Over the past few months, life has felt a bit like being caught in a huge wave, trying to not fight against it while struggling to keep my head above water.
From being told I might have cancer, then being told they were wrong, then back to its most likely cancer and that I need surgery, then losing my mom just days before the procedure.
Now that I have had time to process it all, I’m trying to sort out how I feel.
I know I’m grateful beyond words that my cancer scare was just that, just a scare. I know I’m heartbroken and feel an emptiness from losing my mom. But mostly I feel guilty; guilty for not being a better daughter, for not being by her side when she moved to heaven.
I don’t think it has fully hit me yet that she’s gone. I keep wanting to call her and tell her everything is fine, but I can’t. Then I feel guilty for that, for wanting to share the news that I’m fine with her, when it turns out she’s the one that wasn’t fine.
Some people know what happened when my dad passed away and the effect it had on me. It’s still difficult to remember, let alone talk about.
The short version is he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. In his last few days, I didn’t sleep at all, just cared for him; I was afraid to close my eyes. On the last day, I laid down next to him and held him to try to comfort him. I accidentally fell asleep, and when I woke up, the man in my arms, my daddy, was no longer there.
People have told me how fortunate I am to have been able to be there for my dad that way. I never understood that, until now.
As much as that hurt and still hurts to this day, I feel so damn guilty I wasn’t there for my mom the way I was for him. I had this stupid surgery that I now know wasn’t as urgent as we thought and her pneumonia was far more serious than we knew.
I guess this is all a part of the grieving process, it just takes time. I felt guilty for not being a better daughter for my dad, too. I know they both loved me beyond words, I just pray they know I loved them just as much.