I got a phone all yesterday, a friend since I was 18 died on Monday of lung cancer. He sister, who called me, is also a good friend, I told her how sorry I was for her loss and then cried.
Wen we got off the phone I cried more and more and then began to think about the things we had done together over the years and the “fun” we had back in the day. We had lost contact over the years and I always wondered how she was doing. A few years ago one of the old gang found me on classmates and gave me Jane’s number, so I called her.
When she answered the phone I said “this is a blast from your past”, it took her only a few seconds to realize it was me and it was as if we had never lost contact. So we promised to keep in touch and not go years between phone calls,. I am glad to say we kept that promise and called each other every few months. So it was really easy for me to reach out to her when Anna died.
It was great to talk to her at that time because I didn’t have to filter what I said or how I said it. We talked several times over the next few months and I knew I could always reach out to her. Later in the spring I kept getting a feeling that something was wrong and I was not able to reach her by phone and got really worried. I finally heard from her husband who told me what was going on and that she had lung cancer surgery and things did not look good. He said she would be home from the hospital in a few days and would have her call me, She did , we talked honestly, and she and her sister nd daughter were planning a trip back home to where we both use to live, I had tried contacting her after her trip but had not been able to reach her. Last week I had a really strong need to contact her because I felt something was wrong. I tried but didn’t reach anyone and the phone message was different . I had the feeling something was really really wrong. I left her and her husband a message saying that I would love to hear from them as I was wanting to check on her and how she was doing and that I loved and missed her.
o when I got a call from Texas and her sister said it was her I immediately knew Jane had passed, I will for ever miss my dear friend, but I still have my memories of her and our times together. I physically can’t be there for her and her family, because I am bed bound, but, I can be there for them emotionally like she was for me when Anna died.
I also thought about how she would be with another of the gang who died an untimely death a number of years ago and she will also get to meet and see Anna because I know Jane will look for her.
It’s interesting how with Jane I can mourn her , cry and still be able to focus on the fun times we had and the stupid things we did when we drank.
Then there is Anna, always in my thoughts, and having such a pain in my heart. I know she will always be with me, in my heart and thoughts but I will be glad when like Jane it doesn’t hurt so much all the time.
I was suppose to speak at a hospice event this weekend but looks like I wont be there, because of transportation issues and my inability to afford the price of the rental van for the weekend. I really felt bad about that because I wanted to do that for me, for Anna and for AGAPE hospice. WHEN I told someone I felt bad about it, the said the words I have come to hate “you shouldn’t feel that way”. I was able to tell that person that those words were not helpful. My feelings are my feelings and I keep them in for many years because of those words and I promised myself I would never do that again.
If there is anything I have learned this year, it is that I cannot let myself not feel my way through this or I will never move on with my grief process. Feelings aren’t facts, they are based on our perceptions of a situation or event. But, they are real to us based on how we see things.
When you think about never seeing , touching, holding or talking to the love of your life again you feel pain, hurt and loss that is a normal reaction to that situation.
When my mom dies at the age of 44, I was the oldest of 7 children, I was 24 and a divorced single mom. Everyone around me said I had to be strong for everyone else. my brothers, dad, grandmother and my kid sister who was 9. So I did it. I remember my godmother coming to the house and trying to come give me a hug and my walking away because I knew if she did I would fall apart and I wasn’t suppose to do that. So when they had all finished their grieving I was left with mine and no one to share it with because they all said, that’s passed now let it go. It was years before someone finally said to me I needed to grieve the loss of my mom and allowed me to do that. I never want to feel that way again.
No one should have to hold that pain in and go through that alone. So now I am letting myself feel the pain, grieve the loss and miss Anna with all my heart.
I know that I can’t spent the rest of my life feeling the feelings as strongly as I do now and that in time it will get better, but I have to get through the first holidays without her and the memories of how ill she was at this time last year and knowing she was dying and then her death on January 04, 2015.
I will begin to heal but, I know that means I have to come through the process so I can I go on.
Thanks for listening,