Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Silver and Gardenias

A significant event in my life took place today, and I wasn't there. I had thought about whether or not I should reveal what's been going on with me lately. Truth be told, I was unsure about what I should tell and what I should keep to myself. But I had an enlightening conversation with one of my best friends. It made me realize that if I couldn't be honest with my friends about what was happening in my life, then I wasn't really a good friend.

I've always taken the time and made the effort to do as much as I can to help out a friend. I know what it's like to need help, to feel despair and anxiety, and then feel a great sense of relief and peace when someone finally comes to your aid. But as much as I try to be there for a friend in need, I have a very hard time asking for help. I tend to keep things to myself. I try to work through my own hardships by myself. I think it stems from the fact that I've gotten so used to doing things on my own. In the past, the people I've trusted and depended on turned out to be the ones who let me down and hurt me the most. It's a painful experience, one that I care not to repeat. So it's hard for me to ask anyone for anything. I've learned that you don't risk getting hurt by other people when you don't depend on them to do important things for you. Sometimes, it just seems easier to do things on your own. But recently, I've been reminded that sometimes, it's better to be true to your friends and let them help you when find yourself in difficult times.

And these are challenging times for me. Today, my mother was buried. And I wasn't there. It was my choice. It may seem strange for a son not to be present at his mother's funeral. But I have my reasons. It's not that I don't care; in fact, I care too much. I loved my mother very much, and I will miss her dearly. I'm very sad, but I've yet to cry. I've come close, but as soon as my eyes start to water, I stop myself and get my emotions under control. Though, I'm pretty sure it's only a matter of time before I have a complete breakdown. I only hope it'll be in the privacy of my own home, away from prying eyes and I'm by myself.

When my father died, I was a very angry and lost soul. I hated the world and I was thought God had abandoned me. It would be many years before I accepted his death, though I could never get over the loss. My mother's passing is different. I knew that it was only a matter of time, and though there is a profound sense of loss and sorrow, I am also experiencing a deep sense of relief. She no longer suffers and I can only hope she finds peace.

To understand my situation, I have to talk about events that took place over two weeks ago. In the process of telling my tale, I risk revealing a little of the personal history that I guard so well. I am officially an orphan. I have no parents. It's such a hard thing to wrap around my mind; but it's true. I am no longer anyone's son. My mother is gone. And I am left to wander the world on my own.


  1. Eros, we are together in this.

    I, too, am an orphan. My father died in 1989 of cancer, at the tender age of 56.

    My mother passed away in 2003 of emphysema and, like you, it was with some sense of relief that I said my farewells to her, as she suffered horribly the last couple of years. That she no longer suffered was foremost in my mind. And I miss both of them terribly to this day.

    I am also one who tends to keep things in to some extent. I have had to endure too many losses and have become independent in many ways. But over the years I have found the inner strength to allow myself to be vulnerable and open with a select few people in my life.... the ones that I love and trust and know will not hurt me.

    So just know that I understand where you are, and what you have and are going through. You are not alone, despite the loss of both parents.

    If I could, I would give you a very long, warm hug and if the tears flowed, then what better place than on a friend's shoulder?

    Take care. Keep in touch. Let things happen as they need to.

  2. Ponita, Thank you for sharing your experiences and for your kind thoughts. Your support is most welcomed and appreciated.

  3. I am terribly sorry for your loss. What I want to say is not something I can say while I'm on the train - it was hard enough to read your post.

    Promise to comment again tonight.

  4. CP, I've noticed that I tend to write some depressing, sad stuff sometimes; unintentional, of course, but it happens.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your kind thoughts and support. I am grateful for them.

  5. I am officially an orphan... And I am left to wander the world on my own.

    Uh no. Don't think so.

    *holds up Orphans Club sign and invites others to gather round*

  6. I think Ponita said it best about the nicest place to cry is on a friend's shoulder. We're all here for you virtually, but I hope you do have someone to literally lean against right now.

    I'm sorry for your loss. Even if it was your mum's time, that's hard and the idea of you wandering on your own made me cry. Be good to yourself.

  7. In grief, everything changes.
    I'd like to say something positive, but I can't.

  8. Eros . I am really sorry for your loss. I like to think those that have physically gone are still very much with me in my mind.
    Be kind to yourself particularly at this time

  9. It's OK to write sad stuff, it's a part of life and I'm greatful you can and want to share it.

    I don't get along very well with my parents but I still have panic attacks sometime about the thought of losing them. Being all alone in the world with no safety net in case something should happen. Yes, I have a brother but we don't get along and I know we won't have any contact once they are gone.

    I agree that the best place to cry is on a best friends shoulder but I still hold it in and once I'm at home and alone I curl up into a ball and let it all out. Crying works for me and if I can't but need to I'll put on a really sad movie. It works every time.

    I'm very sorry for your loss and I hope in time it will lessen but it doesn't just do that overnight. It takes time and patience and remember if you want them to, they'll always be with you.

