Grieving A Year Later

Judy Hill

It's almost been a year since my precious Mother has died and it still hurts as if it happened yesterday...may-be more. Last night, I had a dream that I was going to visit my Mother and I felt so calm, content and peaceful. Over the past year, almost every night I have a dream about my Mother. This morning when I awoke from the dream, I realized how much pain I have as a consequence of her death. I will never get to visit her again.

I've heard that the first year is the toughest. Just as a friend of mine said about the death of her mother, "it comes in waves." This past year has been a series of ups and downs. I'll think the grieving has gotten better and I've gotten over it. Then, a holiday comes or something that reminds me of her and I'm back at square one. It is such a tremendous loss to me and I don't think I'll ever be the same.

My entire life has been filled with dealing with illness with my parents. My father had a heart attack when I was born, a stroke with I was seven and died when I was eight. My Mother had three massive heart attacks when I was four, breast cancer, an aneurysm on her aorta and finally throat cancer at the end of her life. She was the most courageous person that I have ever known. Throughout all her many operations and challenges with her illness, she met them all head-on with determination and vigor.

We all thought she'd die of a heart attack. She had an extremely weak heart and most of my life I worried about her dying suddenly by a heart attack. I never imagined her getting cancer and not being able to conquer that too. She conquered all her heart attacks, breast cancer and everything else. The cancer got her. I never thought that I could actually pray for her to die but at the end, she was suffering so much that I actually prayed for God to take her home.

As I go through life's motions after her death, it is hard to get through it without her. She was a good mentor and friend. Just recently, I bought a condo and it really hit me then. It was so sad that I couldn't share my joy with her. On the weekends, it feels so empty because I used to go and visit with her. Now, I can't ever go and chat with her again. It hurts.

For some reason, the milestone of the first anniversary of her death has become extremely painful. I feel like I am in the same place as last year when she was dying. Whereas, at times during the past year I have been able to cope a lot better, now the pain feels as fresh as the time she died. I have this prevailing pain that affects every aspect of my life making me irritable and sad. Sometimes I think it is events that are causing my misery but then I know that it's actually the pain of my grief for my Mother.

Although she is gone, I feel her spirit inside. She was such a strong, incredible woman with a heart of gold. She was always giving me things and constantly telling me how much she loved me. Last week, we had terrible tornadoes passing through and the power went out. Thanks to my Mother, the night was brightened by a Coleman lamp she gave me for a storm. Although I didn't appreciate it when she gave it to me, I was eternally grateful to discover it during the tornado.

My Mother gave me strength and a strong will to survive. Her legacy will always live on with me and I will never forget her. At times I feel so weak, not being able to get beyond the grieving of her death. After all, she would have told me to pull myself up by the bootstraps and get over it. I do think she would be touched by the extreme amount of loss I feel and how much I miss her. I don't think she ever realized how much I really loved her. I'm hoping she can see me from above and finally see how much I loved her by the incredible grief I am feeling without her.

Judy Hill

You can send email to Judy at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 05-03-97
date of post 04-20-98

[return to home page] [column] [book excerpts] [honor page] [discussions page]

Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW