Thursday, 14 March 2013

Facing My Greatest Fear



My Mum is gravely ill and it won’t be long before I, and my siblings, and our wider family,  and all her friends, lose her from our lives.

The truth is, she’s already gone… her body remains, but she has fallen into a long and restful sleep. This has been difficult to come to terms with.

She is loved and we have all been blessed by her love.

Her passing has always, throughout my life, been my greatest fear… and those days of perceived incomprehensible terror have arrived.

I have to admit that the past few months have - with the deterioration of her physical health and cognitive function - thrown me into a state of incredulous confusion, but clarity returned in the early hours of this morning and I am no longer afraid.

I broke up with my girlfriend, yesterday, and the culmination of all this chaos had me, last night, seriously consider whether it was worth sticking around at all. I couldn’t imagine a future after so much loss. There are many challenges to come, including the possibility of homelessness and abject poverty, and the dark imaginings of the mind were clouding my consciousness.

My Mum brought me into this world and, through my ‘depressive’ years, saved me so many times, when many other parents would have kicked me out and turned their backs on me.

What an insult it would be, then, after all that love and saintly patience, if I were to transmute the positive energy she gifted me into something dark and negative, which I would use as fuel to compel myself to a miserable ending.

Although there will be those who say I’m wrong or uncaring, when the time comes, I’m not going to grieve her physical passing… I’m going to celebrate her by living my life the best I can; by growing stronger and making sure that the gift she gave me is treasured and put to the best use I can find for it.

50 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Search the power you need to overcome this in yourself. You will find it. I know is common sense what I say but sometimes this is very hard to do. I lost both my parents already.

    So be strong, don't give up on yourself!

    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful Les,

    A poet couldn't have put it better. Everybody has to come to an end some day and their legacy is what (and who) they leave behind.

    Your mum is leaving behind a strong, independent, highly talented person in you. She is so proud of you right now, I guarantee it.

    Stay strong Les, you're in our thoughts.

    Dan and the FBP team.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As your last paragraph suggests, looking to her life as inspiration will perhaps be the best tribute you can give to her. I hope while you have time to reflect upon her life during these final stages you will take some time to try and understand a bit more deeply who she has been through her life. My dad passed on 1/3/13, but before he did I had an experience with him that revealed him in a way I had not thought of before. I bet if you look at your interactions with your mom you will find such a moment. They are they if we look.
    http://www.shestokas.com/guest-commentary-reflections/after-60-years-i-came-to-really-know-my-dad-on-november-20-2012/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Les, Facing the death of the parent is a child's greatest fear for everyone. I'm not minimizing your fear.A word of advice from someone whose been in the shoes you're now wearing. Don't mourn the living but enjoy whatever time you have left.It is precious and irreplacable! You've got the rest of your life to mourn this loss.

    My mother died of cancer. Once the doctor said the dreaded words, "30-60 days." I was voluntarily forced into the role of nurse, because I was one, by my family. They all sought advice on her care and what to expect. I was so busy being the nurse that I didn't take time to be the loving daughter. This was a mistake that I still pay for twenty-five years later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree these words, don't pre think, go with the flow love her and enjoy her to the last, then love her and yourself by grieving.

      Les you inspire so many people, continue to by being the man your lovely Mum has helped you become. Go gently x

      Delete
  5. Oh, Les, I love your mom, she's beautiful. Your words are too, and I can tell you, as the mother of a son, I can think of no greater honor than that he might someday (but please, let me be in the far, far future) write such a tribute about me.
    Cheers and lots of Alaska hugs,

    ReplyDelete
  6. Les, I feel for you and wish you the best. My Mom, too, is now very sick and I am afraid of losing her soon. My beloved Dad passed away 6 months ago and we thought we would have Mom around for a few more years, but now everything has changed.I am so depressed and angry, feel stuck in my life (I live in America, while the rest of my wonderful family is in Germany, so add to that the guilt of having left them.) I am torn between leaving my family here and the best job I ever had, and returning to my native country, but I don't think the time is right yet. All I can say is that I share your depression and feelings of hopelessness, and the sensation of feeling as if I am in a washing machine on spin cycle. The only thing that helps me is the research I am doing for a project about death and dying, Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross books, and little signs from my Dad. I wish you well, may we survive this immense struggle. Shanti: The spirit in me greets the spirit in you. Embrace the pain, and hopefully, this too shall pass. Uta