  10. I understand you completely.

    I am sorry about your mother. Be patient with yourself. We all grieve differently and it is a long and difficult process. Let yourself go through the process as you feel most comfortable. Your mother is already dead and I completely understand that you did not go to the funeral, funerals are a way that a lot of people find comfort but if that is not your way of feeling comforted than nothing wrong with you opting out. I truly understand you not going.

    I am sorry for your loss.

  11. I am glad that you decided to talk it through.

    There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. The dark background which death supplies brings out the tender colors of life in all their purity.
    George Santayana

    When my Dad left in '80 I was livid at the World, God, and his stupid f*cking Universe. I've already managed to outlive my Father by 6 years, something that I never thought that I would do. But I have come to an uneasy truce with the Reaper. All I know is that I need to say the things that need saying to those that need to hear it...just in case I'm not here tomorrow. That's about all that I can do.

    I'm not a in favour of treating this Life as a dress rehearsal for an afterlife. I think that this may actually be it and so we need to laugh, learn and love as much as we can, everyday.

    If you ever need to ramble or blubber or recount feel free to e-mail me...and I hope that the dam breaks soon and cleanses your spirit. I know that there is a lot to process and it takes a while to reset your compass but it wouldn't hurt to let it out.

    You're not you can see, there are a lot of shoulders to lean on out here. We actually spend most of our lives in our thoughts but we're not really certainly aren't, you're in my thoughts.


  12. MJ, It is a good feeling to know that there are others who're in my situation; and yet, it still feels unreal. Thank you for the support. It means so much to me to know that other people care and are willing to bear the burden with me.

    Snooze, I spent so much time being independent that I forget to lean on my friends when times get tough. I don't like feeling vulnerable, but that can't be helped. Life is tough sometimes.

    I just want to be alone for now, but my friends are just hovering around, ready to catch me when I fall (apart and put the pieces back together), even when I don't want them to :) Thank you for your thoughts.

    Scarlet B, Sometimes, there are no words to ease the pain. All we can do is let people know that we feel for them. Thank you for your efforts.

    Beast, Thank you very much for your kind thoughts. As much sorrow I'm experiencing, I'm also feeling quite relieved and at peace that my mother is no longer suffering. She has done her best to give me a great start in life; the rest now is up to me. I think I'll be okay, eventually. I'm going to be fine.

    CP, Thank you for sharing your personal experiences and caring thoughts. I actually feel the way you do about some of my siblings. I've always thought that the glue that held my family together was my mother. I suspected that as soon as she was gone, I would permanently separate myself from some of my siblings who cause me pain. A few I still keep in close contact with, and I've a lot of nieces and nephews that I'm very close to.

    I confess that while I've always been the shoulder my friends can cry on, I don't like having to be the one doing the crying. It's pathetic, I know, but I don't want to them to see me cry. I guess because then, I'm afraid that seeing me cry would make them cry, and I don't want to cause them any pain. Though, I know that they share in my sorrow.

    I know that I'll get through this; I guess living through my father's passing has given me some insight and some small preparation. It's still a shock, but I'm not angry at the world. I'm just sad to have no more Mom to send a Mother's Day gift to or talk to on the phone anymore.

    CYFN, Thanks and Welcome. Your thoughts and words are appreciated. I've always had a mother looking out for me, praying for me, talking to me. It seems strange not having that anymore. I know that I'm going to break down soon enough, and I know that though it'll be tough, it will be a good thing for me in the end.

    Donn, Thank you so much for sharing your own life experiences and caring thoughts. I really am blessed and lucky to have so many wonderful, caring people looking out for me.

    I totally agree with you about living life in the moment, to the fullest, saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done. My father's death showed me that life was too short and you never know what day will be your last. Surviving his passing has made accepting my mother's passing a little easier. It hurts not having her around anymore, but I'm also glad that she is no longer suffering. And when I cry, it'll be for a long time.

    I'm so lucky to have had her live for so long. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to talk to her as an adult, to share our dreams and hopes and fears and thoughts. I never got that opportunity with my father. But everything I needed and wanted to say to my mother, I'm glad I did. I just wish I could hear her laugh one more time...

  13. I am so sorry for your loss, Eros. Anything you need, let me know.

    It's not true, though, what you said that you are no longer anyone's son. You will always be someone's son.

    Wishing you and your family tons of support.

  14. Tara, Thank you so much for your kindness and concern. It really means a lot to me.

    You're right about me always being someone's son. It just feels a little weird knowing that I won't have a Mom to talk to or send gifts to anymore.

    Thank you for your support. It's much appreciated.

  15. Sounds like a very complicated story as they all are. Families can be so difficult to understand.

    I still have both my parents which just means that I have all this to go through.

    I wish you the best.

  16. Famulus, Thank you for your thoughts. You're right about families being so complicated; though, I guess when it comes to mine, it just seems a lot more twisted than other families :)

    I envy that you have both parents and that you still get to talk to them. That's a great thing; cherish it for as long as you can.

    Thank you for your support.