Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

7 Days from Death; ENTRY FIVE


This is entry five of several entries that I plan on publishing into a book. It's a personal journey of loss and learning. I decided it needed to be as raw as the experience was...had someone else wrote something similar I would've surely taken the advice with me on that plane to Arizona. Remember, you're only as strong as your experiences; sometimes even stronger. This is as far as the story has taken me thus far; needed a breather. If for any reason you'd like the first 4 entries just message me and I'll get them to you:)

7 Days From Death; PART FIVE (please contact me if you'd like the first FOUR)

The two days of funeral guests came and went but my father stayed with me for about a week after the funeral; this was necessary. There’s something sacred between the last surviving parent and the children. I cannot say what it is, it just “is”. A couple of days after my father left, I was sitting on the couch in my living room, the kids were at school, the husband at work, the TV was off. For about 5 seconds but felt like 5 hours, this unexpected horrifying feeling of fear and loss came over me; the only way to describe it would be like when your 4 years old and you lose your parents in a grocery store? Yah, it was like that. It was dreadful, panicky, almost uncontrollable…and it ended just as quickly as it came. Crying for about 10 minutes that followed, I remember thinking I will NEVER forget that feeling…EVER. I’ve prayed since that it doesn’t hit again. It’s funny you can remember these little 5 second episodes, but you can’t remember anything else. I do know it was Spring when I left for my mothers, and then it was late summer; somehow 7 days turned into 5 months. Looking around myself I see proof of things accomplished during that time; but have no memory.
Also remembered is the first warm sun. I was in the yard, possibly breaking ice off the driveway? Or maybe I’d just walked to the mailbox; either way, the one tree that grows next to the drive has a root system that slowly inclines from the yard to the base of the tree; allowing the area just around the tree to have grass before some parts of our yard have even melted the snow. I’m not sure what came over me, or if at last everything dropped out of me, but I felt that first shot of warm sun, saw the grass under that tree and just laid there for what was surely an hour or longer. I can’t say that I ever remember the sun feeling that good. It was almost as if my mother’s Leo soul had showered itself down that day and embraced me as I lay there. The look on my husband’s face was priceless when I retold the story to him, he wasn’t quite as convinced that the ground was thawed enough to be lying on it! I do remember having to come in and change my clothing because the backside of me was one big mud slide. And so it was with the Spring, I gardened aimlessly, planted hazardly, and by August, was in complete confusion as to the state of my yard. It’s as if a stranger had come in, planted things, plucked things, left a pile of yard waste and gone! I giggle now as I watch shoots of “something” coming up in strange places around my house. Husband says “oh look, the whicha-ma-jigs you planted there last year are coming up” and I’m like “M,hm”. This is usually my cue to say “Oh yes, it’s the Anastasia Lily’s” or “those are the climbing roses”. The year after death I have no cue because I honestly don’t remember. This year, my answer will just be M,hm.
So, I’m not as good at keeping dates as the “Angel of Vengeance”, but I do know it was roughly a year to the date today that I flew out to Arizona and started this whole journey. Some days it feels like yesterday, some days it feels like 20 years ago, and often, it doesn’t feel like it happened at all. During those times I laugh in my kitchen, disbelieving the absolutely stupid thing I’d just done, and grab the phone to call my mom to tell her about it and…oh. Or, the kids give me the most difficult day and during those times I’d call mom and she’d calm me, so I go to grab the phone and…oh. Or, I had the most glorious day with my husband because he’s done something like bought me an entire wagon full of “whicha-ma-jigs” and I need to know what side of the house to plant them on so I grab the phone and…oh. It makes me want to open up a “mom’s not really dead” 800 line for those of us that would call our mom’s with such things, or for those of us who call our mom’s for absolutely no reason at all. Does there ever really have to be a reason? I know now that no, there doesn’t have to be a reason and I should’ve just called every day no matter what, for absolutely no reason. I just should have…
So, I’m now here, one year later and the pain is still just as heavy on the chest, and a tear is always laying just on the edge of my duct ready to fall if given the “cue”. Honestly, I can get through more days with less difficulty, but when a difficult day hits, it’s just as bad as the first difficult day, one year ago, 7 days from death. The difficulty can only be compared with the pain of dilation from childbirth, when you’re at 10 the contractions are so intense there is no word to describe them, you never forget “10”. You may forget 4 or 6, and it seems after two kids there is no 7,8 or 9, just 4-6 and AHHHH 10, and it hurts just as bad with every child, but each time it becomes a bit more tolerable, yah, that’s kind of what it’s like. So never let someone tell you it gets easier, or the pain becomes less because it doesn’t. As I said, you just get more of a breather in between and you learn to celebrate, calm down or laugh to yourself since there is no 1-800-Call-MOM hotline. Yup, that’s exactly what it’s like.
In the year of mom’s passing I’ve done a lot of things she would’ve been very proud of; things I know she’s proud of as she looks down on me through each ray of sun that illuminates my being. I haven’t been fortunate enough to have “the dream”. You know, the dream that everyone gets from their loved one; the dream when they visit and their so real you could just touch them? That one. My sisters have had it; everyone I know that’s lost a parent has had it, so why haven’t I had it? Each night I lay down praying for “the dream”, each morning I wake disappointed. Though I’ve never been known to nap, I do now! Sometimes several times a day…just waiting for the dream and it never comes. Hopefully by the end of this book I will have had the dream.


Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Mkandeh's picture

Ebola: Sierra Leoneans feel like prisoners

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative