Saturday, May 4, 2013

Talking about the problem.

Gina Kyle Jackson
After only 4 hours of sleep I spent A LONG time on the phone with the funeral home in Jacksonville, then the Social Security office, and then with my uncle Randy who is helping me manage things.  Turns out I will be able to get my mothers "cremains" and will not be forced to pay $920 for them after all.  Social Security didn't know she was dead so I had to "report" this to them, and there's no "death benefit" unless I'm a minor or a disabled adult. I still don't have a death certificate, and the manner and cause of death are still officially pending, even though I know exactly what happened. One look at the medication list is all it takes. Not to mention my conversation with the cop who worked her death scene.  I actually felt sorry for her too.  She is a 23 year veteran on the Jacksonville police force and said she goes from overdose case to overdose case all the time but my mother's situation made her choke back tears all day that day.  She said she went home and wrote her own mother a letter that very day.

This whole thing, in its entirety, is one very sad story. All I know to do is what I tell our patients families to do when they're going through a death...take it one hour, one day, one week at a time until you begin to feel some peace.  And let the tears come when they will because that's healing too.

If there is anyone in your life that you love who has a problem with prescription pills, no matter how distant you may be at the moment, please encourage them to seek help, or at the very least tell them you love them no matter what.  In my mother's case it was a mental health issue & a physical addiction she battled for more than 30 years.  After she left my side as an 18 month old, that life took her over.  She was beautiful and very intelligent and could have been anything she wanted to be. She could sew like nobody's business, she loved British literature, and she was a neat freak wherever she went.  I loved her as much as I could considering the circumstances, and I know she loved me as much as she could muster.  I know she's in a better place now, but I regret she couldn't see how good this place could have been for her and for everyone else who loved her in spite of her.

Complicated grief is...well, complicated. Tears, anger, frustration, resentment, sadness and all through a sprinkling of, "Is this really happening to me right now in my life?"

I want to start a dialogue about this, to honor my mother's struggle and my lifelong loss of her, and for the millions who need an outlet or who may be struggling with the same addiction (and therefore are systematically losing everything they hold dear in this life).

Use the comments section to discuss.  I'll be checking in and writing more frequently because now the ever elusive story seems to be making itself known.

1 comment:

Haley said...

I had my step dad pass of brain cancer in 2005. Very quick, very devastating. Then my dad died of bladder cancer in 2010. I couldn't even compare the two deaths because my dad and my relationship was...strained and complicated, like you mentioned. So the grieving is so entirely different. Should i be more upset because i don't feel as upset, etc. Then there's guilt.. Anyway, you sound like you have the right idea though. One minute, hour, one day at a time. It gets better, i promise.