It Happened So Fast

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross states in her first book on dying, On Death and Dying, that there are five stages that a person who knows that they are dying have to go through.

First is denial, next is anger, then bargaining, after that depression, and then finally acceptance. I would agree, but I would even take it a step further and say that everyone who loves the person who is dying goes through each of the steps either with the person or alone.
My mother was a very important person in my life we did everything together we took walks in the park. She let me stay up late on school nights when all of my brothers and sisters were already in bed asleep. We had a mutual friendship that surpassed a mother and son relationship, she was my best friend.
When I was young my mother got sick and she had to go to the hospital a lot and one day after she got out of the hospital on our way home she pulled over and started to cry.
I asked her what was wrong and she said “Nothing son mama just got a bit of bad news from the doctor.”
And she attempted to get herself together and we drove on. A few minutes later she said “I don’t know how to tell you this but I thank that you can handle it because your going to have to be strong for mama because I just don’t know how much longer I can hold it in.”
I said, “Go ahead and tell me mama I don’t want to see you crying.”
She said, “Son I have cancer…I …the doctor just told me, he said that it has gotten pretty bad.”
The car seemed to get so silent until I seemed as if a pin dropped would have been too loud. My whole world started to go in slow motion, and I tried to chock back the tears because she told me to be strong for her.
My whole life had been changed forever and that when Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s theory of dying people kicked in but not for my mother but for me. When we got home I went straight to bed in hopes that when I awoke that I would have dreamed it all and that my mother wasn’t really dying. Kubler-Ross calls this step denial.
I tried to deny it until I watched week after week of chemotherapy take out every strand of her silky black her that she loved. I watched day after day at how weak and emaciated that she was becoming. I watch hour after hour at how labored her life had become and at that point I believe that I moved into the second stage of Kubler- Ross’s theory anger.
I was upset because the doctors said that they were doing all they could for her but it just wasn’t enough. I hated the fact that she seemed to be getting worse and the doctors were supposed to be making her better. She could even walk by herself without the aid of a cane or someone to support her. And through this anger I believe that I was able to move into the third stage bargaining.
I asked God every night and every day to make my mother better. I told him that if he made her better that she would only have to tell me once to clean my room. I told him that if he let her get better that I would become a preacher and preach his word. I even ask him to take me instead of her because at least then my brothers and sisters would still have a mom. And from that point I moved on to the fourth stage depression.
I couldn’t eat; I couldn’t sleep, because my mom was in the hospital. Or I just wanted to spend every waking moment with her. I would even go to school because I wanted to stay home with my mom just in case she needed something I would be there. And while I was there we had a chance to talk, she told me that what ever happened to her I had to take care of the family and be strong. She told me that although she might dye her love would and that it would live on in my and my sibling’s hearts forever. And I believe that those were the words that ushered me to the last step of acceptance.
I accepted that fact that my mother was going to a better place; I accepted that fact that the doctors truly were doing all that they could for her and on May 12, 1994, my mother said goodbye to the world and would cry no more. The hardest thing that I ever had to do was say goodbye because I wanted to hold on a little while longer.
She was my world and at the funeral I sang these words:
How do I say goodbye to what we had?
The good times that made us laugh
Outweigh the bad.

I thought we’d get to see forever
But forever’s gone away
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.
I don’t know where this road
Is going to lead
All I know is where we’ve been
And what we’ve been through.
If we get to see tomorrow
I hope it’s worth all the wait
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.
And I’ll take with me the memories
To be my sunshine after the rain
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.
And I’ll take with me the memories
To be my sunshine after the rain
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

Categorized as death