When your blood pressure reached 240 over 180 your doctor warned you of an impending stroke or heart attack. Your first ischemic event had you put your head through the plaster wall upon exiting the bathtub. Your second ischemic event found you lieing face down in your lush garden regaining your consciousness after some time. You had several more secret events before we forcibly called an ambulance. We even had a hard time convincing the paramedics that you were having a stroke. We watched you in emergency as you walked outside every 15 minutes to have your final smoke. These were not your final cigarettes but marked the beginning of your recovery from a severe right hemisphere stroke.
Your next 6 years proved extremely discouraging to you as your progress continued to be hampered by your incessant use of alcohol and tobacco. You remained physically handicapped on your left side even though your initial recovery was near 90 percent until you resumed you alcohol and tobacco use - your deterioration returned rapidly and mercilessly. You continued to subject your family to discouragement and heartbreak as you carried on your compulsive and obsessive surrender to your addictions. The voice of reason and rigorous honesty remained hidden by the flat affect of your denial. Your denial then had you refusing to address the chaos of your gangrenous gallbladder which burst inside you and had you revived from death. You survived just 13 more days with the secret of your impending death. Your four sons and two sisters were not aware that you were mustering the courage for your own death. You sat with the secret of your sickness right up until you death. Denial would not let go and you had not the courage and constitution needed to face your fears and turn from your enemy denial.
Ultimately mom, your death marked the end of the spell of denial which had a hold on you for all of my life. I miss you and cherish those few memories where denial had no obligation to the moment. Denial remains a significant part of my son's life and I will not give up the fight for rationality and courage, for hope and transformation. Your transformation occurred after your death outside of the celebration of a new life which awaits the living. True transformation will occur either while we live or upon our death.