Who could ask for a better relationship and more love than that of my family? After the heart-breaking death of my husband, although alone without partner, I had total support from my parents, in-laws and sisters.
My mother, my rock, was by my side protecting, caring and nurturing me as only a mother can. She slept by my side to give me comfort through my grief and took her grandchildren under her wings as best she could. As my youngest son Joshua was only 3 at the time of his father’s death, she felt even a stronger desire to make sure he was going to be alright. Their bond grew stronger as time went by, my mum was like a second mum to Josh and he knew just how to wrap her around his tiny finger.
Seven months had gone by since Rob’s death. Things seemed to be going back to normal. One day as mum was dressing, she discovered what felt like a lump around her underwire bra. She took herself off to the dr’s to be examined and after a series of tests she was diagnosed with breast cancer. What a shock to the system. I remember being given the news over the phone as my sister was with her and my dad with me. I felt numb and thought there was no way I could go through this again nor fathom what my mum must have been feeling, especially after watching her son in law die.
Within a couple of days of the news, we had a family gathering. We cried and discussed our mother’s future and diagnosis. It seemed quite positive as the lump that had been found was in fact found only because mum’s bra rubbed against the lump. The cancer was an aggressive type but as it was found so small, her prognosis was looking extremely optimistic. Mum declared there and then that if she survives and gets the all clear, she would take the whole family on a holiday to celebrate. First though, she was going to need to have a lumpectomy, 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 6 weeks of radiation.
Six months came and went. Reliving my husband’s illness and then dealing with it on another level, that of my mum. What a brave woman she was. Mum was given a clean bill of health and was later told she would have less than a 10% chance of it ever recurring over the next 20 years.
In November 2006 the cancer came back with a vengeance. Mum had not been feeling well since about April of that year. Constantly coughing and feeling achy all over. Countless visits to the dr’s and still no real answers. It wasn’t until she was ordered a CT scan that the ugliness of the whole situation came to a morbid realisation.
I went with my parents to see the oncologist to understand the full picture. I listened with much anger and dismay at what the dr was saying. I listened to anger, hurt and tears my mum conveyed. I wrote notes and all I could think about was that my mother was going to die and it was only a matter of time.
It’s funny really, but from the time my mum was told of her metastasis, it was as if she had given up the fight. It didn’t matter that she was to restart chemotherapy or be put on conventional medication to help drag out the inevitable. She had given up on life. It was as if she reverted back to a childlike behaviour. No amount of treatment would help, it actually made things worse. It interacted with her in a way that caused terrible psychological disturbances. It was not only heartbreaking but tragic. I, like the rest of my family felt helpless.
Many a times in the six months leading up to her death she asked me if she was going to die. I would always answer “I don’t know” but in my heart, whether it was nursing experience, my personal experience with my husband or my intuition, I knew the answer to her question was yes. I could not tell her. It wasn’t until two to three days before she died that when she asked me again I said yes. At this point in time I know she knew the answer, she needed to hear it from me. She was weak and totally dependent at this point. I had helped her to the toilet at the time of her question.
What is the point of my writing this story? Firstly, I needed to do this as part of my healing. To put in words what you need to express is powerful. It helps you to express your thoughts, emotions, fears and ultimately grief. I also believe I understand why my mum had to die and what she needed to experience on an emotional and nurturing level, something she did not experience in childhood and then gave up as an adult to be able to please those she loved. She was a true humanitarian, always giving and supporting those in need, whether it was family or her friends. As a child she was a victim of abuse and that she never freed herself from as it was never dealt with properly.
As a family we each were able to give her the emotional support, unconditional love and nurturing that her soul truly desired.
Apart from the healing and crystal work I did with mum, the biggest accomplishment I feel was teaching her the importance of dealing with past issues, writing about them and creating forgiveness without having to forget. One afternoon whilst lying in her hospital bed, mum and her beautiful sister started writing and talking and placing all notes they had written within a box that was supplied for this exercise. They sat together laughing, crying and contemplating. This exercise is simple yet extremely powerful as it helps to create the shifts we need to bring about the healing process, bringing the emotion, feeling, hurt to the surface to then make it easier to clear. The night she died was a full moon and with the greatest honour, I did a little ritual and burnt what they wrote to release the past hurts and anguish.
One of my biggest lessons learnt throughout my introduction to the spiritual realm is that for every crisis there is a gift, an opportunity to be able to take the situation at hand, no matter how big or small, and see the good within. What has it taught you? How does it make you feel? What do you need to change? For me my mother’s illness has shown me how mental and emotional issues can truly create dis-ease within the body. It has shown me the different ways in which people deal with illness and how a strong or in mum’s case a not so strong mindset can dictate the path an illness takes. I also took from my mum tremendous strength, courage and wisdom. Her insight was far beyond her own realisations and for this I have nicknamed her my owl. To verify my words, a few weeks after she died I was standing out the front of my house. To my amazement, there was a tawny owl sitting on the wire. To this day I haven’t seen another but that was all the confirmation I needed to know she was there.
The grief I have for my mum is far from over but I take the gifts she gave me to carry on and pursue what I want most from this life time.
In love, light and vibrations,