If you have followed my blog for long you know that there are times that I feel the need to post the “truth”. Not just fun DIY projects or a life that appears to “sparkle” but what real life sometimes deals us.
If you are a new reader, then I ask that you type in the “search” bar section of my blog, “because it is true”. I would like for you to stay with me but I want you to understand that sometimes life isn’t perfect and I feel that I have to share that side of my life as well.
Today is that day again.
Why? Because it is true…….
Tomorrow we will bury Romeo’s mother.
We were driving in the car on Wednesday, to take Freebird and her boyfriend to a fun dinner out, when we received the phone call.
His brother said, “I have some big news. Mom passed away a few hours ago.”
I could see the shock on his face, although I couldn’t hear what his brother was saying.
He repeated, “So, momma died?”
He was driving and I was turning to look in his face, not believing what I heard.
I whispered, “Your mom died?”
My hand automatically reached over to touch him. To try to comfort him.
He just kept, “Uh, huhing and ok, ok…..just let me know what I need to do.”
And he hung up.
And life changes.
He then said with a shocked voice, “Mom died. Of all things my brother could have called about, I never would have expected that…..I never expected that.”
It was a call he never expected to receive. His step-father had just had a stroke. He had just visited his mother and step father two nights prior. It was his step-father that was in a “bad way”, not his mother. She wasn’t in great health but they never expected to get that call.
They would later get the details that she apparently was sitting in a chair in his step-fathers room. His step-father was across the room and saw his wife and partner of forty years, gasp and her head loll back. He yelled her name as he couldn’t get up from his debilitating stroke. He had a pillow next to him and threw it towards her to try to get her to respond. From where he was sitting he couldn’t reach the call button, so he began yelling for the nurses……..they came in the room and began life saving procedures…..but she had passed away. He had to be restrained during this process and had marks on his body where he was trying to get to her, to help her. It appears she died instantly from a massive heart attack.
Why do I feel the need to post about this death? Many of you have experienced the death of a loved one or your parents. This is not something new…….
We all have our “One phone call” moments. A moment, when life is changed.
But this death contains a bit of reality that we do not usually “talk about”.
The side of life that we sometimes want to pretend isn’t there.
Romeo lost his father just a little over a year ago. We had special bonding moments with his father as he had aged and softened. Romeo’s father and mother had divorced when Romeo was in college and his father raised Romeo’s younger siblings from that point on.
He had not really had that “bonding” time with his mother after his parents divorce. That divorce was over 40 years ago. Many years had passed……
We visited his mother and step father occasionally and he would call her periodically but there was a distance. An emotional distance but she was still his mother.
So, this death brings so many different emotions. Conflicted emotions……
The siblings that are close, came together to encourage each other. The resounding theme was encouraging each one to not feel “guilt”. That they had given their mother all the love that they could. All the love that she wanted to receive. That they could not have done any more for her. That she didn’t want that…..or invite that.
A parent passing is so hard. A parent or grand parent passing with whom you had a conflicted relationship, brings up different levels of grief as well.
And I know we aren’t alone in this. So, my heart goes out to you that may have had to experience this or may have to experience this as well. The experience of conflicted emotions……guilt and grief mixed together.
Romeo, his younger brother and sister visited their step father again last night. They said that he stated that he is doing better. That the first night after everyone had left was the hardest. They know that going home after his rehabilitation process will be even tougher. His step father and mother were truly each others only companions. They did everything together and didn’t have a large circle of friends. They are now caring for a man they didn’t know very well, because they know their mother would have wanted that.
During the visits they have been able to see their step father in a different light. He told them to plan their mothers ceremony the way they preferred. He made sure that they received items that his mother would want them to have. They didn’t know this side of him. He treated them as her children. Like they deserved that level of respect. That he knew she was their mother and they had lost her. His hard shell was down and they could begin to see him as a grieving husband.
One phone call.
And life changes.
We will be blessed with the opportunity to have his mothers side of the family over tonight with his brothers and sisters for dinner.
Death is closure but many times can bring healing.
I am praying for healing.
May he grieve for a mother he wished he had, a mother he did have, and a mother he lost…….
I pray for the same healing for his brothers and sisters who battle conflicted emotions regarding their mother. I pray for grandchildren to embrace the fact that although they may not have known her well, she is a part of their heritage. A part of who they are. A part of who their father is.
I pray for a time of healing that we can share with a side of his family that he hasn’t had the opportunity to really bond with.
I pray for healing for his “little boys” heart. His “mans” heart.
I pray for healing for his siblings “hearts”.
Why would I blog this?
Because sometimes real life doesn’t sparkle……it doesn’t photograph well and it doesn’t land in magazines…….
I blog this…….
Because it is true.
You may be experiencing pain within your family.
A conflicted relationship.
A hardened heart.
And all it takes is one phone call for your life to change.
Are you going to wait for the phone call we received?
Or, can you take the steps now towards healing. Sometimes healing isn’t possible. I believe the siblings had taken those steps and gave their mother all the love “she could receive”.
But, have you made that step?
Are you stubbornly waiting for someone else to make the first one?
It may never happen.
And you making the step…let’s be honest…….it may not work.
But when you get the phone call, like we did, you will know that you tried. That you did your best. That you took that step.
And you will not have regrets.
And no regrets makes healing a “little boys” manly heart even more possible.
I encourage you my friends.
If there are any grievances out there, any conflicts, any hurts that have not been resolved…..any situations that could leave you with regrets.
Think about our phone call.
A defining moment.
Don’t have regrets my friends.
Make peace with those you have hurt. Forgive those that have hurt you or have hurt the ones you love.
For then healing is possible.
Is there one phone call you can make?
One visit you can take?
One amend you can make?
Do not hesitate…….
I would love for you to comment. Your comment may help one other person heal.
(Rebecca Stanley is the author of the blog WWW.youaretalkingtoomuch.com)