I lost my mother a few weeks ago to cancer. Although it was expected, it happened WAY faster than any of us thought. I come from a line of mostly long-livers on both sides of the family so in our eyes she died young. I have been on quite the emotional roller coaster, my own and other family members' which has proven quite stressful. Oh yeah, on top of it I have a marriage, home, and job to maintain which makes it even more challenging. This is new territory for me because although I have experienced the loss of close family members, it's my first time losing a parent...my mother...the woman who brought me life. I also haven't really had a direct role in some of the responsibilities dealing with after-life business to tie up until now. When you're in that role, it's a constant battle of keeping up with what needs to be done while managing all the emotions and dealing with the emotions of other family members. Plus, I don't always know what to do so I'm reaching out for resources and advice on how to handle things. This is where a good support system is necessary. I can say that there have been some who have stepped up and some who have fallen back. It's understandable because different people handle grief in different ways. I have also been enlightened on who my friends are...It has been both a surprising and disappointing experience but that is life I suppose. The one thing I seem to hear a lot is that "you're the strong one". Um...just because I don't wear my emotions on my sleeve and try very hard to focus on what needs to be done, doesn't make me the strong one. I don't know. I think that having that label is dangerous because we tend to be given too much and in being responsible people, take on too much. I am trying to keep the balance so that my health isn't affected though but it's a tough balancing act for sure. In my quiet moments alone, usually when I first awaken in the morning is generally when I have to deal with my emotional pain the most. Some mornings I don't want to get out of bed but that isn't really a choice. I just keep pushing and take some comfort in knowing that Mom is no longer in pain, in a better place, and I will see her again. There are a lot of things around me to remind me of her and it's a bittersweet pill to swallow but I believe she knew in her last days and moments how much she was loved. Love you Mom...Forever!