Her life in a box

March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

Something is happening. And it’s not good.  It’s going to be a dangerous time for me.  This is when I hope and pray that all the work I’ve done up until now will be enough to get me through the storm that is coming.

My mom died on the last day of 2010. It’s been just over a year.

The ironic thing about someone dying is that on top of the emotional mess you have to deal with, you also get a giant pile of paperwork and responsiblities dumped on your lap as well.  You have to go through everything.  Sell the house. Sell the car.  And much more that would never cross your mind until it happens.

The exact moment in time when you are the least mentally stable and least able to handle additional stress—that’s exactly what you get.

Without going into detail, things are coming to a head.  Things that need to be resolved with the house and all of its contents.

If that’s what you call our life.  Our entire life.  Growing up.  Pictures. Furniture. My red tricycle in the basement next to all my prom dresses.

And now things are moving forward.  But not always in the exact way you think they will.  And that’s stressful.

I haven’t been able to help because I live in Texas.  And I’m not there.  And I’m raising my 4 kids alone so I can’t just leave town. And up until very recently I could not have gotten on a plane even if I had to. Because I weighed 417 pounds. So I’ve been unable to help with the estate.

Just one more way I’ve been useless in this situation.

And now there are boxes being mailed to me this week.  Boxes full of my mother’s possessions.  Her jewelry. Her books.  Her everything.

And in just a few days from now I’m going to open the door and a UPS man is going to hand me my mother’s life in a box.

And I’m not entirely sure that is something I know how to handle.

It’s easy to sit here in Texas removed from it all.  Disassociating from the reality that she’s gone.  Pretending she doesn’t answer the phone because she’s asleep.

But when her life shows up in a 17 pound box on my doorstep…

That’s real.

And that’s usually when the downward spiral begins.  The food that comforts me.

And that is why you have to constantly build yourself up.  Build your faith.  Build your emotional and mental  muscles during the good times.

Because the bad times will come.  And when they do you want to be ready.

I hope I’m ready

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

~TMcGee~ March 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Do you have a plan for combatting the moment if it arrives? Maybe blogging immediately if you fill like slipping? Or if you have someone you can Skype with who knows exactly how you are feeling?
My heart goes out to you especially during this time. Please know you are in my thoughts and I'm sure in the thoughts/prayers of many others.

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mommykinz March 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm

How heartbreaking Holly.
Lean on your supporters, plan to spend time with them, long walks anything you have to, to keep you away from the food.
so glad you have memories coming to you, while it may be painful, hopefully you will have some happy memories to sustain you. Keep blogging – we're here for you.

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Tina @ Blazin' Bandit Girl March 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I know you are ready. You have already acknowledged that it will be hard (that word doesn't sum it up very well, I know). But something in that box is going to feel like a blessing. A comfort. Not a reminder she's gone, but a reminder that she was a wonderful part of your life. It will help her stay alive for you. I will say a prayer that it is so.

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ReJoyce777 March 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Sending prayers for Gods comfort and peace.

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A Journey to a new me... March 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm

You're ready…I know you are. One foot in front of the other. One breathe in, one breathe out. Repeat.

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April @ Red-Dirt-Mama.com March 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm

You can do this. Take it one second at a time. I know that when I am in a spot when I can't take it – when I can't do it on my own – I do one of two things. I go on a walk/prayer walk. I talk it out. I pray to God. Also, I used to open my Bible. I didn't care what page, I just read. I read and I let the words seep in.

You don't have to have it all together. That's not your job. Trust.

Love.

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Ali March 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Have the kids go through the boxes with you, they'll get you through it. Tell them the history of every item you pull out of the boxes. They'll get you to laugh, even if you're crying at the same time. The more you talk the less you cry.

