An Orphan at 34

by Abdul H.

Two years ago, my Mom was given a diagnosis of Fatty Liver. Seeing the woman whom sacrificed so much for her children to be successful adults, the strongest person I known, become someone who couldn't do anything on her own and dependent on others. She would be hospitalized every couple of months, then get realized. She would state numerous times she is slowly dying. I couldn't accept it, and quickly dismissed it, telling her it'll be okay. She will get over this like she's done so many struggles in her life.

The hospitalizations soon became more often, until she remained in the hospital for weeks after her sides began to hurt her. The doctors found her kidneys were failing, and weeks later, her other organs were shutting down. Growing weaker and full of pain, she desired to let her go and rest.

Taking her back to her home on May 14, 2013, she was given a hospice nurse 24 hours a day. The night of May 14, I remained by her bed, holding her left hand as I caressed it, speaking to her softly about how everything will be fine. Suddenly finding the struggle to place her hand behind my head, she pushed my head closer to her face. Confused to what my Mom wanted, she softly kissed my right cheek of my face, saying ever so quietly, "my sweet baby..." Smiling as I kissed both sides of her face, I said to her I loved her. Keeping her hand held into mine, I remained by her side until she fell asleep.

As her condition slowly got worse, she fell into a coma state, sleeping for a majority of the day. While seated in the living room, speaking to my landlord about my apartment, the male nurse watching over my mom came to me in a hurry. Her breathing was as if water was filling her lungs, the bubbling sound was unsettling, but I stayed regardless. Holding her left hand, caressing her silky smooth skin, her breathing grew wider apart. Like a fish out of water, she took a few last breaths, and she was gone.

Watching the woman who gave birth to me, laid with her eyes partly open, I closed them shut, and continued to hold her hand as I cried like a baby. I have lost a part of my soul. Never have I felt such a pain, a deep sorrow that ripped the deepest of my foundation. I wanted to die, since I couldn't bare knowing my Mom was gone.

Family and friends would try to comfort me by stating she isn't suffering any longer and is at peace, it still didn't fill in the empty void left of her absence from my life. Finding myself staring at an image of a time a few years ago when we went to the zoo, we state on a wooden bench to rest. Laying my head on her shoulder, I was very close to my Mom, her voice of her birthday party from last year bringing me chills that runs down my spine.

Scrolling through my contacts on my phone, her number listed under, "Mom", remained, and for a second, I thought of removing, seeing there was no point of keeping it. Staring at the delete button, I didn't have the heart to remove her from my contacts. As I am writing this, she remains in my phone, and find myself wishing to call her to share with her something exciting that happened to me that day; only to stop myself to know she won't be answering.

It's May 31, 2013, and I still find myself filled with pain, and still grieving the loss of my Mom. Nothing will ever bring her back, and I am filled with guilt to celebrate my upcoming birthday in June, since she loved celebrating birthdays with the family.

I would give anything just to lay my head on her lap, as she caresses her fingers through my dark hair, her voice comforting me while she sings to me.

I miss you Mom, and your absence has left a huge hole in my life. :(

Comments for An Orphan at 34

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Jun 02, 2013
I´m going through the same thing
by: Anonymous

Dear Orphan,

I share your pain as I´m about to make my last visit to be with my mom until she passes away. She has brain cancer and something shuts down every day. I´m trying to make sense of things starting with the fact that death is natural and that I´d rather be the one burying my mother than the other way around. However, I feel like I´m cheating myself thinking it's OK. It just isn´t.


She can no longer talk, she "speaks" with her eyes. We make her laugh as much as possible so she can focus on something else besides the terrible headaches. I want her to go in peace and be free of pain but at the same time I´m selfish when I think I´d rather have her in that state than lose her forever.

I´m debating about deleting her number from my phone, too. I want to wake up one day and feel I´ve been having a bad dream, that my life will go back to normal ans I´ll be on the phone two and three hours like we used to. She was my faithful cheerleader, my friend, my shopping companion, and the only person who could make me laugh no matter the mood in our conversation.

