Yesterday, was the sixth anniversary of the death of my mother. She died in a year of many losses. We had took her cat in after she moved into elderly housing. I have many regrets about her death. It includes the constant fighting with my siblings. They never believed she had dementia. Her last doctor’s appointment was in days of her death. She was born in October and she thought it was January. It was time for her to start getting her treatment. My husband and I were in the middle of preparing documentation, when she died from heart failure. I found her because her cat started dying the same night. I was in the middle of chemo and Hope was screaming. I had to get the cat out of the house. Literally, the cat was loosing consciousness. He had been at the doctors that weekend, we couldn’t figure out why he was loosing weight. I went to that house with the intention of telling my mom it was time. I found her dead instead. Two weeks earlier, I begged her to take the cat back because I felt the cat needed daily care that I couldn’t give him and she refused. It was the worst day of my life. When I arrived at the emergency clinic with him, I handed him to the vets. I cried. “Is he dead?” He was barely alive. My husband didn’t want him put down and I couldn’t reach my mom. My cell phone called her 63 times that night. It was not unusual for her to be with the neighbors. I told the vet to make him comfortable and not to resuscitate him. I told the vet that I was going to find my mother.
The title of this blog is based on my conversation with the vet the day of the cat’s death. It was another hard day of my life. Hope, my daughter was 5 years old, she was expecting to hear the cat died. I couldn’t breathe when I told her Nana died. The cat held on. We were told to come to the clinic so he could be put the asleep. The vets were beside themselves. Here I was an obvious cancer patient because I had no hair. I wear a hat on my days off and I hated my wig. The cat began to die the second we arrived at the vets on his own. Both they deaths just 2 of the losses of the year. Eleven months earlier, I buried my daughter Addison. I was diagnosis with breast cancer. That year, I held Hope and my husband close. Months after breast cancer, I suffered from PTSD. I remember telling the vet the following when I entered the room, “I am so sick of goodbyes! It’s time for Hello! I want to say hello!” My bereavement card from the vet said I hope you get those hellos soon.
Here is a list of good byes:
A relationship with my brother, sister nieces and nephew. ( I pray there will come a day that we can be a family with healthy relationships.)
5 different pregnancy losses
3 cats over 6 years
My beloved dance school teacher
My hair (chemo),
My nails (chemo),
My husband’s fertility.
Sense of safety in the world.
Belief cancer happens only to other people.
Brian, a friend that committed suicide.
Rachel, who died from Campomelic Dysplasia last week.
Cars/Jobs/money (low priority on this list.)
Hello/Gratitude List (It took us 6 years to get here! We are still rebuilding!)
Baby daughter Joy, who was born August 25th 2015 (We all knew that would be first.)
Being married to a hard working man for his family.
Another year of watching my oldest daughter Hope grow into a beautiful young lady.
Buddy Brian, the beagle dog who is smart, but a challenging.
Both hospital programs I work for. In the past year, I work in a different program at the hospital as well as the program I always worked for.
My new job near Boston.
Finished the family room in the basement, which was originally started in 2003 before my daughter Avery died in 2004. I am particularly proud of that.
A house with better quality air.
A home to come home to.
A car that works.
Food on the table.
My two cats.
My ferret, Princess
The Parenting After Loss Group
All 4 Meditation groups I belong to.
BEING ALIVE! Glad I am not trying to fight any chronic health issues like cancer and infertility.
Starting to feel secure in the world.