I don’t really now where to begin my story, so many dear and close ones have died and they are not with me in real life anymore.
The first one to die was my former boss who died in the beginning of 1997 and later that year I visited an old co-worker at the hospital. She had a brain tumor and it was terrible to see her in the hospital bed and being so sick. Three weeks before my daughter was born my grandmother (dad’s mother) died, grandmother who followed my pregnancy and was looking forward to see her son’s first grandchild.
Then the day came when my daughter was born, what a feeling to be a mom, so many new emotions when you see your newborn child for the first time. I remember that my mother cried when I told her that she was to be a grandmother, she cried when I called and told her that she was a grandmother to a little girl and of course she cried when she saw her granddaughter for the first time. One week after my daughter was born I got the sad new that my former coworker had died, as a new mom I couldn’t go to the funeral and that felt very hard, but I had talked to her daughter about it so she knew why I wasn’t there.
I was all up in the roll as a mom, what a feeling… Spring went and summer to. We spent much time in my mom’s cabin, with my brother and my grandmother and of course my daughter was in the middle of it all. It was during the summer months that we got the news that my mom had cancer, she got treatments and she sort of convinced us that it was going to be all right and she was going to beat this illness.
Late that summer my mom began to be more in the hospital, to get different kind of treatments. Some weekends in October she stayed at my home and we spent lots of time together with my 9 month old daughter, it was good to be able to take care of my mom. In my notebook from 1998 I made some notes on the 31st of October that mom was with us and that we had gone to the mall and that mom had bought a special doll for Christine. Late in 1999 I developed a film from my camera and there was a picture from that weekend, with mom, Christine and the doll and that was the very last picture taken of my mother, two weeks before she died.
In the beginning of November my mom became sicker, but she was still happy and positive, I didn’t had a thought that she would die. Not with her attitude to life and she had just became a grandmother. On November 14th my mom was at the hospital, very sick, pale and tired and that wasn’t like my mother at all.
was with us at the hospital during the day; later on the afternoon my daughter
and her dad went home, hospital isn’t a place for a nine month old baby to be
My mother slept most of the time, but she woke up some and talked to me… The doctor had told us that there was nothing more to do, then to ease her pain. We left the hospital late that night, after I hugged and kissed my mom and I told her I loved her… I called the ward at 11 that night and got the answer that mom was sleeping.
Just after midnight the phone rang and a nurse said that I better come to the hospital as quick as I could.. I phoned my aunt and asked her to meet me at the hospital and then phoned a friend who came to watch my daughter, and then my boyfriend and I went in high speed to the hospital. We arrived at 12.35 am and I rushed in and was about to open the door to mom’s room when a nurse stopped me and instead showed me into an office. There was my aunt and it was enough with one look at her sad face and teary eyes to understand what happened.. My mom had left us at 12.22 am, only 53 years old…
NO! NO! I screamed.. Not my mom! I remember that my aunt tried to hug me but that was not what I wanted or needed right there. I was devastated, my mind was in chaos and I didn’t really know what to do or what to think or what to feel. The nurses asked if I would like to see my mother, but right then I couldn’t… I went out to the balcony, to have a smoke, to calm down and try to get my mind and feelings to cooperate in some way.
There on the balcony I suddenly got calm, stopped crying and stopped shaking.. It was a very strange feeling and it really scared me. Why did I feel so calm and strange? Way later I understod why I did feel that way.. it was my mom who helped me so I could handle all that I had to do that night… My aunt and I went into the room where my mother was, the nurses had made her look nice and there was candles and flowers in the room. Somehow it wasn’t my mother who was in the bed, it was just her shell. It looked like she was sleeping and I wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up and talk to me.. I was only in the room for a short time, I couldn’t stay and see my mom lie there, so pail almost white and not moving, it was terrible.
The nurses fixed some lemonade and coffee in a nearby room, then my cousins arrived to. Now the sorrow became to the more practical things.. my brother was sitting on a train to get to us, I couldn’t call him and tell him what happened, that wouldn’t be right, cause he couldn’t do anything on the train and he wouldn’t arrive until several hours later. Then the big question on how to tell my grandmother, someone thought we should wait until the morning, time was now about 1.30 am. I said that I thought that grandmother would like us to tell her right away, that she be kind of mad at us if we waited until the morning. I went alone one more to mom’s room, to say goodbye to my mother, my mom, my beautiful mom, a grandmother, so many things my 9 month old daughter would miss in life without her grandmother.