I don´t have daughters and I feel I can´t replace that relationship with a younger generation. I´ll live with something missing in my heart for the rest of my life. I know her job here was done and that she lives in me through her life lessons but I wish she could just see me flourish into something she would keep feeling proud of.

She told me "I love you, too" for the last time about three weeks ago when I was visiting her and I kissed her good night. I will always be a little girl wishing to hear those words again.

I wish you the best on your grieving process. I don´t know you, but be sure that I´ll pray for your aching heart. I know time will help you heal and that you will find the joy in your life again.

Jun 01, 2013
An Orphan at 34
by: Doreen U.K.

Abdul I am sorry for your loss of your precious Mom. It is one of the hardest losses to deal with. The Mom who nurtured you and did everything a mom would do to give her children the best. It is so very difficult to go on in life after we lose our mom. We see trails of her all around us. You just have to look in a drawer or just anywhere and you see her belongings. Everything left just as it was. You then have the worst task of removing these items in time. I lost my husband 1yr. ago and I went through the same experience. WE all find this the most difficult thing to do after we lose a loved one. I would go in the garage and see my husband's work boots on the shelf. His hard hat. His cowboy boots. An odd sweater or jacket for using outdoors in cold weather. All his tools. Everything left. Over 40yrs. of his special things. I have with the help of my son-in-law removed much of these things and passed them on to my son-in-law who will use and value them. Gone to a good home. Items that will be treasured. All the other personal items are locked in his log cabin. perhaps never dealt with as it is too painful to do just now. I have planted a rose garden and the total area is in remembrance of him. It is so unbelievable to realise he is never coming back. It will be my husband's birthday in a weeks time. This will be a painful moment. He died 16 days before his 66th birthday and we as a family went up to the graveside and put up balloons and all sorts of mementoes and flowers to celebrate his first birthday of his death.
Because your birthday is coming up, you should still celebrate this as it is a celebration of your life your mom gave you. You will be honouring her and yourself by looking after each year you live in a special way. Try and keep a journal and now write out all those special moments and memories recorded forever so you never lose a single memory of her. Golden moments you will have forever. It is very hard to think of her as being with you at a zoo or special places you shared and now GONE all too quickly. It is as if we want to capture that moment forever in case we lose it. You can now do this with the people you have left in your life. Hold each moment and memory and remember it forever. Write it down so you never forget and it will be your comfort. You are in a hard place right now but each day you will be closer to Healing from your loss.

Jun 01, 2013
Dear Abdul,
by: Pat in Missouri

I feel your pain. I lost my mother in 2009. Since then, I have also lost my dad, brother, and fiance'. I have never had to deal with such awful pain as the pain of grief. It must be the same for you. I think we never really get over our losses. We just have to find a new way to live, knowing that our loved ones are in Heaven, but their spirits will be with us always. It's the physical presence we miss. I really related to your comments about wanting to call your mother. I kept my brother's voice mail message in my phone for weeks, after he died, just so I could hear his voice again.

The thing about death is that none of us escapes it. But, if we look at life as an everlasting journey, it seems a little easier. I believe that God put us here to spread His message to all human beings. We are born, live our lives, hopefully by spreading kindness and caring, but then, when our job is done, we return to God's Home and someone else carries on for us on earth. Even though the physical body is no longer with us, the spirit is. My loved ones talk to me all the time and I find it comforting. My mother and I used to love to shop together. When I am shopping now, she talks to me.

My birthday is also in June. My fiance' birthday is also in June. I am really dreading that day, but I am beginning to feel these birthdays and anniversary dates are times to reflect and remember wonderful memories. Memories are the special gifts that our loved ones leave with us. After my mother passed, I created a scrapbook of pictures and little things I had of hers. I love to go back and look at it now. In time, this might be something you would want to do too. You might also find it helpful to attend a grief support group. I did that and found it great to be able to talk with others who were all going through the same thing.

I wish you well, dear child. Take care of yourself. Your mother would want you to do that. Treasure the memories you have of her. Go ahead and talk to her. You don't even need a phone. If it feels right, it is ok. Mothers are very special people. Not only do they give birth to us, but they teach us how to live and love. Pass on that love to others and your mother's legacy will live forever. I send you many hugs. Pat

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