The Post I’ve Been Putting Off

There is a post that I’ve started writing at least twice now. I have two drafts that I will probably never publish because I couldn’t bring myself to do something that personal. But I feel like a blog is about sharing bits of one’s self, in crafty form or otherwise. And there is a large piece of myself that I want to share that I mentioned in my previous post.

My mom passed away from cancer almost 3 years ago. In reality, I think it was the drugs that killed her, although if they hadn’t, the cancer would’ve gotten her eventually. You see, it was brain cancer, a kind that rarely gives into the drugs. And cancer treatments are just so brutal…after brain surgery, and two rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, her body just couldn’t keep fighting.

How has this affected my life? It has been hell. I can’t even describe to you how terrible it has been. As she was diagnosed, as she slipped into illness, when she passed away, my world got smaller and smaller until I was barely functioning. It was all I could do to get up each morning and go to work and pretend my life was somewhat normal.

My friends tried to help, but they couldn’t reach me. My whole world had fallen apart and if I let anyone in, I wouldn’t be able to keep going. Nonetheless, I resented them, when they gave up and stopped fighting to try and get in. Some never gave up on me though. And those friends are the real ones that I will be forever grateful for. They’re the ones who kept me going, although they probably felt helpless.

Now, years later, I still take some measure of pride in being able to act so normal that people never suspect the giant hole in my heart. This comes with a downside, however. People forget, and they say things, and it hurts. It’s not their fault, though, it’s mine. My mother was a wonderful person. It kills me that she’s not around to meet my fiance, watch me get married, help me plan the wedding. That shouldn’t be something I try to hide, I have every right to cry and hurt.

But I’m scared. If I put my biggest weakness on display, someone could hurt me with it. Easily. So I’m trying to take the big step and trust. And maybe, just maybe, it will help that hole in my heart heal over a bit.

Have you ever lost someone who was intrinsic to your life? If you have or are going to get married, how did you or do you plan to include their memory in the proceedings?

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18 thoughts on “The Post I’ve Been Putting Off

  1. Sarah, I am going to be honest, I have been thinking about this for a while – about how you are feeling, as far as not having Penny physically attend your wedding. I almost asked you once, in a message response, but I immediately deleted it because I was so scared of upsetting you. I also assumed that of course you had to be thinking about it. How could you not? She was your mother, so of course she is on your mind during this time. I held back, due to it being a question with such an obvious answer.
    Also, just because you may act like you are not in pain, that does not mean it is your fault when people say or do things that strike a chord.
    Since I am being honest, I will also tell you this. I cannot begin to explain how horribly guilty I felt, how guilty I still feel, during that period of time when I was not there for you. I was so scared and so sad, I had no idea what to say to you. Every time I tried to send you a message, I was stuck and could not find any words to say, so I figured I would let you be, until you came to me. I realised how stupid that was, and for that, I am truly sorry. Please know that I never stopped thinking about you. I never stopped caring, I just did not know how to show it. I can’t take those few weeks back, but please know that I am here for you. I will always be here for you. If it seems like I am in hiding or something, please know that I am not, and you can always come talk to me.
    I love you like a sister – I always have. Penny would be so happy and so proud of you.
    -Ali
    P.S. I cannot wait to see you get married. 🙂

    • I really appreciate your honesty! This was never meant to make people feel bad, who didn’t know how to help. I didn’t make it easy to help, and it was just a shit situation all around. Not to mention, it’s hard to know what to do when you’ve never been through it before. I don’t hold it against you, I promise–I know that you (and others who made that same choice) were just doing what they thought was best.

      Thanks Ali ❤ I can't wait to see you this summer!

  2. You are so brave for sharing this story and for living each day as normally as possible. I lost two very close friends within three years and that loss cripples me to this day. It completely changed me and there’s no way to describe that to someone. I spent a lot of time in therapy, yoga and group support meetings and dealing with grief is a daily battle.
    As for my wedding, I really really want to represent them but I’m not sure how. An eternity flame doesn’t quite their style, but maybe a fun photo of each of them and a nice quote on display. Or maybe a reserved chair for each of them at the ceremony.
    Thank you again for sharing!