Meanwhile my aunt and cousins rang a nurse to meet us at grandma’s house, cause grandma had a bad heart and we where unsure how she would react when we told her that her daughter had left us.
to grandmother’s house; we had a key so we let ourselves in. I let my aunt and
cousins go in first, I stayed in the back while they woke grandmother up. She
sat up in the bed with wonder in her face, she looked at us all, but I am sure
she understood when she saw my teary face.. No! she said… It was terrible to see
her reaction.. There again my calm went over me, my mother helped me so I could
comfort my grandmother.. I sat with her at the bed, it is one of the few times I
seen my grandmother cry and be so devastated. The time we spent at my
grandmother is still a bit blurred; don’t really know what happened there.
home a bit later, my friend was at our home and watched my daughter, my brother
would arrive at the train station at 5.05 am this morning… and my friend said
she would stay so we could go meet him. It felt like hundreds of hours until it
was time for my boyfriend to drive me to the train station, I went to the
platform myself and watch the train come..
My whole body shook.. I tried
to shape the words in my head..
How could I tell my brother
that mom wasn’t with us anymore, that he came to late… I saw him get of the
train, he saw me.. a
big smile on his face..
he doesn’t know… tears began to fall from my eyes..
his smile disappears..
then the words come
from my mouth..
–Peter! You came to late.. mom isn’t here anymore! –
Never NEVER again do I want to say those words!
my brother to the hospital, cause he want to see our mom, my aunt is there,
cause I felt that I couldn’t take anymore.. I just wanted to go home and hug my
daughter and try and get some sleep.
Then the days rolled on.. Visit on the funeral home, to try and work out how the ceremony should look like, mom hadn’t said anything on how she wanted it, but she didn’t now that she would leave us..
The date for the funeral.. my birthday is the 24th , no day I wanted to celebrate that year, where should mom be buried? That was an issue where our grandmother got to say what she wanted, there was space in the family grave and there wasn’t an argument to that..
ceremony was held 'on November 26th . My brother and I tried to make
it as bright and nice as possible. My grandmother couldn’t attend the ceremony
at church cause her doctor and all of us thought it would be to emotional for
her and her heart.
We didn’t want a lot of religious songs, so we decided to play an Elvis song.. “Moma liked the roses” was the one we decided on. One of my mothers former co-workers said that the whole ceremony went fine for her, but when that song came on the speakers all breaked and she started to cry, she also said that the song was so perfect for the ceremony and that was what we wanted.
When the ceremony was over it was just the nearest family who got together, even my dad was there. In church and afterwards my brother and I had put a book for people to write in, many people wrote their last goodbye’s and there thoughts about our mother. I have that book in one of my shelves, many people wrote nice things about my mother, but the words that get to me the most when I read it is what my grandmother wrote – “Dear child of mine, my loss is so big, so big…. “then she couldn’t write anymore.. Poor, poor grandmother, to loose a child, how old it may be is probably the hardest anyone can handle.
After the funeral it was time to ”go back to life”, I was a mother myself and my daughter was my priority, my daughter was and still are my lifeline. I couldn’t just sit down and be sad and handle my sorrow, I had my little girl to take care of. Christmas time came, not a holiday I looked forward to, my mother loved Christmas with all its decorations and lights. I had got all of my mothers Christmas things, it felt strange and sad to go through all the boxes with her decorations and unpack the gnomes and other things I had seen though my own Christmas Holidays. But it was my daughters first Christmas and I wanted her to have the Christmas spirit that I was used to when I was a child, with tiny Santa Clauses, gnomes, angels, Christmas three and all the other things that belongs to the Christmas Holiday.
Christmas Eve was a hard day, emotionally, cause my mother should have been there as a grandmother, to see the lights and stars in my daughters eyes, to see Christine in her first Christmas dress. As usual we spent Christmas eve at my aunts house, my grandmother was as usual in ”her” chair and my cousins and the kids where there to… but something was missing… It got more emotional when I heard my cousins child call “grandma” to my aunt… That was a thing my daughter never could do, she would never get to know her grandmother, never do things with her and be spoiled rotten by her grandmother, like I know my mom would do.
midsummer’s eve 1999 Christine’s dad’s grandmother died after some times illness.
