Keep On Living Until I Feel Alive Again

My heart is completely broken since my dear Mum passed, nearly one year ago. I feel the deepest fractures within my very soul most keenly when I breathe. I spent 43-years and 362-days of my life with my Mum, and her absence is overwhelmingly felt.

I know I have to move forward. I have to keep on living until I feel alive again.

Grief is a surreal place, caught somewhere between hearts bursting with love and breaking from loss.

So much has happened in the time that I’ve been away.

My sweet Mum was taken via ambulance and admitted to hospital on July 14, 2016, due to vomiting and diarrhoea. Her fever was high, and her breathing was short and laboured. Mum was moved from emergency intake to a unit the following day. The doctors did all they could to address her vomiting and diarrhoea by changing her feeding tube routine, but the best results were when her feeds were dramatically reduced to 1 canister of “formula” per day. I had been reducing her feeds, as well, because I felt in my gut that she was having trouble tolerating the intake, and her body was not processing properly what she was getting. I knew this was an early stage of ultimately losing her, and that made it proper to explore what our next steps would be. It was not an easy choice to make, but it was both medically responsible and ethically sound to proceed with Mum’s well-being and comfort as our priority. I discussed hospice placement with Mum’s attending physician, and she began the process.

Mum was transferred to a hospice in the late afternoon of July 26, 2016, and had received her last feed of 150 ml earlier that morning. While in hospice Mum got water flushes via her feeding tube, as well as sips of water by mouth.

Mum lasted until August 11, 2016, when she passed away peacefully at 01:00. She had my big brother and sister-in-law by her side when she took her last breaths, as I had recently returned home with my niece to grab a few things, rest a bit, then return to let my bother and SIL sleep. It was the night nurse who called at 01:01 to let me know Mum had passed, and we all (myself, my niece, my mister, my kids, and some very dear friends) returned immediately to the hospice.

We stood around Mum and listened to music. We kissed her goodbye. We cried. We hugged. We cried.

Right around 03:00 on August 11, 2016, we watched as two men from the funeral home took Mum away.

On August 12, 2016, we (my brother, SIL, niece, and I) went to the funeral home to make arrangements for Mum’s cremation.

On August 13, 2016, I returned to the funeral home with my mister to identify Mum’s body and spend an hour with her to say goodbye. The picture below is from that day.

This is a terribly painful post to write. Grief is a surreal place, caught somewhere between hearts bursting with love and breaking from loss.

Five years sober!

Black Wings

The end of June marked five years ago that I started a journey which took me away from drinking and self-destruction, and into a better life for myself and my family. It’s been a difficult road, and one I’m still making. I’ve had to admit one of the main reasons I drank was due to childhood sexual abuse. I was medicating my feelings of loss, violation, rage, lack of control, resentment, disgust, and horror with an excess of booze that both putrefied my entire body AND took away my self-control. Realizing that my drinking was causing me to feel the very things I was feeling from the abuse, I had to make a different choice. Self-destruction was ruining me and taking my family down with it.


I’d started drinking when I was 16-years old, which is also when I started being sexually active. I did stop drinking when I was pregnant with my first child at 18, but started drinking socially on occasional weekends when she was 4-years old. I really thought I was in control, and carried on this way until my daughter was 8-years old. I stopped drinking again when I was pregnant with my second child, and remained such until my youngest was 2.5-years old. While I was attending Mount Royal University for Journalism, I fell back into old habits with classmates, and started drinking socially again. This continued for almost three years until I was pregnant with my twins. Once again, I abstained from alcohol until my youngest children were 2, then believed, once again, that I was in control and could drink socially. Looking over the numbers, the past 24-years of alcohol abuse have been sporadically broken up, but the fact that they are there is a stain on my tapestry. Part of me wishes I’d made the choice to permanent sobriety years earlier, that I had realized and faced the withertos and whyfores of my devastating attacks on myself sooner instead. I didn’t though. I quit drinking for good 5-years ago, for reasons that included: health, happiness and family, and I’m better for it. My family is better for it. Life is fucking awesome!

Related post: Circling the Drain

For the sake of progress…

I am going to post a picture of myself once in a while to track my evolution. I’ve made changes to my diet for health reasons, but I am also looking to lose some weight. The bane of my existence for the last 7 years, actually. My twins are 7, and the weight I gained carrying them absolutely refuses to go. I’ve gone from feeling desperate to hopeless, and now I’m just determined.

So, without further ado, here is a photo of me. It is decently fuzzy, and I’m hoping to provide clearer shots the nearer I get to my goal.

2012 © copyright veggiewitch, all rights reserved

2012 © copyright veggiewitch, all rights reserved