    ReplyDelete
  7. She would be very proud of you for taking this positive approach to the end of her life. It is hard to loose the parents who loved you, but she will live on in you , which is the best honour you can give her. My thoughts are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Les, you are a good son. Honor her memory by being the best person you can be, because of her love. ♥ As far as grieving, my mother told me before she passed, to not be sad, that she also wanted me to be joyful in life. I can understand your feelings. Celebrate love and life!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Les Floyd, your beloved and dear Mom will always be with you, you will carry her in your heart, in your genes, in all your paths, you will be taken care of, you will have grown stronger and you will find a way to overcome the suffering and keep on walking with your beloved mom in your soul, in all you have been loved by her. Be alive, you still have things to accomplish around here, and your mother has prepared you for that. Stay well

    ReplyDelete
  10. Please know that your mother will always be near you in spirit, she will never leave you. No one can know the grief and loss you are feeling, but take comfort in the support around you. Stay in the present, you will regain your strength from within. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So sad to here this, you will be ok and make her proud however you live your life, she will always love you. I hope you hang on in there and face life with a smile it will get better.
    Best wishes
    Caroline x

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Les,

    I hope you are able to be with your mother in the moment of passing, so you can feel her incredible joy-filled release to spirit. Whether you are there in the exact moment or not, know that her soul will be free and blessed and joyful beyond our capacity to imagine.

    She will be with you always. In the days to come, be open to small signs of her presence. Once you see one, you will begin to see them all around you.

    Warm hugs,

    Carole

    ReplyDelete
  13. I find your resolve celebratory and definitely a positive spin on the seeds imparted through your Mum's efforts. She'd want nothing less.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Floyd,
    The greatest honor you can give to your mother in her passing will be to live, live, live. You have walked through the fear by reaching your resolve. Your mum's legacy lies in your new found strength. That is her tribute. Try to be kind to yourself through this period of transition and loss. Feel what you feel and grieve however you grieve. And when you are ready, go forward and Celebrate.
    Irene

    ReplyDelete
  15. Les, My heart goes out to you, your family, and friends. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Your mom has given you and your family the best of herself. All the love, kindness, compassion, and patience she offered you throughout your life, is as you stated, a treasure; she shared it with you and hopefully you will bestow her gift to others.

    I lost my mother in 2009. I still think of her often. I spent the last years of her life caring for her and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. It took my three years to remove her number from my cell phone. However, I know she knows that I was there in the end and that gives me strength. You sound like you have had an epiphany much like my own; I know it was a difficult road to pass.

    I say all this to say that the depth of her love shows you that you are worthy. You are meant to live a life that will make you happy, without judgement or fear. Your mom knows you best and throughout the tough times she has always had faith in you; faith you know must restore in yourself. If she belives in you, you have no choice, you must believe in yourself too. You know mothers are always right. ; ).

    ReplyDelete
  16. Carrie Ann Lahain14 March 2013 at 19:04

    Facing the loss of a parent is terrifying. I'm in my forties and, when things get hard, I still want to crawl into my mother's lap and hide. Her health isn't great, and we've had some close calls recently. I also have a husband battling rectal cancer. I have struggled with anxiety all my life. Lately, fear has settled in my home and my heart and WILL NOT BUDGE. So I live in spite of it. There's no choice, really. Your mother's physical presence will pass away, but her essential being, the love she carried and shared, that will always be with you. Take good care, Carrie

    ReplyDelete
  17. You have been truly blessed with such a wonderful Mum and now her time is near you will still hear her when she's gone and you will always cherish her memory. Her voice will be your inner voice and that will be your strength.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Take heart dear man that this time we move through is creating much upheaval for many. Flow with what is and place on the back boiler until another day those issues that cannot be dealt with now. Time will bring them to the fore when you are ready. Ease off the gas in other words. I had this conversation the other day with one of my sons, when i declared I wanted a brass band blaring out at my funeral - I was shocked to see his aghast face and reply that he couldn't agree with that. I said that I wanted him to celebrate my life not mourn me - that would be so - sad I spose! Nothing changes to us when we die - it is for those around us the changes happen. We love you Les Floyd......

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for sharing this beautiful writing with all of us. She IS proud of you and YES you will carry that bright shining light of truth within you forever. She will hold that light for you when you are in the dark.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My deepest sympathies, Les. It's so hard to lose loved ones. Let the tears come as they may, when they may. And then be happy for all that you had with your mother.

    I bid you peace,

    Naoma

    ReplyDelete
  21. Les, I have this same fear and I don't know if I can be as strong as you. With your bravery in talking about this, it has helped me realize that as the oldest, I'll have to be. I thank you for opening up and telling us how you feel. This will help me and I hope by sharing this, it helps you as well.

    Peace be with you and all your loved ones.

    Yelle

    ReplyDelete
  22. I can relate to everything you are expressing. When my mom made her journey home, she left a poem in her bible saying in summary, "when I have gone one bright day, do not mourn, with the rain comes the sunshine and I'll only be a whisper away waiting to meet you some day."

    Trust me, the strength comes and leaning into the pain of loss is healthy as long as we do not get lost. With some passage of time, you will feel the closeness of your mother again and it'll be so real.

    Many blessings and may God hold you and your family in the palm of his hands.

    Suzy

    ReplyDelete
  23. No advice,just sending love & prayers. Adam

    ReplyDelete
  24. My condolences. Losing a parent -- something we all know is coming -- is hard.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Living your best life is a marvelous way to honor one who has been so supportive towards you. You are in my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Les ... a lovely piece that speaks to the joy of carrying forward the inspiration we have received from those we love and who have loved us. With every passing year, I am more and more drawn to "celebrations of life" rather than funereal events. Depression is a difficult thing to deal with, but if your mother gave you the sense of inspiration, you are lucky indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Whenever you feel down look into a mirror and your Mum will look back at you. She will always be around when you need her xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi.
    This is a very moving piece. Though I can't imagine life without my mother, it's a fact of life that someday I will have to, so I can very much relate to what you feel.

    I believe that people are put into our lives for a certain time and for a certain purpose, and it is up to us to cherish, appreciate and learn from that person, and love them the best we can while we've got them.

    You say you're mother gave you all of herself throughout your life, so I really hope you don't choose to through it all away... that's a feeling i understand very well, so I promise you, that even though it might not seem like this now, another person will come into your life, even just for a brief moment, and even just so they can help you overcome the pain (because you never "overcome" the memories...)

    A wise man (who i care very much for) once told me that i am the only one that can decide to lift myself out from disrepair, but the one thing he can do for me is take my hand and point me in the right direction (which he did). So hold on, because I am certain your person is just around the corner!!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm sure your mum would love to know that you will go on and gather strength from the love and support she has previously given you. Sometimes life throws things at us all in one go, you have a tremendous amount to conquer and just think, if you can get through this you can steer your way through anything. Best of wishes from me.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Having recently lost my Mum I understand that fear & also dreaded the inevitable lost of my parents for as long as I can remember. Yes, it comes, but with your friends & family around you, you will see the light of day again. Draw breathe, take stock & allow the space to grieve and then look to the sun and live on with gratitude to the amazing gift she gave you..

    ReplyDelete
  31. My condolances to you. You are doing the right thing to celebrate her by doing the best of what she gave you. It will make her proud. Look out for messages she may send you in your night dreams. My parents did shortly after they passed away which were a great help for me.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I too recently lost my mom, 3 years ago this month, I know exactly how your feeling, near the end I prayed that her pain would cease, she would be young and free once more on passing... my prayers are with you and your family...

    ReplyDelete
  33. Your mum instilled courage in you and the will to carry on and no matter what happens, you will always find that strength to do so for she is and always will be with you forever guiding you. Mums are like that because they love us so very much.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Dear Les, my heart goes out to you and your family. I'm so sorry for your loss. Reading over your post I've shared many of the same feelings that you've expressed as I've also lost my mom. She passed away last August, the day before her Birthday. I cared for her at home and when the time came I had the beautiful and intimate experience of holding her in my arms as she passed.
    I'd like to say it gets easier with time..somewhat yes, but I think about her and miss her everyday. What keeps me strong is knowing that she's still here with me in spirit and like you I want to take what she's taught me to be the best I can be, go after my goals and dreams and make her proud.
    She'll live on in your heart and cherished memories. When you're really sad and missing her think back to happy, funny times with her. It will cheer you up. Take care

    ReplyDelete
  35. Sending my hopes and prayers to you during this time. I lost my mom 3 years ago. Was very hard, terrible time actually. You will make it though. Mourning the physical loss is inevitable, but you have the right idea to focus on the great legacy she leaves behind. I also lost my grandmother to cancer so I can relate there as well. Hang tight :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I lost my Mum recently. It was my biggest fear too. Of course, I think about her alot but as each day passes, the thoughts are less about regret and guilt but more about what I think she would like for me to do now - and it is quite simply for me to enjoy my life.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Les - this is a beautiful piece of writing. You are so strong and brave to have thought all this through and come to the conclusions you have. Your Mum will be justly proud of you and she will be leaving a great legacy in you, her son. Do not fear for her, she will be going to a better place than here, away from any pain and suffering. Take Care - heartfelt thoughts are with you. Elaine x

    ReplyDelete
  38. I lost my father whilst I was in my late teens. it was the hardest thing to deal with on my own at the time. But it also gave me the mind to succeed in his own rewards and make him proud of his daughter! I have a super home in a rural location, perfect husband and good job. Dad always wanted me to push myself that little bit. I know he smiles at me when the sun shows through the clouds. Be your mum's inspiration and celebrate the time you have been taught and be positive. it's been 24 years since my dad hugged me for real but the memory is still as if he was here yesterday. Above all be strong x

    ReplyDelete
  39. I lost my mother in 2002. My father in 1998. They stood by my side though life. When they past, I felt alone, fearing how could I strive though life without them by my side. But, they made me strong, knowing I would push back the tears, & strive just as if they were by my side. It is from heaven above, they send their love & hugs. You are never alone!! Bev. Gant

    ReplyDelete
  40. I empathise with you. Do the best you can for your mother. I hope your siblings are a comfort to you. If you have a friend, now is the time to talk. Remember Cruse, they are there to help. I too dreaded the moment since childhood when my mum would die. After the event it is surreal. It may take a while to recover and get used to the idea she will no longer be there. You know she would want you to try your hardest to make a good life for yourself, so do it.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thank you for sharing this. No words at the moment other than empathy and a deep understanding of the fear.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I hope you find consolation in memories of times together. That's all we have left in the end. The death of my parents taught me and my siblings that. And get a cat, they are great.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have already lost both of my parents. I feel (as most do) that I had the best, most loving and supporting parents any child could ever be blessed with. Let me tell you right now, that no one has the right to tell you how you should feel. Your feelings are valid. And no one has the right to tell you later that "you should be over this by now." What an insensitive, uncaring thing to say. The length of the grieving process is appropriate no matter how long it takes. It is personal. It is YOUR grieving process.

    When my mom passed on, it was as if the world had lost a great deal of sunshine, and it was now a darker more gloomy place. I wondered how I could exist in such darkness and loss. I called a friend who was hosting a gathering of women at a large stadium in Denver, Colorado for a Christian Women's Conference, and my friend made a public announcement that his friend (me) had called in to tell him that his mother had just passed away and he is grieving, and could we all just stop for a moment and pray together for him. I found this out later after I phoned him again and he told me what happened.

    After my first phone call to him, what happened about 20 minutes later was something I will never, ever forget. The darkness lifted, the sun came out and I felt refreshed, alive and relieved, and actually happy! Why? Because of all of those prayers going up at once for me!

    I pray the same for you even though I don't know you. You are hurting and my heart and compassion go out to you. And I pray for your healing just as I got mine. God bless you, and keep going!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Les, your words are as beautiful as your mum is precious to you. I lost my dear father a little over a year ago to Emphysema following a gradual deterioration of his health over a number of years. I was with him holding his hand as he slipped away. In reality he had left us days before as it was only the breathing machine that was keeping his body alive. The relief in his face and body was palpable as he passed. I would not have been able to cope with and accept this had it not been for my awakening some years prior to the illusion of death and it not being something to fear as the physical body is merely a vessel for spirit & consciousness to experience this reality. This realisation dawned and I viewed the loss of my parents differently from that point onwards. The fear had gone. You will cope Les. My thoughts are with you my friend. Paul.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Don't you dare give up! Don't give up! You keep your chin up and you drive that energy from the depth of your core to see a big future you can make for yourself. I am the survivor of EXTREME child abuse and atrocities by the hands of evil parents for 10+ years. I never had a mom or dad tell me they love me. So you don't give up! Please. For me. My True Story > http://floydkelly2012.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/my-most-incredible-true-story/ And also, homelessness is not the end of your existence. I have been homeless before and I'm still here!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am so sorry to hear this about your mum and your other circumstances but we all face difficult times in our lives, this too shall pass for you and you will always have those strengths within that your mother gave you as you said. You'll be in my thoughts from afar, you're never alone despite some things that happen in this world that I may never make sense of, I know there are caring giving people out there and that gives me hope. I wish you all the best.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Miss your tweets, but you have a lot on your mind so ....I forgive and pray that your healing allows you to write again soon!


    @robertbarry13

    ReplyDelete
  48. You are brave to share your loss and darkest fear here. My mother had a stroke and died five days later. I had to give permission to take her off life support, after the doctors told me there was no hope. I am an only child. I wouldn't have been able to make it through such heartache if it weren't for my daughters. My mother and I sorted out all our issues two years before her passing. That was 1992. I stayed with her until the end. I'm writing this while underneath the comforter she shared with me on sleepovers. There is no other love like a mothers' love. It never dies! I wish you Peace of Mind and Love, Nana

    ReplyDelete