First Holidays Without Mom

by Luann
(Washington)

My mother was the bravest soul I have ever known. She fought and survived colon cancer for four and a half years. Between chemotherapy courses, she had cancer free months, and was able to do some traveling with my stepdad. She squeezed out every moment of life and gave of herself. Towards the end, she spent most of her time pouring her life into her grandchildren, especially one who has been struggling with alcoholism. There was so much more she wanted to do and yet her life was leaving her.

My relationship with my mom was very close, and it was hard for me to cut the apron strings throughout my life. Moving away, moving back home, and repeating the cycle again until we achieved a healthy balance. Mom never totally got healed from her hurts from being adopted and then later turned against by many of her adopted and biological siblings. She tried to lean on her faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church. She loved angels.

I was very blessed to be able to take care of her, along with my stepfather, at home. She went into the hospital on May 3, 2013 for an obstructed bowel. She had cancerous lumps throughout her stomach. She was thin and weak. I was in denial about how terminally ill she was and expected we had much more time together. She went home on the 7th, and I went along on her next doctor appointment on the 12th. I then was on FMLA to help take care of her at home. She passed away on May 30th at about 2:20am. I had been spending the nights in the guest bedroom so my stepdad would have some help with mom. She died in her own bed, as she always wanted. During her last two weeks she only wanted immediate family and her closest friends and no one else. We had to filter her phone calls and I helped her with a few emails.

The evening before she died, she was smiling and trying to talk to me. I saw her lips moving saying she loved me. I told her that her work was done here and if she was ready to go to heaven it was okay. But if she wanted to stay awhile, that was okay too. I then told my stepdad that she was being talkative and to go see her. He had some final precious moments with her too.

I know we fulfilled her wishes. I visit her grave about once a week, only fifteen minutes away. I keep the flowers in season (silk). I cry my eyes out almost every day. The hardest part is going to work. I lost my dad in 2005, and the grieving was hard too, but much different. We were not close.

I am trying to make Christmas without Mom. My husband is helpful and supportive and my mother in law is generous and supportive. Nothing will take her place. She always made the holidays special and was truly our family's matriarch if ever there was one. I miss my mom terribly.

Comments for First Holidays Without Mom

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Dec 26, 2013
First holidays without mum
by: Anonymous

I know how your feeling. it is the same for me me,my mum passed away in July and I am heartbroken struggling nor to cry in front of my kids, my two boys have been great support despite their tender years. Every one says that he first year is the worst so I hope they are right.
You were there for your mum and she knew it right to the end so you can take comfort in that. As some one else said you can be prepared for death but never ready. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself the time and space to grieve.Congratulate your self on the good job you did taking care of your mum. Things will get better in time.

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