My mother passed away recently, and I have found little information on the long-term grieving process. This blog is meant to help me, and hopefully others through this long, painful, journey. To tell you a bit about myself, I was extremely close to my mother. She was a strong Hispanic woman, who took the word “no” from nobody. She was funny, kind, and extremely blunt. “That out fit doesn’t look good on you. You’re crying over THAT guy? And you wonder why you get fat”—were just some of her famous direct words. Nothing was ever sugar-coated, but that’s what I loved about her, what she said was real, but the words that I will take to my grave with a heavy heart are — “You know why I’ve been so hard on you? Because I know you could do anything you set your mind to, and not many of us can.” True or not, my mother understood me, she pushed me, and made me realize anything was possible, if only we choose to believe.
My mother believed in my writing ability and never made me feel less for not being married or not having a child—something every Hispanic female is conditioned to believe they should have by the age of thirty-five. I mention this, because in the Hispanic culture, children are taught from a young age that family is everything, that mom is the center of everything, and that we are to rely on each other. We aren’t taught to be as emotionally independent, as in other cultures, and personally, I think, to our detriment. Granted my father is Caucasian, a good ol’ boy, but in my family the Hispanic upbringing reigned. But maybe, if my father enforced his way of thinking, I would be stronger and more independent in my grieving process, but that is not the case. My mother and I were a team, even when we were at odds with each other. It’s been over a year-and-a-half, now, and the pain over her loss is at times excruciating. I still can’t believe it’s real.
Her passing was sudden and unanticipated. Diabetes. It’s a bodywrecker. She was only two months into dialysis when she passed, and I was supposed to be her kidney donor. She just about cleared all her physical examinations, which would have made the donation process possible, but we were too late, and that is a devastation that will haunt me for a lifetime.
I’m left with my brother and my stepfather, he’s also Caucasian, and doesn’t have the emotional strength or availability to help me through this long painful road. But he is all I have left and I need to make the most of the time we have left. Maybe his Caucasian side can teach me how to be stronger and more independent emotionally. We shall see.
My hope is that this blog will somehow help me find reasons to live my life to its fullest, either through reflections of heartbreak or break through realizations of how to live happily even though she is no longer here. It’s not until a loving parent is gone, that you realize the impact they have made on your life. My mother would want me to live my life and fight for my goals and dreams, but now this lackluster road is filled with apathy and heartache. I simply don’t care about anything very much, even though I should. Second year grief is difficult, but I’m hoping somehow this blog will help me pull through.
This is going to get deep and personal, but it’s the only way to truly share this dark passage we must all endure.