next day my grandparents house caught on fire and they lost everything. A house that Ispent most of my childhood in was gone. In just two days my granddad had lost his of wife of over 60 years and the home they shared. Despite the losses he had endured in such a short time he remained strong for the family.
Later that year my aunt passed away on Mother’s Day. In just two short months my granddad buried his wife and a daughter. On May 30th, my husband and I welcomed our daughter, two weeks earlier than expected.I was so emotionally and mentally drained during this time. However, the love and joy I felt in my heart when she entered the world provided comfort I needed for the moment.

Fast forward to September when my mom was hospitalized for a abdominal obstruction. Due to scar tissue that she developed over time from her dialysis access site the doctors were unable to perform the necessary operation that was needed. I remember the doctor saying there was nothing to do to correct it and they would suggest putting her in Hospice so that she could be comfortable. No way I was hearing this man correctly. Hospice? Basically I was being told that mom was about to leave me. To say that I was beside myself was an understatement.The conversation after talking to the doctor consisted of me begging and pleading with my mom to get a second opinion. She was against it at first but eventually she agreed and decided to fight. She was transferred to a hospital in Charleston SC. The same hospital where doctors managed to save her life back in 1987 after she was diagnosed with Lupus. I figured she had a better chance there than the hospital in our hometown. The surgery was successful however her body never recovered from it.

On Thanksgiving Day the family went for a visit. It was on that very day that my mom told me that she wouldn’t make it home. I wanted so desperately to convince her otherwise and tell her everything would be ok, but I knew that wasn’t the case. For so many years I watched my mom overcome so much when it came to her health. When she made that statement, I knew the end was near. She was tired and had fought her greatest fight and she was ready to move on. Truth is I feared losing my mom my whole life but I never imagined what it would be like actually living without her.We talked about my life without her and despite my efforts of telling her all the reasons I couldn’t live without her she told me all the reason why I could and had to. It was a whole lot to process. That day I made a promise to try my very best. This was the last conversation I had with my mom. A few days later I got the call that things were taking a turn for the worst and life support was needed. With me attempting to hold and not letting go I gave consent for it to happen. Honestly, I still beat myself up about it periodically because it was selfish of me. Selfish of me to try to hold on to my mom when it was evident she had made her peace. Then came the dreaded conversation of removing the life support because there wasn’t any hope. I prayed, and I cried yet I couldn’t make the decision to let go. Instead that’s when god stepped in and took control.

December 15 at 10:39 A.M. my life changed forever. I still remember it like it was yesterday. My heart broke into pieces after getting the call and it hasn’t healed since. It was like an out of body experience the first couple of years just going through the motions. It took me two whole years to come to terms with what transpired. Two whole years for me to really grieve and try to accept the fact that my mom presence no longer existed. After losing so much already that year, I went numb when my mom transitioned. No matterhow many “I am praying for you” came my way and “You know she would want you to be strong” I heard it didn’t ease the pain. All I know is that I lost my best friend. The first person I called when I opened my eyes in the morning and the last person I called before bed every night. The person who supported me throughout whatever and gave me unconditional love even when I didn’t deserve it.  The person I could go to or call on at any given moment to be there without a question. She always knew the right words to say and could provide comfort every time I needed it. A woman with a heart of gold who loved everyone despite their actions. Till this very day I still live life to continuously make her proud. She was most definitely my number one fan who genuinely wanted to see me win and found happiness in my success. One of the very reasons I am the woman I’ve grown to be today. I am thankful for my mom’s life journey, It has been essential in how I approached life after 2008.

Life after losing a significant love one changes you. Everyone handles itdifferently but it’s never easy. What I’ve learned is to suppress myfeelings and move forward. I often reflect on the losses I’ve taken over theyears and thank god for giving me the strength. Strength to conquer what I thought was impossible. I am a firm believer that you never know your strength until being strong was the only option you have. Life is precious. I encourage everyone to cherish and appreciate your love ones while they are still here. Once they are gone there is no coming back. Live your life to the fullest in knowing that we all must face the day when we’re called home. Live life without regrets and take on every obstacle that comes your way with a force of nature. Our time on earth is valuable. Treat it as such. 

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