Remembering My Mother, a Pillar on My Support Team
My support team included three of the greatest people in my life: my husband, daughter, and mother.
It is important that a support group journeys with you through the good and the bad. They are your strength when you are about to give up, and they are your hope when you feel you don’t have any.
So, what happens when a member of that group is no longer with you?
On July 27, 2020, I lost my first supporter, my mother, to COVID-19. As someone with a rare lung disease, I need all of my support members in place. They are the reason I keep going and keep tackling each day, no matter how hard it may be.
My support group is my lifeline when I can’t understand why I have to have a rare disease. They help me remain grateful for each second of the day. They make the pain and hurt seem more bearable.
It was difficult to lose my mother the way I did. There was no last hug, no kiss on the cheek, no last goodbye. She would no longer share her words of wisdom with me, or tell me, “Mija, stay strong and never hide your illness,” a phrase that has since become my life’s motto. I replay these words in my mind every day, but what am I supposed to do with them? How do they help me now?
I am sure that this part of my broken heart will never mend, and it is still hard to accept that my mom is no longer with us. It hurts most days, and I miss her fiercely, but I must honor what she always believed I could do.
She believed that I had a strong will to fight and survive. I was the child that always talked back and gave her a hard time, so why should I wimp out now? I have learned to take my grief and forge a strong voice for myself. I can depend on my support group, but I also have to become part of my support group.
I not only had to strengthen myself mentally, I also needed to help them improve their state of mind, too.
I had grown tired of feeling sorry for myself and wanted to be a shining light through all of the tragedy. I wanted to become a better version of myself. I knew that if I dared to face my rare disease and all of its challenges, my support group would be better and stronger. I wanted us to face things together and prepare for the struggles I knew would eventually come. I wanted to make my mom proud!
Being part of a support group, or part of any group for that matter, can provide a feeling of belonging, accomplishment, and reverence. I feel that I am part of a community that understands my exact struggles. It feels good to know I am not alone.
I’ve had many people reach out to me from “Mourning America,” a group whose mission is to remember the lives of every man, woman, and child who passed away due to COVID-19. They have included me as part of their family since my mother’s passing. It is important to know that there is always support out there for whatever circumstance you may be facing.
It is extremely difficult to lose a part of your group. It is as if there is an open wound that cannot heal. However, I must push forward for the cause. I must continue the fight for my voice, my part in this journey, and those in my support group.
My mom may not be here with me in the flesh, but she certainly continues with me in this fight. It is a cross that was given to me to carry. So, for the cause, my support group, and my mom, I must carry on.
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