Sunday, 5 February 2012

"But I'll be ok"

I'm sure my friends have lost count of the amount of times I've said "But I'll be ok" over the last year and a half. It seems to be my go-to statement.

My mom died, "but I'll be ok".

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and her brain was riddled with tumours.  She couldn't remember my name some days. She couldn't remember by brother's other days.  "But I'll be ok"

I quit my job, moved home and took care of my mom while she withered away and died, "but I'll be ok"

I helped her cut all her hair off when the treatment made it start to fall out, "but I'll be ok"

I found my mom on the kitchen floor surrounded by blood,  she'd been there for hours, waiting for me because she couldn't get up on her own. I wasn't strong enough to get her off the floor and I had to call an ambulance for help.

"But I'll be ok"

My brother and I had to have the paramedics threaten to arrest her to take her to the hospital to die because she just wanted to stay at home but I wasn't physically strong enough to take care of her at home any more.
"But I'll be ok"

I said goodbye to my mom in the hospital, three days before she died, and returned to Halifax to finish school.  I spent every day of the 15 weeks between her diagnosis and that day in the hospital trying to figure out what I would say, knowing I would have to face that day, knowing that I was actually going to have to say goodbye, forever, to my mom and get on a plane and leave. After 105 days of trying to think of what I could say, all I could say was "goodbye, I love you, I'll be ok."

The last words I ever said to her were "I'll be ok"

I feel like I need to be ok because I told her I would be ok.
I don't know how to let people be there for me, I don't want people to feel sorry for me or think I'm a disaster, so I tell everyone "I'll be ok"

I don't know how to explain to people that I'm not ok, that I don't know how to be ok any more.  Before this, "I'll be ok" was like my mantra, it's what got me through everything, from break ups to fights to big life decisions.   No matter how shitty things were I knew that I was strong enough to get through it, it may hurt and I may come out different but I would "be ok".

The thing is, I'm not that person any more.  I always thought that I would get through this grief and come out the other side a stronger version of me.  I'm starting to realize that that version of me just isn't there any more.  So I feel like I'm starting from scratch, which I wasn't ready for.  I wasn't ready to lose my mom, and myself.

I thought if I attacked my grief with counselling and were proactive I could just work through it and get it all behind me.

Even as I write this, I have to resist the urge to put "But I'll be ok" at the end of every sentence.
So why am I writing this? Because I feel like it's time that my friends really know how I'm doing.  Becuase I need to stop telling everyone that "I'll be ok" when I don't believe it.  I feel like so much has happened and I haven't really told any one.

So, how does a person who doesn't like to tell people how she's really doing let her friends know what really happened and how she's really doing? She hides behind a blog.

1 comment:

  1. Grief changes you. You can never go back to who you were because of what you know now. I had two major deaths in 2009 and still, in 2012, I am stricken by the grief. I tried counselling but it didn't work for me. I probably didn't give it enough but, like you, I feel that the more times I tell myself I'm okay, it will be true.

    It will never be true but eventually we learn to accept who we are now and keep the memories of who we were in the more simpler times.

    It is our life events that shape us into who we are and who we will be when our lives come to an end. Ann, you will never forget your mum but you will get to a place where you are able to live your life. Not a day will go by where you won't think of her but knowing that she taught you many things will help you be a great partner and mum in the future. She helped make you who you are yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    Your family is a key part of my childhood. Your mum was a kind and wonderful person. She was so caring to you and your friends. She was very talented.

    I love you and I want you to be "okay" :) You're my "twin" and when you hurt, I hurt.