My post title is a line of lyrics from my song “Saying Goodbye,” which is completely appropriate for a mother and daughter soon to be separated by death.
I have never reblogged before and this is all new for me. But I am absolutely immersed in the real-life drama unfolding across the world.
As I wait for updates from Tersia on her blog, I continue to read by email dozens of blog comments written to her and Vicky. The outpouring of love and support takes my breath away.
I believe that I am drawn to all of this because it takes me outside of my own life. Right now, as I navigate the beginnings of separation and divorce, I am emotionally deadened. Zombieland is a familiar place for me; it allowed me to survive the death of my son two decades ago.
When I absorb other peoples’ pain, suddenly my own life becomes a haven for deep appreciation. My own circumstances seem trivial when I know what is happening for a mother and daughter in South Africa.
I wish I weren’t in Zombieland right now, but that is far preferable to the hell of grief. Tersia has been in anticipatory hell, but has not fully entered the horrific part that awaits her. What she is doing is clinging desperately to her daughter on a life raft as it approaches a thundering waterfall.
She does imagine the free-fall down the cascading cliff. But it is unimaginable. As she falls down into the thundering depths, she will find sustenance with the memory of clinging to the raft with her beloved daughter.
I pray her memories will soften the fall.
I share now streamlined excerpts from Tersia’s blog (with her permission). The blog titles are links back to Tersia’s blog.
January 3, 2013
Today was a special day.
Yesterday Vic asked me to contact her minister. We all sat in Vic’s room whilst her minister read Psalm 23 and prayed for Vic who was walking through the “valley of death.” She prayed for Vic to find peace and acceptance of her situation.
It was so special.
For the first time in a long time, I was grateful for Vic’s lingering death. I am grateful that Jared had the opportunity to tell her that she is a legend and that she will always live on in so many people’s minds and hearts. That Stepping Stone Hospice is her legacy….
Dying isn’t a science. There is no methodical process of coming to terms with death. The reality of what is busy happening to Vic is frightening and overwhelming. Earlier this week, when I gave one of the boys permission to go out, Vic said, “See Mommy, this is why I cannot die. I don’t know if you will be strict enough with the boys…”
Vic is desperately clinging to life. Vic is afraid of losing control of her bodily functions and becoming a burden to us. Vic is afraid of the act of dying.
The rest of us are scared because we want her suffering to end. We know we will experience terrible guilt afterwards… Even as I am typing I KNOW I will second-guess everything I did for Vic and every decision I ever made regarding her medical care. This is just the way it is…
Close friends visited today. The visit was exhausting for Vic and yet she did not want her friends to leave. Every time they said, “I must go…” Vic pouted and said, “Just stay a little longer…”
The weight is just falling off Vic. She managed to keep in a mug of diet “Cup of Soup”. Small mercies!
Lelani picked up the new morphine script from Dr. Sue. She made imprints of the boys’ hands for Vic… She massaged Vic’s little feet. Jon-Daniel and I swam and Jared went with his girlfriend and her parents to a day resort. Danie picked up the script from the pharmacy and washed his own motorbike. (First time in 15 years…. he always has it done!)
A normal day in the life of a family walking through the valley of death…I don’t want to forget any part of it.
© 2013 by Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com. Tersia Burger and http://www.tersiaburger.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Tags: Caregiving, child's death, death, death of a child, dying, end of life, Friendship, grief, Grief and Bereavement, GRIEF RELATED, Hospice, impending death, inspiration, loss, loss of a child, mother daughter relationship, motherhood, palliative Care, terminal illness, terminally ill, writing