7 years ago
Thursday, February 7, 2013
How do you put into words the heartache of such a day?
There is no worse feeling than watching a parent die. Truly. I think the day we buried her almost matched the grief of the day she passed away. We can't decide which day felt worse yet.
Roger's mom is gone. His MOM. A mom is always supposed to there. Always. My husband is only 31 years old. He has been robbed so unfairly of time with this sweet woman.
How do I explain how heartbroken I am that my kids will not know their Grandma? She was an incredible lady. A perfect woman. My husband is so so so much her son....he got all of her great attributes. Our sweet Brynlee was the last grandchild Susan saw born on this earth -- and she will forever carry her name....Brynlee Susan Gardner. A constant reminder for Roger and I that we will see her again someday. But someday feels like a lifetime away.
For those that didn't know my Mother-In-Law was diagnosed with teminal lung cancer almost a year ago. This in itself was unfair - she never smoked a day in her life. And we found it too late, it had already spread throughout her chest cavity. It was treatable, but not curable. She accepted her death sentence with grace, dignity and a peace I've never seen before. She fought valiantly this past year. But she suffered. Probably a lot more than any of us knew. She was ready to be done with her mission here on Earth.
We got the call about a week after she had a thoracic duct ligation (to treat the fluid build up in her lungs) that she was being readmitted to the hospital for respiratory distress. That describes it mildly. The details don't matter now, but my heart hurts when I think of how she looked when we walked into the ER. She had asked for and was given a release blessing. With tears and unimagineable heartache her sweet husband granted her this last wish. Less than 12 hours later she passed peacefully through the veil into heaven...surrounded by every single one of her family members (including the daughter living in New York that we had on facetime) and I'm sure many of her already deceased family members. Each of us were able to say our goodbyes.
Shock describes how we have felt the last few weeks. It is not a reality yet, but is quickly starting to feel that way. We both have gone through the cycle of emotions, but no one but Roger can understand his true grief. How do you make the hurt go away? I can only stand back and watch as he suffers the loss of an incredible support system, a constant cheerleader, an example, a confidant, a friend, a mom. No amount of hugs or I'm sorry's will lessen the burden he now carries. What a lonely feeling. Yes he has me, yes he has his family, yes he has his kids. But he no longer has her. How grateful we both are for eternal families.
We want to say thank you to the incredible people in our lives who have called, texted, made dinner, dropped by, delivered gifts or flowers, and rallyed around us during what has been the most difficult time of our lives thus far. Thank you isn't enough, but it will have to do.
Words aren't needed for most of these, but I will describe a few of them along the way.
Waiting in the ICU hallway for the doctors to give us an update. Susan would have been proud of this picture of her sweet husband and sons.
Sweet Brynlee sleeping through most of the drama that day. Brynlee was able to tell her Grandma goodbye before she passed on.
Eating at Cheesecake Factory the night before the viewing. Each couple was given a gift card for Christmas from Gary and Susan. How sad we were Susan passed before we could arrange this dinner with her there.
A long few days for all....
Roger seeing his mom for the first time. Pictures don't adequately show how rough this moment was.
The morning sunrise the day we buried Susan. Such a cold day.
Susan's last sewing project was these skirts. Each granddaughter was given one for Christmas. As a tribute to her they each wore them to the funeral.
With broken hearts we have said goodbye to an incredible person. I am honored and humbled to have known Susan. I look forward to the day we can see her again in heaven. Until then we will do our best to continue the legacy she started.