February is Heart Health Month and this is topic hits very close to home. Coping with the sudden loss of my mother to heart disease is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Unforseen Loss due to Heart Disease
I lost my mother to heart disease over 10 years ago at the age of 65. This was a sudden loss and a huge shock to our family. My mom was an amazing lady that put all her children and grandchildren’s needs before anything. She was always there for us, and not having her around was unimaginable. Coping with the sudden loss of my mother was made even more difficult as we lost her on Mother’s Day. We were not ready for this news, but the cards we’re dealt for us and I was taught we needed to accept and move on. This was not an easy task for me and remains hard. I would talk to my mom every day even though we were over 1000 miles apart she was part of my day. Every day, I looked forward to every call and there has not been a day in those 10 years I have not wanted to pick up the phone and give her a call. I still have so much to tell her.
My Mom. Pictures are hard to find as she was always behind the camera.
My Coffee, the Tree & the Bird
After my mom past, friends had given me a tree we planted in our front yard where I could look and see while I had my coffee, every now and then this bird would appear on that tree and I started to believe it was my mom’s spirit to sit with me. I thought I was losing my mind because I started talking to the bird, My mom would have agreed. The tree and this darn bird got me through some tough days. I know its been ten years and I remember people telling me it gets easier, not sure they were right. Coping with the sudden loss of my mother still breaks my heart and I miss her every day. It took a long time to stop being angry and accept that she is gone.
Turning Grief into A Passion
I have transferred this anger and turned it into a passion to learn more about heart disease and how to fight those family genes. I could have sat back and let nature take its course and keep the same habits that would have to lead me down the same path but that’s not fair to me or my family.
Taking Care of Myself
My mom’s sudden death and not wanting my girls to go through the same pain I had gone through is the reason I try to eat healthy, stay active and manage my stress. My girls would say I need to work harder on the stress part. I’m educating myself with the hope that I can help others and have them join me on my journey. I believe that everyone wants to live a healthy lifestyle but it’s overwhelming and hard to know where to start. Like my mom, many women find it hard to put their needs first, we all struggle with this. We want to make others happy. It is a daily struggle because my girls mean everything to me and I would do anything for them but I’m learning the best thing I can do for them is to take care of me. I have not fully accomplished this line of thinking, but I do work hard at it every single day.
I am not Selfish!
Some may think I’m being selfish, but I have to stop worrying about what others think and do what’s best for me. When it comes to my health I do come first. I want to be here for my family, and I want them to have the best version of me Happy and Healthy.
There are days when I say why bother I’m fighting a losing battle I can’t fight my genes. This thinking would not be fair to me or the people I love. Changing my genes isn’t an option but I can change the habits I have learned and make better choices to combat those genes. Almost 2 years ago, I changed my diet; I went from being a meat and potatoes gal to becoming a pescatarian. I have started practicing yoga and make sure I have some form of movement every day.
Women & Heart Disease
The statistics are very alarming for women when it comes to heart disease. My dream is for women everywhere to become more aware and know what small things in their daily life they could change for themselves and their family to make your heart healthy. Your family will be so happy you did. Don’t wait for a sudden loss to start.
How I have Learned to Cope
I’m not a physician but here are few tips I do to make my heart healthy and happy
Sitting on the beach
Hanging out with family
Cuddling with my dog
Empowering Women Helps with The Sudden Loss