The grieving process for my mom has started long before her death. I feel like I have been grieving her for years. It has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through. It has been even harder to explain what was even happening to her to people. I would try to explain it to my friends and they would hear what I was saying but there is no way of understanding it until you saw her.
My mom had a very rare disease, it is called Primary Progressive Aphasia. I have never even heard of such a thing until my mom was finally diagnosed with it. Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) is characterized predominantly by the gradual loss of the ability to speak, read, write and understand what others are saying.
I first noticed something was off with my mom about 6 years ago when they first came home from their last mission in Nauvoo. I couldn’t put my finger on it but It felt like she wasn’t the same somehow. Nobody else said anything about it, I mentioned it to Doug and the boys on our way home from their house that night, but I don’t think they saw what I was seeing.
Some more time went on and there was definitely something going on, her primary doctor noticed something too and ordered some tests to see if maybe she had a stroke. The tests showed that she actually hadn’t had a stroke but somehow she stuck with that diagnoses and started telling people that when she would struggle to carry a conversation, she would mutter out the words… I Had Stroke. This was when I first started grieving my mom. Seeing her stutter and be embarrassed that she couldn’t find the right words was rough and knowing it wasn’t actually a stroke and not knowing what it was, was even harder. Mom suffered many falls which made her condition worsen and we finally were given the diagnosis of Primary Progressive Aphasia, but by that time she had already gotten to the non-speaking phase.
When My mom lost the ability to mutter out the little sentences she would use like “Ya Right” or “who Knows” I mourned.
When she stopped being able to pick up a pen and write… I mourned
When she stopped being able to play the Piano… I mourned.
When she stopped being able to understand and play her card games I mourned.
When she stopped being able to sew, quilt or do cross stitch…I mourned.
When She stopped being able to use a fork or spoon… I mourned.
When she stopped giggling when she couldn’t do something… I mourned.
When she stopped being able to walk on her own … I mourned.
When she stopped being able to stand on her own… I mourned.
When she stopped smiling… I mourned.
When she stopped recognizing me…I mourned.
When she stopped being able to take care of the simplest of daily tasks… I mourned.
All these things happened slowly and over time, So I thought I would be prepared for what was coming, In fact, I Prayed for her to be put out of her misery on many occasions. But when the time actually came and she took her last breath…I really mourned!! I wasn’t prepared to feel the feelings I had come over me. I missed my mom the moment she left, even though I felt like she was gone way before now. Somehow living in a world where I don’t have a mom seems very wrong.
The only thing keeping me from totally losing it, is the fact that I know I have now gained an guardian angel who I call mom, who is happy and healthy and is able to walk, talk and smile again. I take comfort in that fact and the fact that I will see her again and all of these earthly trials are now over for her. She is so happy now. I really take comfort in that fact. I will mourn your presence here on earth, but I know I will see you again, and all those things I mourned for you will no longer be. I love you mom, Until we meet again.