Seeing The Strongest Woman In My Life Deteriorating In Front Of Me
Just hearing the word ‘cancer’ weighs heavy on my heart. For a while I associated the word with sadness, hurt, suffering, trauma, regret, the list goes on. I don’t think I concerned myself at the time, how it was impacting me. All that mattered was my mother and her recovery, the hope of recovery, the many stories you hear about treatment being successful. In our case treatment was not possible, yet I could only hope and pray for a better outcome despite the facts.
Preparing for the inevitable was not easy so I chose not to think about it. It was challenging enough to navigate my emotions at the time, seeing the strongest woman in my life deteriorating in front of me, knowing the energy and wisdom she was full of, and how our family gravitated around her. It was only after my mother’s passing was I able to begin to reflect on the emotional journey that had begun when she first fell ill. I didn’t want to admit to weakness when she was so strong, or give up because she was so resilient. However I was only human and this was a natural reaction and it was ‘okay’, I was allowed to feel in such a way, I was grieving and I shouldn’t fight the healing process.
During this period, it was difficult to lean on other family members. I felt I would be a burden however the fact was my family was amazing, being a reminder for me of a strength that I didn’t have. My spiritual connection grew, I found solace in my Islamic upbringing being able to bow down and find peace that couldn’t be found any other way. It was like a weight being eased off my chest so I continued because it was answering to needs that nothing or no one else could fulfil.
My journey still continues as I encounter new experiences. The good ones seem to cut deeper then others as it is something that I can’t share any longer with the person I want. My surroundings being a constant reminder of memories built within our home, seeing the resemblances of my mother in my siblings, just not being able to embrace her in my arms and get a waft of her motherly smell. I believe my experience was my own and anyone going through a loved one diagnosed with cancer can only cater to what works for them. A healthy approach that allows you to keep clarity of the hurdles that will come and the ambiguity that must be faced. There is no timeline nor is there a right or wrong way to feel, however, being present and in tuned with oneself.
By Abdul Khalique