I think it was during the first months of 1999 that we got to know that my dad had a brain tumor. The picture of my former coworker at the hospital was still in my head, was my dad going to look like that? He went to hospital, started treatment and x-ray showed that the tumor was in a place where surgery couldn’t get to it, they couldn’t say how long he had to live. It could be all between 3 months to 10 years, depending on how and how fast the tumor was growing. I think it was then I told my brother that when dad got worse he had to come home as quick as possible, cause I didn’t want to go through the same thing and tell him that he came to late once more, at that time my brother was living in Israel.
first time went pretty good, dad was his usual self, happy and same playful dad
he always been. I can’t really remember when he got worse, but his memory
started to disappear, he said the same things over and over again, his balance
got worse and he walked very badly at one period. My dad lived most of the year
in Thailand and at one time his friends called and said that dad was getting
worse and that they had taken him to the airport so he could fly home, but some
hours later they found him in the house again. He had wandered around at the
airport, unsure on what he was doing there and then returned to his house. My
brother had to go to Thailand to help him get home. The time that followed was
with doctor’s appointments, dad lost a lot of weight and his memory disappeared
more and more. We got help for him in his home, so people could keep an eye on
him and so he got food every day. Some times I regret that I didn’t do more for
my dad, but I had to take care of my daughter, but I took that home to me very
often, he wanted to stay in his little apartment, but it was very difficult
during some periods. He said the same things over and over, we had took his car
cause we where scared that he couldn’t handle it, he could hurt others or
himself. He asked over and over where his car was, cause he couldn’t remember
where he put it, in the beginning he was furious that we took it from him, but
he accepted it finally. His mood went up and down all the time, some days he was
very angry and some days he was very calm.
At the end of October 2000 dad went into hospital, he had lost so much weight, he only weigh about 61 kilos, his talk was blurred, he was disorientated and sometimes we couldn’t understand what he was saying. The x-ray showed that the tumor had grown and they could'nt say how long he had left, I called my brother to get him home.. My biggest fear during dad’s last time was that one day when I visited him that he wouldn’t recognize me, luckily that didn’t happened. Last week of November my dad went in to a kind of coma and we couldn’t talk or reach him at all. It was so hard to see him lying in the bed, hear him breath and that he didn’t answer me when I talked to him and he didn’t look at me with his blue eyes.
December 1st 2000, I was at the hospital with my daughter and talked to dad some, the nurses said they thought he could hear me, my daughter said that grandpa was tired and needed to sleep. When we left the room my daughter kissed her grandfather and waved “bye bye” to him. We went home around dinnertime, got home and fixed something to eat, then we slept for awhile and then we went for a walk to the store. When we got back home around 4.30 pm I noticed that there had been several calls from an unlisted number and that was most likely to come from the hospital and my brother who was there. The phone rang again, I was somehow reluctant to answer it, like I knew what the call was about and my fears was right when I picked up the phone.. It was my brother who said that our dad had died calm and peaceful, but just before he did he had opened his eyes and looked at my brother and Peter had told him that we loved him very much… after that dad closed his eyes and fell into that final sleep.
My daughters dad came and got Christine and my dad’s sister came and picked me up and we drove to the hospital. It was just 1 year and 16 days since I made the same trip to the same hospital when my mom died.
I rushed into the ward and a nurse meet me and started to talk to me, but I interrupted her and said – “Where is my brother? I want my brother!”
That’s when Peter came out from my dads room, he just walks to me and hugs me, I was so glad he was home, he was what I needed at that moment, a shoulder to cry on, one who truly understand what feelings and emotions I was feeling, cause he was feeling the same.
We went hand in hand into dad’s room, Peter had helped to fix it with candles.. and there was my dad, so pale and so still. Why couldn’t he open his eyes and look at me.. Curse at me at tell me that I was “a damn kid!” Why is this happening to me (us) one more time.. I was 35 years old and an orphan.. My little girl was 2 years old and had no grandmother or grandfather.
Once again my brother and I had to prepare a funeral and all those details that one have to go through when someone dies.
After mom died I understood how much there was to be done after someone’s death, things that one never had to think about before. I had asked dad at one time about what his thought where about when he died (he knew he was that sick) and I also told him about the memory-park at the cemetery where mom was buried, that I happened to walk into that at one time, and told him how nice and peaceful it was there with the grass, water, all the flowers and the candles. My dad was this funny and practical man so he said we could “throw” him there so we didn’t have to run all over town when we went to cemeteries, so that wasn’t such a hard decision.
So I remembered dad’s and mine conversation when we sat down at the funeral home with my aunt to discuss the ceremony and arrangements.. My aunt had at this time a funeral home (destiny?!) and she helped us a lot with it all. She also arranged for a pre ceremony, where relatives could come see dad in an open coffin. I didn’t know if I wanted to go on that or not.. I had said my goodbyes at the hospital and I didn’t know if I wanted to see dad one more time. But when the day came I did go, cause I was afraid that I would regret if I didn’t , it was a very nice moment. My aunt had decorated the room with flowers and candles and the lid and the coffin was decorated with hundreds of roses, it was very beautiful. Dad really looked like my dad.. one of is eyes peered up a bit like he was watching us and what we did, he had some beard stubble and his hair was a bit messy, the only thing missing was his face to be dirty and paint on his clothes to be the picture that I had of my dad… He looked that way when he was working in the garage.
