Friday, November 27, 2015

Orphan at 38

The word orphan is defined as a child who's parents are dead. That would describe me. Although I am an adult, I will always be my parents child, and both of them are gone. I have received some arguments by some when I have called myself this, but still, it's the way I feel. That can not be changed.

It seems odd but the only family I have left from my growing up years is my sisters. I have no parents or grandparents. I don't see my sisters much but I am blessed to at least still have them and I think of them often and we talk or text on occasion. We can all be orphans together.

Three of my grandparents died when I was a child. My maternal grandmother died a few years ago.

My father died suddenly when I was 9 years old. I find this difficult to believe still to this day. Making it even harder is the fact that I have a 9 year old and I think it would devastate him to lose his father.

My mother remarried when I was 13 and I spent the next 4 years just trying to get through it. It felt so off and wrong to have someone else taking my father's place, so I  willed myself to not care and just get through 4 years. I was never close to my step father. Although we now get along, I will never consider him my parent. I do however allow my kids to call him grandpa because he has been around since their birth.

I met my husband at age 17 and started to focus more on him and our life but I remained close to my mother.

We lost mom just as suddenly in May. It was shocking and I instantly felt abandoned, an orphan.

 She was a proud grandma to my 5 kids as well as all of my 4 sisters kids and one of her granddaughters kids. She adored all of the kids.

She had a gift for making me feel better whenever I was mad. I would call her, tell her all the shit, and she would loudly reply "oh, for the Christ sakes!" Nobody says that, but it was moms thing. She listened then after I was done dumping all my anger on her she made me laugh and I felt better, even though nothing was ever solved. I will never have that again.

My mom was this for me
She was also my biggest fan. She read everything I have ever written, bragged about my accomplishments, and was so proud of everything I ever did right in this life. In October I get a job for the first time in 13 years. I spent the day not feeling happy or proud and I could not figure out why. Then it dawned on me. I could not call my mom. I could not receive her praise and approval. She was not here to see me do such a hard thing. I was very sad about that. She was a lot like me in the way that she had very extreme emotional  responses to the good and the bad in life. When she was mad she was very mad and when she was happy she was very happy. I knew her reaction would have been the best one and I missed out on that. I remember the day I told her I was having twins. She nearly started doing jumping jacks and I found out later she told everyone who would listen. She called often to see how it was going during the pregnancy and when they were born she again announced it to anyone who would listen. There isn't a person alive I am ever going to get that same validation from ever again.I can't accept that. I often find myself needing to tell her something before I remember that I can not. It kills me every time.

The day she died I had one hour to wrap my head around the fact that she was on her way to the hospital before I found out she didn't make it. I spent the day bawling my head off then went straight to anger. Those seven stages of grief: [shock or disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance/hope] are a load of crap to me. I experienced shock, skipped denial, bargaining, and guilt, and went straight to anger and I am still stuck there. I doubt I will ever go through depression over it and may never make it to acceptance. Everything that reminds me of her makes me mad. Seeing older people, not being able to call her, seeing pictures of her, having friends with parents, feeling my kids are being cheated, seeing my husbands parents, her house and her things. All of it makes me nothing but mad. I am mad she missed grandparents day and dance recital weeks before she died. MAD is all I am right now. Any reminder of her existence only makes me mad.

I am not sure how I am ever going to do life without mom, but I have been. It is just so much harder than if she was here. Will I ever get over the mad? Who's to say? For now, though, it is the only thing I can feel about it all.

Has anyone else out there lost both parents before the age of 40? Do you feel cheated? How do you cope?