And Suddenly She Was Gone

by Linda
(California, USA)

My mom died five days after my 46th birthday in January last year. She hadn't been sick until that last week, she certainly wasn't dying. I thought she had the flu and took her to the hospital. She was diagnosed with leukemia and died two days later. We had been waiting for a hospital bed to open up in an oncology hospital so she could begin treatment. I didn't know she was dying, I was just waiting for that bed, looking to the future, always the future. Maybe if I would have stopped and just lived in the moment I would have seen what was happening. But I'm a fighter, and I was preparing to battle the cancer.

Luckily I listened to my intuition the night she died and decided to sleep in her hospital room with her -- I didn't trust the nurse on duty. I remember being so completely exhausted after being in the hospital a couple of days and I SO wanted to go home to my bed. She kept taking her oxygen mask off and I was supposed to make sure she kept it on. The last time she ripped it off her face, I just got so mad. I was beyond spent, and I chastised her. I think that's the last time we communicated. After that we gave her some calming drugs and I fell asleep using two hard chairs as a bed. A couple hours later the machines started screaming and nurses were running in and lights were flashing...and mom was dying. The doctors got her heart going twice throughout the night but we finally had to let her go at 4:30 in the morning.

But even sleeping by her bedside, I never got to say goodbye. That will haunt me forever. I wish, I wish, I wish I'd just told her one more time that I loved her. I wish, I wish, I wish I could have told her what a wonderful mother she was. She and I were a pair, she was my wingman, we had adventures together and drank champagne on Sundays at the beach. I spoke to her on the phone several times a day.

Tomorrow I will be completing a job that she'd seen me begin and struggle with for eight years. It is a big accomplishment. And the face that has always been there won't be there to smile celebrate with me. The hole she's left in my life is so huge, it's like I lost a part of myself when she died. I know the hurt will ease with time, but the sun will always be a bit less bright and life a bit less magical without my mom by my side.

Comments for And Suddenly She Was Gone

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Jan 21, 2014
I lost my mum too
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous I am sorry for your loss of your mother and how unbearable the feelings of grief are for you that you feel worse now even after 5 months. Grief is not an experience any of us want but find ourselves going though. WE don't know what to expect, but all of us know how bad the pain is and how we can't go on in life without the one we have lost. We each have different life experiences, and family bonds that can throw us over the edge with grief and find it a struggle to cope. No one should tell you to get over it, as if you had a bad cold or the flu. Grief is different. Our pain goes from our mind into our body and often we feel the grief in our bodies and it slows us down and stops us moving forward. I am one of these. Copes so well and then hits a low period in my grief. I lost my husband to cancer 20 months ago and I feel worse also. I don't want to do anything and this concerns me. It was like it was at the beginning when I took to the couch for 6 months and couldn't do anything. But I take one day at a time knowing this too will pass. Memories of the lost loved one come back and the pain does assault us. Our TV dramas are covering illness, cancer, dying and assisted suicide and so whilst this can be comforting it also brings back memories we can't escape. Good that TV is covering these subjects in a moving way because we can identify with the pain other's are going through and it also has a deep healing effect. Even though these subjects make good TV it allows us to realise that death is all around us and we are not immune to loss. Kings, Queens, Leaders of Countries, Presidents, all go through loss and have to face grief and Healing. We are not alone even if we have to go on in life Alone. May God draw near to each of us and give us His Peace and Comfort through our loss.

Jan 20, 2014
"The Club"
by: Linda

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful comments -- such kindness and caring from strangers is an amazing gift. My friend (who lost her mom six years ago) and I call it "the club." We who have lost somebody dear to us, somebody we can't imagine living without, we are all part of a club you just can't understand until you've crossed that imaginary threshold of "before" and "after". There's such comfort in knowing that other people have gone through similar experiences, and are struggling with similar feelings and grief. It just makes this grief journey less lonely. I wish nobody had to be part of "the club," but knowing that this is impossible, I am grateful to share it with kind people like you. Thank you.

To the person who wrote most recently, who is struggling, I can only say just grab hold and hang on. Like someone else mentioned, the pain and tears come and go at the most unexpected times. Sometimes they stay for awhile and it feels like you'll never see the sun. But you know what, the sun does shine again. Never as bright, definitely not the same, but it shines now and then.

When those "rogue waves" as I call them, hit, and the pain is so intense and the tears are flowing at the most inappropriate moments, I try to give myself the freedom to feel it and cry. If other people don't get it, too bad. (I live in California and rogue waves are unexpected waves that come up on the beach and carry people or pets out into the ocean, sometimes tragically. You never know when a rogue wave will hit the beach, so you always have to keep your face to the ocean).

