I’ve been struggling with the post for a few days… Not sure what to write or where to start or how much to share. Then I remembered why I started this blog and what it means to me.
Let me just start off with saying, Mom, I miss you. I always missed the old you; the you before the struggle but since the day you left us, I have missed every part of you… The good, the bad and the ugly. Knowing I will never ever see you again, makes me wonder what all the struggles were really for?
The demons that you fought on a daily basis can no longer harm you, no longer consume you and no longer destroy you. You are at peace.
The Lord works in mysterious way but I firmly believe, that everything happens for a reason.
We were able to be with you on your last days because we all needed to make peace with eachother… We needed to let go of the past and free ourselves from the grudges we held.
There was no easy part of watching you lie in the hospital bed, sedated, slowly deteriorating…. sadly, your lifestyle caught up to you. All we could do, was hold your hand and tell you that we loved you.
But you were so young still, 47 years old. That’s the reality of the disease.
I am not ashamed of who you were, not any more anyway, because perhaps your story might save another person from going through what we went through. I hope that your death will not be in vain, I hope it helps another addict realize the reality of their disease.
I’ve written about the reality of the disease before but never once did I ever imagine that I would be writing this blog post in your memory.
My Mother was a Heroin addict and she battled her addiction for nearly 8 years. She lost the battle on the 8th of April 2017 and is finally at PEACE.
The shock of the death has many people wondering, what happened? People had just seen my mom the weeks before she was admitted and said that they had no idea she was sick. That is the addiction. That is the drug. That is the reality of the disease.
The numbing of the drug, allows addicts to carry on without a care in the world or mainly, without a care of the destruction that’s happening right inside their very bodies.
My beautiful mother passed away from Cardiac failure. Her body went into withdraws while she was in hospital and it ultimately caused her heart and organs to fail. She was kept alive by multiple life support systems. She went into hospital for pneumonia and possible TB. The drugs kept her going. Its painful on so many levels to write all of this down but I know the healing that will come from it, will eventually weigh more.
I can not go back and change the past, I can not change how I choose to react to her disease. I choose tough love and by tough love I mean, I basically cut my mother out of my life, after being used and manipulated by the addict living insider of her. At the time, I felt I was making the best decisions for myself and my family. I did not want to be sucked into her web.
Due to her choices, she missed out on a lot… My 21st, The Birth of my son, My wedding and numerous events with my brothers. All of those days, I had a part of me missing, but because I was so afraid of being hurt again… I chose that pain, over the disappointment she would have created.
Looking back I can’t help but ask myself, was it all worth it? Why was I so hard on her? They say you can’t truly HATE someone unless you have loved them fiercely and they have broken your heart. You dislike someone or disagree with someone, BUT hating means you loved once.
And I loved my MOM, we were inseparable. Like Best Friends, our cool and often too open relationship meant that I witnessed things I shouldnt of and felt forced to grow up to quick. She was the cool mom, the mom that let me stay of school, smoke and drink. There were no “secrets” in our house full of secrets.
But I loved her and I defended her and she could do no wrong in my eyes. Until one day I actually had to face the reality of the situation and make tough decisions.
Since that point, our relationship had been non-existent. I tried to carry on with my life, but missed her all the time. Missed her warm embrace and comforting smile. But I thought I could get by without her love. Well I’m sure I still had it, but I could not receive it while she was battling her disease… it was very hard for me to open up to her about anything or share anything about my life with her. Her addiction caused me to create a brick wall.
I’m going to start to break that wall down, little by little, with her by my side and in my heart.
We did start chatting “regularly’ and I had taken Connor Bean to see her a few times in my attempt to make peace. It was difficult because deep down I knew she wasn’t clean. Don’t ask me how, but I can just tell when someone I loved, has used drugs. Call it a super power or a curse. I’m not sure.
The fact that the addict in her lied to my face about it, meant that my visits were short and not as comforting as I had always hoped. It also meant that everything that she said, I retaliated with the past events. I never let any of it go. I should of.
Her addiction caused her to suffer a great deal and the truth is, I don’t even know half of what she had to endure during her rock bottom days. The truth of her struggles, would probably break me, It’s best we don’t know those things.
Lets remember her as: Strong, beautiful, stubborn, vibrant & Loving.
Lets look past her addiction to the woman who lost her kids and missed out on so much. The woman who tried to love but was so deep in the depths of the disease that she couldn’t understand love anymore. She had no feeling, the addict feels no remorse or gratitude. Nothing! The Addict has no feelings.
However, despite all of these things. She was still our Mother, and the distance my brothers & I created seems so fickle now.
She was not able to be there for us on earth, her addiction kept her chained to the drugs, but now she is free, now she can be with us in our hearts every single day without fail. She is now our guardian angel, who can watch over us and love us from the heavens.
She can walk with us, rejoice with us and be there for us in on our dark days.
When I picture her now, I see a free and happy woman, a woman who is smiling down on her 3 kids.
To grieve for your mother, while you are a mother yourself, is very difficult. I’ve been thankful that I can rely on my mother-in-law to pick up my slack while ive tried to grieve and run around sorting out all the things that needs sorting. Some days ive just wanted to lie in my bed, under the covers, in fetal position and not move… It’s slightly impossible with a busy toddler, who also needs attention and doesn’t quite understand why mommy is so sad.
I find comfort in the happy memories, of hearing old friends of my moms share memories of her. To find old photos and relive the happy days in our hearts. However, the moment I remember that I will never be able to see her again is the moment that I break down and I can no longer hold back the tears.
It’s a harsh realization to swallow.
So I will light a candle for you mommy, and say a little pray and know that you are watching over us.
We love you, we always have, even when we didn’t show it, we never stopped.
The last thing I said to you, on the Friday night, 7 hours before you were announced dead, was: “I just want to let you know that if you don’t want to fight it, its okay, we will be okay. If you feel you have nothing left, its okay, we will be okay. But if you want to fight this, its okay, we will be okay. We will be here. It’s between you and your maker and all we wish for you is peace. We love you”
The last time I touched her alive, she was sedated and running a 39.8 fever. She was hot to the touch but her foot kept moving. Sometimes when we spoke to her and sometimes just when we were quiet. But it moved, she was still there. When we said goodbye, we knew that things were not good, but I didn’t know that it would happen so quick. She was deteriorating and kept alive by machines. Her last breath was taken at approx. 2am on the Saturday morning.
They tried to phone me once at about 2.30am to come and say final goodbyes before she was taken to the mortuary, I didn’t answer, in my sleepy state, I turned the phone off… till now I have no memory of it. They tried to call again at 4.30am, to which I jumped up with a shock. It was the worst call I ever had. I knew when I saw the caller ID, that it wasn’t good, but to hear the words, “she is gone” , its heart breaking. There are no words to describe it.
Thank you for your last days, thank you for trying to fight it, Thank you for your smile and thank you for always trying to reach out to me, even when I wasn’t very open to it.
We know that you loved us, it was just a struggle for you to stay clean and to think clearly.
I’m sorry for all the time lost and memories missed out on.
We will carry you in our hearts till the very end.
We love you Mommy, always
If you have any happy & joyful memories of my mom, I would love to hear from you. Lets share and remember only the good things!
Here are a few images that my mom shared on her facebook before she went into hospital.