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Jennifer McNeely March 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

if you can, dont feel compelled to open the boxes right away. There is no right time. my mom is gone 1.5 years and I still cant look at some things. It is OK to wait. It is OK to open and look and put it away and not "deal" with everything on a forced timeline. Grief takes time, and our hearts take time to heal. We will not be the same without our moms here but we can and we do get through it. Overeating/ shopping/ drinking whatever is what happens when we do something because we think we "should". Honor your feelings, and do your self care. Ill bet your mom would want that for you! Good luck

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Sheila March 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Your clarity about the enormous emotional toll that will take place when that box arrives, leaves me no doubt in my mind that you will NOT turn to food to comfort you. Food is not the old friend you thought it was. Hugs Holly. This isn't going to be easy, but I know you can survive this too.

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Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan March 5, 2012 at 9:54 pm

That is definitely going to be hard. Make sure you have a nice pot of tea on the go. Tea always calms me down and keeps me from eating.

I really like the suggestion above about doing it all with your kids! Talk and share all of the wonderful memories you have of her.

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Staci's Slimdown March 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Do you HAVE to go through the boxes? Can you smile and say "thank you" and take the boxes to the basement, or directly to Goodwill or a shelter, etc? I know you may actually WANT to keep the boxes and sort through the belongings. But do you have to do it now? Can you wait?

Can you make your mother proud? You received that letter, a way of God telling you that she is knowledgeable of you. Don't make heavens windows have to close, because there can be no sorrow there. If you begin wallowing in sorrow and abusing your body, and with it becoming depressed and laden with guilt, there will be a veil between you and your mother. Don't be separated from her more than you have to be! Make her proud. Let her know how loved she is. Put the things away for later or pull out only 5 items a day and stop. After pulling them out, talk with the kids about some sweet memories of her and you or her and them, etc.

Hebrews 12:1 – "Wherefore, seeing WE ALSO are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses (those in heaven, watching, cheering – YOUR MOM being one of them), let us lay aside EVERY WEIGHT (sorrow, burden) and THE SIN (gluttony, self pity) which doth SO EASILY BESET US (why do we let it?), and let us RUN WITH PATIENCE (one day at a time with learning and understanding) the race that is SET BEFORE US (set means placed or put there, hard but for our good), LOOKING UNTO JESUS (you already know He's your strength and hope through this whole ordeal); who for the JOY that was set before him (joy? beaten, mocked, crucified, dead) endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (he made it! He did it! It was torture, it was hard, but he finished the course and now there is rest and peace and joy)." KJV

I just felt REALLY, REALLY impressed with sharing that verse with you. Please don't spiral. Please don't quit. Yeah, I'm just some lady on the internet that you have totally inspired. Do you want to know what? I know you don't weigh 417 anymore, but sometimes I think "hey, if she could walk 30 seconds at 417, I can get my butt off the couch and do my Leslie walking!" 🙂 You have entered my life, via computer, and totally inspired me. You have made me think twice about the foods I put into my mouth and why. You have made me realize I don't need to let certain thoughts entertain in my mind. You have made me see that I need to keep healthy for my kids and attractive for my marriage's sake. I hope that doesn't hurt you for me to say that, but when someone goes through a trial it can help others. I was at the point of laziness and not caring. You have helped me to care. I have a deep respect for you that is really crazy because you are just a woman on the net! 🙂

But I'm a stranger on the internet. YOUR KIDS ARE REAL LIFE PEOPLE. Look at how you've become your daughter's shopping pal and your son's baseball-loving hero! You're a hero! You're an example! You are awesome! Your Mom loves you too much and was too concerned with your weight for you to not care and gain it back! Who needs a filet o' fish??? Who needs the pretzel place at the mall? YOU ARE GETTING YOUR LIFE BACK. Isn't that way better? Isn't that worth it?