Please, don't let people tell you how to feel, or how long you should be feeling anything. You are on a journey without end now, and it's your journey that only you can define. If people don't understand it, find somebody in "the club" to talk to. Unfortunately, there are many of us everywhere. Let yourself grieve, know there will be rogue waves and be kind to yourself when they hit.

I've started taking an online art class that focuses on a healing journey and it's been so very helpful (and I've never taken an art class). I also see a grief counselor, which is like having your very own coach in your corner.

In ten days, my mom will have been gone from this Earth for one year. I can't imagine how I made it through one year without her. So if I made it one year, then maybe I can for another.

Jan 20, 2014
I lost my mum too
by: Anonymous

My mum died in hospital she too was recently admitted due to dehydration and complications due to heart failure. Like wise my mum told me she didn't know what she would do with out me. She sent me home to my kids saying she was ok and the next morning she was gone. I didn't opt for the autopsy and assume she died due to heart complications. I miss her so much and don't know how I will go on with out her. She was a great mother and although there were times when we had our differences I loved her dearly and don't know how to go on with out her.
People expect me to be over my mum and back to normal now but I find that I am worse now than when she died five months ago. Please help

Jan 13, 2014
Losing Mom
by: Anonymous

I too lost my Mom in the ER without being prepared to let her go. We went in supposedly with dehydration at 1pm and at 8pm that night she was gone. She was my best friend and my saving grace and I am lost without her. She always would tell me right from wrong and always supported me in all and any endeavor. During the day in the ER she patted my hand and said I don't know what I'd do without you and I laughed and said I am like a bad check you can't get rid of me and we laughed little did I know 3 hours later she would be gone. I have good minutes and bad minutes and you never know what will set the tears off and some days are better than others. Her friends all call to see how I am doing and we end up usually crying and laughing at the same time. It was hard when I lost my Dad but Mom was there to help me get it through and even though I have a loving family, friends, and husband of my own I just feel sooo lost.

Jan 10, 2014
Be kind to yourself
by: Erica

Dear Linda, so sorry for your loss x reading your post brought tears to my eyes. It was as if I'd written a lot of those words myself. So wanted you to know that although I know it won't practically help, just know that you aren't on your own. And you are very good to share your thoughts as it does help us release a few well needed tears. I really relate to wishing I'd said I love you to my mum one more time. I was the same and stayed with my mum on her last night. I didn't realise then that it was going to be that. But somehow I just have to believe in that our mums knew we loved them and some things just didn't need to be said. As someone else mentioned, our mums knew us better than anyone else x well done on your accomplishments - keep going! Your mum will be watching you continue to grow x take care and be kind to yourself xx

Jan 09, 2014
And Suddenly She was Gone
by: Doreen UK

Linda I am sorry for your loss of your mom to a sudden death. It is so hard coping with life and just as hard to deal with dying.
We always will WISH we did more or said more. Your mom would have realised your LOVE in unspoken language by what you were to her and just being in her life will have made her know you cared. Being AVAILABLE speaks volumes. My husband suffered with cancer for over 3yrs. whilst I nursed him. All the time waiting for a miracle healing that never came. I too didn't say good-bye. But I have no regrets. I don't like good-bye's. I would just say. "See you in the morning." I do have a Faith and belief in seeing him again and this gives me the Hope to go on each day. Life is never the same again but one does go on to live life the best way. It all depends on who we have left in our lives to carry on with. Each day is different. I embrace each new day when it comes. But I can only still take only ONE DAY AT A TIME. I can't plan for the next day. I wait till it comes first. I feel comfortable with this. We are all different and will handle our grief how best we are able to. None of us will ever think about losing someone close till it comes. We are meant to LIVE and enjoy our life and not think of death. Part of the way you feel is just part of normal grief throwing up so many feelings that entrap us. But they will pass in time. You will get your life back and live again. Just another chapter in our lives as we journey through life. Joys and sorrows. I wish you better days ahead in your recovery from grief.

Jan 07, 2014
Sorry for your loss
by: Anonymous

So sorry to read of the sudden death of your dear mum.Losing your mum is heart wrenching no matter what the circumstances. Don't beat yourself up for being short with her when you were with her that last night, you were with her and that is what matters she knew you were stressed. Mums know their children better than any one else. Be gentle with yourself and try to accept that it is all part of the plan what ever that is meant to be. I lost my mum last July and know how difficult life is without my precious mum.Nobody or nothing ever prepares you for that loss.Thinking of you and wishing you all the best we are all in the same boat and I find this website very helpful knowing we are not alone.Therese

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