Transitioning from Loss to Gain
I did not understand loss. Transitioning the grief and heartache of losing a mother prematurely to Cancer into an opportunity for growth and reflection on what’s important in life. As the youngest of four daughters, I still to this day feel that I lost my Mom well before I was fully an adult. In her early 50s, my Mom was by no means an unhealthy woman, except for the Cancer that invaded her entire body and eventually took her from us prematurely. She was the perfect Mom quirky, fun, involved, embarrassing, dead set on instilling strong values and a good work-ethic and so much more.
At 19 and away from home at college, I didn’t quite get the depth of my Moms diagnosis and subsequent battles with Cancer.
Yet, the saying you dont know what you have until its gone will forever ring true in my mind. I was 21 when my Mom was taken from us; just starting to mature to the point where I truly valued my mothers years of nagging and involvement in my life. At 19 and away from home at college, I didn’t quite get the breadth of my Moms diagnosis and subsequent battles with Cancer. This was truly a war Mom vs. Cancer (an incurable, rare soft tissue Cancer, Leiomyosarcoma). Throughout her three year battle, and even with trips home every other weekend, I only got bits and pieces of the whole picture. Knowing my Mom, she didn’t want me to take a break from school and come home to help care for her, but I wish I had
another lesson learned the hard way.
When you lose someone very important to you, a huge confidant, your best friend, a person you liked to believe would never die, your life as you knew it seems to crumble. I felt like a chunk of my heart was gone and to this day I feel like a piece of my heart is empty. It did get better, but that feeling of loss, and longing to see and hear my mother again will always linger.
I was able to maintain my relationships with friends and family, but at times I felt like some relationships were hanging on by a thin thread. The loss of my Mom literally stunted me from living for about a year or so. I did not want to live a life without my Mom in it. She was my rock, my voice of reason. I finally decided I needed some support to get through the loss and grief. I sought professional help; an objective, professional to listen to my heartache, pain and feelings of loss. My grieving for my mother needed to end, or at least lighten. I had to begin truly living again if not for myself, for my family; for Mom.
Here I am, six plus years after her passing, in a much better place; clearer state of mind. I am now happier, more at home with myself and working toward my ultimate goal a life centered on family, healthy living and being my own boss. How did I get here? From losing my best friend; my confidant; my Mom. With help, I learned to deal with the loss, live through the guilt of not being there enough and turned my sorrow and grief into a positive force for change and reflection. The fact that my Mom passed away at such a young age led me to focus on what my true dreams and goals were. I now know I am not destined to work in cubicle world my entire career, eventually dropping my kids off at day care for 8 to 10 hours, 5 days a week. That was not my Moms style and it is certainly not mine. Family and working toward my dreams and goals are way too important to me. After all, LIFE IS TOO SHORT!