Author Topic: It took 10 years but. .  (Read 1279 times)

Portside

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It took 10 years but. .
« on: September 17, 2016, 08:24:04 PM »
It has been almost 10 years since my late wife passed. Our boys, with very rare exceptions, have not talked about their mother in any fashion at any time. Over the years, they returned any photos I had given them of her and any other memorabilia. It seemed they wanted to put a great deal of distance between themselves and their Mom. They never spoke of her or wanted to remember her. In all other aspects though, they have grown to be fine young men without any major sadness or outward expressions of grief after the first few weeks following her death. During the time my children were going through their grief counseling, the therapist told me that in the future, big life events may cause a reformation of their relationship to their Mom and to prepare myself for that possibility.

My mother passed away two weeks ago peacefully and gracefully after a long, wonderful life. She had eight children with 24 grand-children and it gave her great joy to host get-togethers and cookouts as often as possible. Since we are/were scattered throughout the world, it was very, very rare that all her kids and grandkids were together at one time. 

We had my Mom’s service this week and in the two weeks since she had passed, my sibs and I have retrieved all of her keepsakes and gone through them so as to organize them for distribution to family. Within the many hundreds of photos that Mom had kept were dozens of my family with my late wife taken at various birthday parties and Christmases of long ago.

My children all came to town for the service – T. from London, B. locally, J1 from Hong Kong and even J2 was able to get emergency leave from the Navy – he was helo’d off his ship to a carrier, took a cargo plane off the carrier to San Diego and, from there, flew home. 

I passed out all the photos I had of us to each of them. The boys stay up late into the night to review the pictures and talked amongst themselves until the wee hours about their mother and me, what they remembered and what they didn’t.

The following day, after the funeral service, we had a cookout for all family and friends (of course) and during that time the kids started to pepper me and my current wife with questions about their mom. They just poured their guts out and asked us everything: What did you do with Mom’s ashes, how did she die, was she sick, what do ashes look like, what was mom like, what was that day like (you know – THAT day), how did each of them react, how did you do it Dad, and on and on and on.

It was a wonderful experience – not sad at all but rather a “wow, I didn’t remember that” type of thing.

I always had worried about the kids and if there was deeply hidden damage caused by their mother’s suicide. Had it been stuffed down so far that one day it would just explode out of them and reveal a true disturbance or imbalance of some kind or were they just too sad at the time to delve deeply into all of it? Did they need to let the experience settle for a while? It seems they were blessed with a gift of peace rather than one of unease.

During her lifetime, my mother was a woman who worked tirelessly for others to ease or heal whatever injury or pain was present in your life. It appears she was able to pull off that trick once more after she passed. Thanks Mom.
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

Wheelerswife

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Re: It took 10 years but. .
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2016, 09:19:20 PM »
Thank you for your thoughtful post, Portside.  Although I have not experienced this type of loss, it is good to see how your children have fared at 10 years out from the death of their mother.

My condolences on the loss of your mother and your children's grandmother. 

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

Empathy  Developer  Responsibility  Adaptability Connectedness

yogamom72

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Re: It took 10 years but. .
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 05:41:33 PM »
Thank you for sharing this.  We are 10 DAYS out and I worry about my boys, ages 17, 14 & 12.  I hope that I can provide them with all of the resources that they need to get through the loss of their father.  Your story gives me hope.

Julester3

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Re: It took 10 years but. .
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 10:43:44 PM »
Thank you for sharing your perspective for us who still have a lot of road to travel to get where you are.

I feel that sharing information is important for the kids. Honesty is also good but I can see omitting some things until it's better appropriate. Timing is different for everyone and circumstances of death can play a factor as well. My girls are 13 and 16 (nearly 17). When my girls ask me anything about their dad, I tend to preface that if I don't know the exact answer, whatever I tell them is how I believe how it was or at least my perspective. I am trying to type up as much as I can before I start forgetting - our stories and little observances. It's a good thing my husband and I were talkers. We really talked about everything and nothing at all. We have had conversations to revisit times in our past together and laugh about what each of us disclosed how we felt at that time but didn't say or what not - dating jitters and all that. But I digress...

It's great you were able to share the information now. Like you said, it isn't everyday you can have everyone in at the same time. You were also celebrating the long and fulfilling life your mom had so of course, it was a different tone than a tragic death. I agree that she seemed to have been watching over you as you all got together.

twin_mom

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Re: It took 10 years but. .
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2016, 03:53:25 PM »
Thanks so much for this post, it made me feel better about my son. He was 9 when his dad died, now 13, and he doesn't want to talk about his dad, see pictures, etc, he doesn't get upset but will just walk out of the room... The complete opposite of his sister. I keep hoping that he's okay and is not just going to erupt some day and your boys give me confidence that he's going to be fine!

hikermom

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Re: It took 10 years but. .
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2016, 11:36:03 AM »
What an amazing post.

I'm sorry for the loss of your mom. My dad died a year ago at the ripe old age of 90. Quietly, peacefully. My daughter and I, although sad, commented that that is how it should happen. We couldn't really grieve much but did feel tremendous gratitude for how long he was in our lives and that he died a good death. Odd how unexpected, early death changes your perspective.

Your insight and thoughtfulness about the journey your sons went through is so resonant. I'm honored that you shared it with us and am glad for your sons that they had that one last gift from their grandmother.
here is the deepest secret nobody knows ...
and this is the wonder that?s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
~ e.e.cummings

canadiangirl

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Re: It took 10 years but. .
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2016, 02:33:24 AM »
What hikermom said.  Thanks for sharing this, Portside. So sorry for the loss of your mom but glad for her and for you that it was peaceful and served as the catalyst for something positive.   

mmg19

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Re: It took 10 years but. .
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2016, 12:18:26 PM »
Just taking time to read posts today.  Sorry so late in extending my condolences.  You expressed so well what we all want time to take care of if we do our best and have wonderful Moms that lived my example .  What a gift to receive at a time of loss.  Blessings.