Then the day for the funeral came, left my daughter at daycare, to emotional to have a 2 year old at the funeral. When my brother and I arrived at the cemetery we went to mom’s grave and put down a wreath of flowers and lit a candle.
The chapel was so beautiful decorated with lots of flowers and candles, and there where candles all around the coffin to. My brother had arranged a table with a picture of dad on it and also put the book we had on mom’s funeral there so people could write there if they wanted. Once again we choose to have an Elvis song played during the ceremony, this time we choose “My Way”,that song is perfect and reflect on how our dad was and the life he lived.
Once again it was Christmas time and another person to miss during this holiday. One miss the loved once all year around, but at special holidays or birthdays it becomes more “alive” that they are not here with us. A big comfort during these years was my grandmother, the patriarch in our family, a woman who is so strong, so full of love and always willing to give a hug or two.
It has been so hard not to be able to take the phone and call mom or dad and tell them things that my daughter done. My mom and I had a very special relationship, both mother and daughter, but also two close friends who could talk about almost everything.
some times we talked at least twice a day, I miss our talks so much, so much I
like to tell her and ask, about Christine especially.. Things that I can’t talk
about with other relatives or friends, it isn’t the same thing.
The year 2001 went buy with out any big sensations.. At spring 2002, my boyfriend and I started to look for a house, we found one we (I) liked and in June 2002 we started to move in… Pretty much to do when moving and everything seemed to be going so good and finally I could relax some and feel like my life started to come back to “normal”.
august 25th when the phone rings early in the morning and my aunt
tells me that my grandmother died in her apartment early that morning… I called
my brother in Israel and told him what happened and once again he had to come
home to Sweden to attend a funeral. It isn’t easy, I am a very emotional person
and cries very easily. Once again we had to arrange a funeral, I had to step in
instead of my mom and to represent my brother until he arrived, only difference
this time was that my aunts got to take care of most of it.
It was a pretty ceremony, we choose just to have closest family and we all meet at my cousin afterwards. Somehow it was easier when grandmother died, she was old, she had a great, but yet difficult life. It is natures course that old people at one time leave us.
January 2004 I get the message that my daughters other grandfather left us, I
was the one to get the message to my x-hubby... it seemed like an endless crowed
of dead people around me, yet another funeral to attend!
All the time wounds is being torn up again, wounds that don’t get the time to start healing or started to be handled, all these near and dear once in my life that I have to mourn, all the time try to handle the sorrow so I can go on with my life, I haven’t had the time to mourn one person until the next died
The years have gone and I had to handle it my way, I have a daughter who needs me, so I had to put away the sorrow to be able to handle my ”job” as a mom and not been able to handle and take care of the sorrow as I should have.
I have redrawn from family and friends and built a “wall of stone” around me. Maybe that's been something I had to do, to have that wall to be able to handle things around me, the everyday things that have to be done.
day came, I knew it would come one day, when I started to understand that I
couldn’t handle it by myself anymore, that I somehow needed help with my
depression and help to get out of the hole I dug for myself and to tear down the
wall I built.
It started November 24th 2004, my birthday, Christine was at school and I had started to iron tablecloths and curtains to start decorating for Advent. Maybe it was the combination of my birthday and once again it was time for the Christmas season and the sorrow and thought of those who wasn't here anymore that made me (finally) break and admit to my self that I do needed help. After some tear wet cloths and curtains and an emotional phone call with my aunt I sat down and started to write an email, and sent it quickly (so I didn’t change my mind) to my relatives and friends:
birthday, November 24th should have been a good day, but not this year either,
why should everything fall apart on this special day, maybe it was the lack of
certain people not calling me to wish me a happy Birthday.
Maybe it is time for me to
finally break and start to become whole again.
A long time now I have been feeling so bad, in many ways. It is so hard for me to ask for help, to admit that something is wrong, but now I feel that I must get these feelings inside of me out in the open and tell people how I really feel,
don’t want pity, I just want people to now how I feel, what emotions I am going
through and what I been going though the last years. It is impossible for me to
“Cheer up” and go forward that easily. Everything have been piling up inside of
me and to sort it all out quick and easy isn’t possible.
