Words cannot describe the grief when a mother has to bury her child. My daughter was an adult kid but because she was still a single woman, to me, she was still my ‘baby’.
From the agony of losing a ten-year-old pet dog who died from an aggressive heart tumor to losing a child to a brain tumor. Pain after pain ……… indeed, grief is the deepest pain I know.
It was only on 22 August 2019 that my pet dog and loyal companion left me just two days after his tenth birthday. A deadly heart tumor, hemangiosarcoma took away my companion, a four-legged friend, so much a part of me. He was diagnosed on 8 August 2019 and died fourteen days later. Toby was my everything. I cried for him every night so much so that I thought I might die from a broken heart.
In mid-September, my precious daughter was diagnosed with severe depression. I rose from someone about to give up on life to someone so strong putting in all my love and energy caring for my beloved daughter. It wasn’t that I no longer cried or grieved for Toby but I had to be strong for the living especially for a sick child.
In the last two (probably three) years, my daughter grew very distant from me. When she moved out in March last year, I saw less and less of her. I was so hurt that she was never there for me. I had no idea that my daughter was sick and lost her personality and emotions.
I became my daughter’s carer from 20 September 2019. It seemed that Bom was giving me those precious times to make up our lost time when we were disconnected.
On 4 October 2019, Bom was admitted to Tiaho Mai Mental Hospital in Middlemore. We walked into the hospital with hope of her recovery. On the second day, a nurse mistakenly gave her 25gm of Aripiprazole when the prescribed dosage was 2.5gm. Instead of getting better, Bom became a zombie and on the fourth day, we were called into the hospital. The news was heart-wrenching, so devastating that even the psychiatrist fought back tears to disclose.
My sweet Bom, so young, so innocent was wrongly diagnosed with severe depression. Instead, they found a huge deadly tumor at her right frontal lobe. It affected behavior and emotional changes; impaired judgment, motivation; reduced mental abilities, memory loss amongst others. She was transferred to Auckland City Hospital and the tumor was later found to be an aggressive Grade IV Glioblastoma and was not able to be operated on. Sadly, Auckland City Hospital transferred her back to Middlemore Hospital with no neurosurgeons to monitor her sickness. She passed away while waiting for radiology. On her death bed, doctors and nurses were still questioning each other, looking up her file and medical record. It was an extremely sad setting where someone is dying and no one knew what to do.
The doctors reassured her dad and me that we were probably the most important people in that room right there and then. Thinking back some thirty-one years ago also in a hospital though in a totally different mood, with a medical team that knew what they were doing vs a confused medical team, the room setting was about the same. She came into the world seeing her Mum and Dad. She left the world peacefully seeing her Mum and Dad too.
All these happened in six weeks. Immediate family and friends continue to live in disbelief. Her passing was and still is so unreal. It hurts really bad and I cannot disagree with my son (her brother) that God is cruel.
I encountered three deaths in such a short time. First, my beloved father left us on 29 December 2018. I was sad I was not at his bedside when Dad breathed his last. Sad that this kind man who gave me life was gone forever. Every now and then, memories of his warmth engulfed me.
Then on 22 August 2019, my Toby died. People said you can get another dog. They told me time heals but that isn’t true as of now or maybe ever. Losing Toby who was my everything was like my left arm had been cut off.
When Bom got sick, I was like a human being without a left arm, with a slit throat but full of energy doing what I could to make her comfortable. When she passed away so quickly though peacefully, I felt like my head had been chopped off.
My heart is broken into pieces. My pain is like living with a body without a left arm and without a head. I continue to live on because a broken heart still beats ………………
To those who have read till here, I am sorry for such violent descriptions and for making you sad. It is hard but let us continue to be strong and constantly remind ourselves that …..
I thought long a hard about publishing this sad story. My aunt (foster mum) and my mum are old and we are keeping the sad news of Bom’s passing from them till I am strong enough to share with them in person and comfort them.
On the other hand, I want to publish this story as I honor and weep for my losses and I want to be able to grieve openly.
Thank you all for reading and being there for me wherever you may be.
Updated 19/12/2019 : We are now able to celebrate Judith’s life openly now as all my elders are informed that we have a new young angel in heaven.
My heart chills as December Chills on the other side of the world, thank you, Terri, for allowing my sad story to be honored and flow amongst your beautiful photographs on Sunday Stills.