    • Thanks! It was hard posting it, but I’m glad I did (so far!). That also sounds hard, what you went through. I think there must be lots of ways to represent missing loved ones, but I am honestly not ready to look into them yet. When I do, I will try and write a post on it. And I hope you will share any that you find with me 🙂

  3. This is a great post. First of all, I’m sorry for your loss. It sounds like she was a very special person to you. Weddings are stressful enough, without all the emotional baggage of those who aren’t going to be a part of it. My advice to you is cry! Every time you have the lump in your throat, let it out. There is a reason these emotions keep coming back and if you don’t embrace them, they will show up again, and again. Plus, you deserve it, you’re going through a lot, and if anyone should let you embrace how you feel at any given moment, it should be you. It’s the least you can do. It’s also a fact that after a good cry, a feeling of peace comes over us, maybe that’s really where your soul is taking you.

  4. Though I don’t know you personally, I would like to express my sympathies for your great loss. A mother can never be replaced. I’m sorry I have no words of consolation or advice, as I am not in your situation. But one thing I would like to say is you absolutely did the right thing by publishing this post, however personal. In that sense, I am in a similar situation. I started my blog against my family’s wishes because I simply needed to share some deep emotions with the outside world. Somehow, reaching out to strangers in this virtual world greatly alleviates the personal pain in my “real” life. Just knowing I am not alone, that maybe someone in this world feels like i do and still gets through. I pray you find some measure of peace, or hope, or happiness, or whatever it is that you seek through your writing. Bravery & honesty are two of life’s most awesome & inspiring gifts.
    Best of luck on your wedding.

  5. When my mother passed away it was sudden from a heart attack. We were in the midst of preparing my wedding. Instead of using the church for my wedding it was used for her funeral. The next available date was Thanksgiving and we took it. That may seem like an odd date to get married but the buffet was easy…Thanksgiving Meal and We placed a picture of her at the alter so that she did indeed attend our wedding. Something that she said to me really hit a clear note and might help…she had just met my future hubby and knew nothing about him. “If he makes you happy then you are blessed.” Hope this helps ease the pain a little as you are not alone.

  6. I am glad that you wrote this post – so many things are easier to deal with when voiced. I can’t begin to imagine what it is like without Mom, at the wedding or not. I recently lost my last grandparent, and that has been rough, too, but I am not in the midst of wedding planning. Added pressure! As fro how to honor yrou mom at htewedding – when my cousin married, following my Uncle’s passing, they had set up in the vestibule of the church a table with a nice photo of him, and some othe rmemorabilia, And of course, the minister mentioned him in the service.
    Just found your blog, and I really am enjoying it. thanks very much!

    • Those are some good ideas, thank you for sharing them. Some time soon I will have to start making a list of all my options and sort through them.

      Thanks for visiting, I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂

  7. […] ← The Post I’ve Been Putting Off […]

  8. Sarah,

    So brave of you to post this!!! You have grown into such a wonderful young woman and I know your Mom is watching you with such pride!!
    I am so sorry, I couldn’t be with you all back then, my heart is heavy still today, knowing I couldn’t be there for the people who were always there for me.
    Your Mom, and Dad too, were who I trusted with all my big decisions! Even better was how your Mom was there for my big mistakes! And there were many!!

    I would love to share with you and Cassey someday, my memories of your Mom. There are many, some make me laugh when I think if them… Remind me to tell you about “turbo boost”!!!

    Well, I am not sure if posting this here was the right thing, as I am not sure if it is public or not, but I am so proud of you! Proud to know you and be invited to be a part of your very special day! I wish I was closer, because I would love to have a big Sunday dinner with you, Cassey and your Dad along with my family!! I think we would have a great time!!!

    I can’t wait to see you all this summer!!!

    Xoxo Pam

  9. […] And opened up about a very personal issue […]

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