My mother passed away a few months back, but to be honest I have been missing the real her, since she had her stroke 2 years ago. I know it sounds bad but she hadn’t been herself, or at least the mother I grew up around, since we took her to the hospital that day. One minute we were watching our favourite cooking show, the next minute her words were garbled and half of her face was drooping. It was scary and surreal, to see someone so robust struck down, knowing that there was nothing that I could do about it. Life going forward from there has not been ‘normal’ ever since.
We were told that Mum had a MAJOR stroke and that it had basically locked her within her own body. She was unable to speak properly, eating was difficult because the use of her right arm was limited and we had to help her with a lot of everyday tasks. We were all pretty frustrated really, and I was angry FOR her but we were doing our best to keep her well, happy and occupied. Honestly I felt selfish though, my mother had survived massive trauma to her body and brain and here I was – missing her special brand of cooking and her singing. I even just missed talking to her!
I couldn’t understand how much I missed her, even though we were right next to each other!
After she passed away, I went to see a doctor to help me through this transition and he explained to me about GRIEF & LOSS and how it was a natural reaction to our situation. I found this revelation startlingly difficult. The guilt was real. Initially, I wasn’t going to share my story - the details aren’t pretty and it was far from a happy ending but going through what we have, I realised that we are not alone. There are many people who have lived the life we live, many people who can share their experiences and many who can give advice. I hope that by sharing my revelation, others can feel less guilty about their feelings. It is okay to not be okay. I’ve heard that many times before but never really understood.
I was referred to BrainLink prior to Mum’s passing. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t feel that I needed their help or their services. However, one staff member recommended some of their online resources, from there I watched a video about grief and loss. This video was everything I had been feeling and saying. I really appreciate the work BrainLink does, especially the resources. I have asked BrainLink to link the video here.
If you feel you are alone, you are not. Please watch.
* Carer real name has been withheld as requested