Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Congratulations and Condolences

“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything." ~C.S. Lewis





Its been two weeks since we lost Mom. She left this world the day after we heard our baby's heartbeat for the very first time, at 3:15 am, during the full lunar eclipse. The hospice nurse woke us up by knocking on our door and I made it into the living room just after she had taken her last breath. Nathan was right behind me, and my father and brother were already by her side. We did not yet know that it was her last breath, until she did not take another. I used my hands to close her eyes, like they do in the movies. We held hands and prayed, and stayed with her until 7 am when they came to take her away. I took one last photo of us together.


With the loss of Mom came a profound sadness that quickly enveloped me and now permeates everything I do. I thought it would be easier because I knew it was coming. It's not. Being awake is difficult. Sleeping is difficult. And it's there all of the time, like I'm wearing a really heavy, wet blanket.

When I returned to work after the bereavement leave, I had to call a classroom for a student. The substitute who answered was a little behind on the news and exclaimed "Congratulations!" Oh yeah, I'm pregnant I thought. Dreaming about this baby and the future does help somewhat, but is quickly followed by emptiness knowing I will not be able to share it with Mom. Not only is it a loss for me, but it's a loss for our children who will miss out on being babysat by the kindest, happiest, most patient grandmother under the sun. My heart aches knowing they will only know her through stories.

It's such a strange time in my life because what would have been the happiest time has now turned into the saddest time. One of the toughest times is when I would normally call her: on my way to work, home from work and on my lunch walks. We spoke every day of my adult life.

This loss has stirred in me more of a desire to believe in something after this life and cultivate my faith. I went to mass and a prayer event on Saturday at one church, and mass on Sunday at another. I met with a Chaplin for two hours, signed up for a grief counseling group through the church, started reading the Bible, and C.S. Lewis A Grief Observed. Still, I remain skeptical and fearful that all we have on this earth may really be all we have. If that's the case, Mom is gone forever. I don't want that. I want her to be somewhere, anywhere, and I want to be reunited with her when I die.

The Chaplin I met with hit the nail on the head when she said that I seem frustrated with myself for not having faith. I am. I want so desperately to believe, but it does not come easy to me. Just when I seem to be making progress and inching along, a question pops into my mind like "But what about the dinosaurs? Why did God create them?" 

Her funeral is this Saturday, with burial (of remains, instead of internment) at Arlington National Cemetery in Riverside on Monday.

10 comments:

  1. Such a hard and painful time :-( I remember it well. I won't say I understand because each person's experience is unique but I remember those first weeks and months and I feel for you. I hope that you will be able to grieve however you need to. I hope that there will be comfort in the memories and that they will sustain you each day. Death is hard and painful and I'm so sorry for your loss. I know that no words can make it better but I wanted to acknowledge your post and your pain.

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    1. Rachel- While there may be no words, yours certainly did help. Thank you for them.

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  2. I am so very sorry for your loss. I would imagine the confusing emotions make it even more difficult knowing you should be thrilled about the new life growing inside of you but the saddest of sad for the loss of your Mother. My prayers are with you and your family Megan.

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    1. Thank you, Aime. Please know I am praying for your and your hubby to be pregnant too.

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  3. You do not have to believe in God to believe she is somewhere after death. The two don't have to go together if that makes it easier :) Love you!

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  4. I don't know how I stumbled across your blog, but it pretty much brought me to tears when I did. My mom passed away almost 4 years ago from brain cancer. I can relate to everything you describe, it's crazy. I feel for you so much, and I know the heartbreak you are going through. Also, my husband and I just went through out third round of IVF in 3 years, and tomorrow I will be 8 weeks pregnant. I hate that I don't have my mom with me through all of this.. I couldn't not write to you after reading everything you've gone through and seeing how similar it is to what I have. I guess I just want you to know that I understand, and sometimes it's just nice to know that somebody does. I know it's not much, but i felt I needed to tell you. If you ever want to email me, you can. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Jaclyn7421@gmail.com

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    1. Incredible. I guess you were meant to find it. I have to remember that whenever I feel alone in all of this, I am not. Unfortunately, others like you have been through similar situations. And I can't believe we are both 8 weeks pregnant! Emailing you today. xo

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  5. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I send my deepest condolences and huge internet ((hugs))

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