Monday, November 14, 2011

I did my best - a grieving process

So it's almost been a year since my MIL passed away. In some regards I can't believe it's been a year time has flown by but other times I can't believe it's almost been a year because time has dragged on.

From when she was admitted to the hospital in March 2010, the day before I went into labour with Tutu (3 weeks early), to the day she passed were some of the hardest days of my life.

In a span of a few weeks, MIL was admitted to the hospital, I went into labour early (thankfully because I had a partial placental abruption, I still haven't really shared my birth story from Tutu's birth), Tutu had to get admitted to the hospital for jaundice, Rock had complications from a vasectomy (and left him useless for 6 weeks, due to pain and swelling from an infection), I had major gall bladder attacks and ended up having my gallbladder removed and MIL almost passed away from an infection she caught at the hospital. Not to mention I was having issues with my milk supply from stress (I mean it's not like anything was happening). Plus the regular day to day stuff, a newborn, 2 other children and weekly visits to the hospital to visit MIL.

From when we found out that the cancer MIL had was terminal to the day she came home we had 1 week to get the house ready (the hospital wanted me to have my house prepared in 3 days to have her home (because that was so realistic given normal circumstances never mind what I had going on). My MIL just wanted to be home, she wants to be surrounded by the people she loved and get the best care possible.  I had a really hard time making the decision to take on this huge endeavour.

My point to all this is I've realized that since she passed until now I've kept us (the family) busy. We've always had something going on, a day trip here, and event there. We've been busy.  It's not that we didn't use to be busy. We were, we were always on the go but we also had out down days. We haven't really had that; I hope to change that now. I've come to realize that I've kept us busy for a few reasons 1) the guilt that my kids missed out on a lot the last 2 years when we cared for my step-FIL before he passed and more so when we cared for MIL, 2) to do some fun things with the kids that we missed out on, we enjoyed doing those activates as a family and 3) and probably the most important reason, if I was busy I didn't' have to deal with my emotions.  All that stuff going on brought up a lot of emotions within me, good, bad and the ugly. I think the ugly scared me most; I put off dealing with them while caring for my MIL because it would have been too much to deal with then. I've put off dealing with them now because I didn't want to come face to face with some of my thoughts.  I've now realized I'm tired and I can't run anymore. I can't avoid them because it's not doing me any good. I just want to rest. I want to be me again.  I need to face my demons and make peace with them.

During the 5 months MIL was home I was blessed with care from the Hospice out here. I took advantage of meeting with the social worker and I had a volunteer come and help me deal with the emotions.  I was told they were/are normal but they scared me so I put them away.  Even if they are normal emotions and reactions to the situation you don't feel like you have a right to them because look at what MIL was having to deal with. It felt petty to have these thoughts come in my head.  Who am I to feel this, when she is dealing with much bigger issues?

And so now as I have been supporting Rock these last few months with his demons, I will need to ask him to do the same. I will need the same time he had alone, to think, to pray to mediate, to feel. I need to cleanse myself from this so I can become a better person from this experience. I can forgive myself from not being able to save her or help her. To forgive those people who have said and done hurtful things to me while I cared for MIL, I should not judge their actions, I need to leave that up to God.  I need to set my conscious clear that I did everything I could, to the best of my ability at the time given my situation to help MIL. To let her last days on earth be in our new home together surrounded by her family, surrounded by love and getting the best care possible (better then she would have been able to receive at the hospital). I need peace.

I hope she is looking down on me and loves and me and feels proud of what I accomplished for her. I hope she knows that everything I did for her I did out of love. I hope she knows that even though we didn't have our girly talk times like we use to I just couldn't to be able to deal with the day to day of caring for her. I hope she knows I did my best.


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