Love you! And I really don't think I'm the only one. 🙂 Keep posting. Keep coming and venting and trying and reaching out for help. Just don't disappear. Your Mom is SO PROUD of you right now. 🙂

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 6, 2012 at 3:28 am

Thanks! Those are all awesome ideas. I do have a friend who is coming to see me next month and offered to go through them with me. I appreciate your awesome suggestion!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 6, 2012 at 3:28 am

Thanks Mommy!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 6, 2012 at 3:29 am

Thanks Tina! I appreciate that!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 6, 2012 at 3:30 am

Thanks ReJoyce! I love your name by the way!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 6, 2012 at 3:31 am

Wow. I can't believe you said that! This is exactly what my mom used to say to me whenever things got tough. "Breathe in , breathe out". That was her phrase!! Amazing 🙂

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 6, 2012 at 3:34 am

Thanks April! You just gave the prescription for surviving! I have also done this with letting it fall open. Sometimes I get something that doesn't fit and have to let it fall open again hahahaa but seriously this is the way to get out of your problems and into the solution. Thank you for your support! For adding me and your blog. It is really helping me too!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 6, 2012 at 3:34 am

Yes Ali! So true!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 6, 2012 at 3:35 am

Thanks Sheila!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 6, 2012 at 3:36 am

Tea! Great idea!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 6, 2012 at 3:37 am

Thank you!! I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me this comment. What a wonderful and encouraging thing to read. You started my day off right!!

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Frickin' Fabulous at 40 March 6, 2012 at 3:55 am

I'm with Staci. If you think you're not ready yet, wait. Put the box(es) in a special place so you can see it every day and when you walk by it/them, think "I wonder what's inside them?" Don't think of it as a box full of sorrow, think of it as a treasure box full of your Mom's precious belongings, and YOU received them! How awesome is that? Eventually the suspense will wear you down and you'll HAVE to know what's inside! You will now have plenty of momentos to pass along to your kids, a piece of Grandma to pass on to the next generation. Staci's right, the last thing your Mom would want would be her death to be a catalyst for your's. LIVE WELL. You literally hold a piece of her in you (50% actually) so continue to do her justice! You're amazing Holly!

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40 Minus 100 March 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

Oh Holly. My heart just aches for what you're going through. I will be saying extra prayers for you and that God will really wrap His arms around you that day. I found this depiction of Jesus and it really helped me through some very hard times because I kept envisioning myself this way – protected and loved in His arms.

(http://www.keatonprints.com/printsnuggle.htm)

Maybe it will bring you comfort as well.

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Joy March 6, 2012 at 6:18 am

I just found your blog so I don't know the history with your mom. The only thing I can do is share what happened to me with my son. He was very rebellious just before he turned 18. When he left, before he took all his stuff, I grabbed some things that reminded me of him. I call it my "Celebration Box". It contains little things…a race card, Cub Scout stuff, rocks (he loved to collect rocks!), awards etc. And when I really really missed him, I would take out his box and celebrate him. I tell you this got me through the tough times!

I will be praying that this box with be a treasure!

Keep focused!

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Monika www.endyoyo.com March 6, 2012 at 7:36 am

Holly,

Even thinking about that situation makes you very upset.
Maybe as someone suggested, you shoud put the boxes on the side and wait till the right moment to open them…

We all are with you…we, who have this same emotional problems, undertand how difficult situations like this are…

Monika

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Chandra March 6, 2012 at 7:48 am

Holly, this is the second time you've made me cry.

My mother died August 2011. I hit the 6 month mark a couple of weeks ago. Her birthday is this Saturday.

We also have a house, full of the things of our childhood, that we have been dealing with very slowly.

I'm totally with you about things coming up that you never imagined. It's really wild.

I have no good advice because I'm wading through the same things myself. I just wanted to reach out and put a virtual hand on your shoulder and say, "I get it. I truly do."

Chandra
http://www.judyjane.com

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Debsdailylife March 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

WOW!! What an amazing gift!! Celebrate her and your memories with her.
Is it possible to store the boxes safely until you feel ready? Or to have a dear friend with you when you go thru them?
prayers!!

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trisha March 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I pray that you will find the strength and fortitude to handle this task as your mother would wish – which I bet would be with joy in celebrating her life on earth, and even more her life now with Jesus Christ as her savior.

Hugs to you lady… xxx

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