Nothing seem funny anymore, to not feel any happiness in the decorations for Advent or Christmas is terrible for me, but I have to! Have to for my daughters sake, she need to feel the spirit and joy at this time of year, but I don’t.. I do want to be happy and feel good for Christine, she deserves better then a mom who feel bad and sad all the time. I seem to have come to my senses that something needs to be done or else I will go down…
I hardly sleep anymore, wakes up every second hour and can hardly get back to sleep, I am wide awake at 6 every morning and can’t get more sleep, though I am tired and not seem rested at all. I don’t mind how I look anymore, don’t mind how my home looks, I am sad almost the whole time, can’t stop the tears from falling, but I don’t want to show Christine how sad I am or how bad I feel.
don’t care for anything around me anymore, nothing seems fun, and don’t feel
happiness at all. I don’t think I have been able to mourn my parents like I
should have, one thing after another have hit me. To all of a sudden be an
orphan and don’t have mom to call anymore is terrible.. I miss my mom so much,
she and dad should be here and see their granddaughter grow up, do things for
her and spoil her. The knowledge of the things that my little girls is loosing
by not having her grandparents alive hurts so much. Who knows what my little
girl is thinking, on other kids that have a grandma who do things for and with
them. I know what my mom had done for Christine, so much… I can see my moms face
in my mind when she saw her granddaughter for the first time….
Sometimes it feels like all of my body hurts, headache is always around.
Thoughts flies in my head, I can’t take it anymore, I don’t want to, nothing is funny, I don’t look forward to anything anymore, life feel like hell, trapped in my own body. This isn’t the person I remember, I don’t want to be this person!
want to be able to wake up in the morning and look forward to a new day, not
pretending to feel good, to be a good mom to my daughter who needs me, I want to
look forward to things and feel the joy in doing them.
Christine is my life, my joy and my gift, my gift to life, my reason to stay and fight. Something wanted her to come into my life when she did, before all hell broke loose, that I do got a purpose in life. Without Christine I don’t know what I would have done, she is the only thing who can make me smile and laugh, to feel her arms around my neck and hear her voice tell me that she loves me is the highlights of my life.
There, now I have written down some of the stuff that is going around in my mind, I think this is a tiny step in the right direction to let these things out and on ”paper” and also to let people around me to understand how I feel..
What next step will be I don’t know now, but I can’t have it this way anymore, so I am going to deal with it”
Ghee! Now that I read the letter I see what a desperate person who wrote it, and that person is me?! This therapy with writing down the feelings and emotions that I am feeling and what have happened to me and the memories that I have is a good way for me to get back on the right track again. After I sent the email to friends and relatives, some have started to contact me, some that I haven’t talked to in years and that is a very good feeling.
that in my situation, and how I feel I do need my family around me, to hear
memories and stories about them who is not with us anymore.
I have also started to see a psychiatrist once a week and it may help me to get my thoughts and feelings into place and to sort out all that I have inside me and then be able to get going with my life. One of my cousins said a good thing to me once and that is that my brain have accepted and know mom, dad and my grandparents aren’t with us anymore, but the heart haven’t really caught up yet. Somehow I accept more that my grandparents aren’t here anymore, that’s what life is about, they where older and had a good life. It is the thoughts that my mom (53 years old) and my dad (55 years old) aren’t here anymore and also the thoughts on what my daughter is missing out.
I have started on a course and are going to take the “European Driver License for Computers”. It is hard sometimes to have people around me, strangers and I am not use to all the noises and talks around me, so sometimes it gets to me, but I have my “mask” to put on, then people can’t see how bad I feel. The mask is a good and a bad thing, it sort of protect me, I deal with my problems on my own.. But it is a good thing to be around people, I have to do it and stop isolating myself.
I think/I know that my writings, with my thoughts and emotions is a must for me to be able to go on,. And a way to get people to know how I really feel, it is easier for me to put it all on ”paper” then to express in words.
feel much, much better now.. I can’t say that I am all together feeling good,
but most of my depression is gone and I don’t feel so down anymore. Pieces of
the puzzle is starting to come together.. it will take time for the puzzle to be
complete and I think that the last piece will always be missing, but as long as
the puzzle is almost done I think I am on the right track!
One day at the bus stop on my way to counseling, I just got this thought in my head "Damn I feel good!", yet it was snowy, grey and cold 'lol' and since then I feel much better then I have in a long time.. That was a great feeling! I am on the right track and I am hoping for it to go forward, the road won’t be straight ahead, I know that… It can be bumpy and curves a long the way, but I think after what I been through I can handle it.
I read somewhere a long time that sorrows makes us stronger… well in that case I be Super Woman by now ;)