Good Ole Mom

by Lisa Dougan
(Rainier, WA)

I never appreciated my Mom. I only found the faults of how I thought she lived her life. I know now that wasn't my place to do. She did the best she knew how to do. Now she's gone and I miss her so much. It's only been two months since she died but it seems like two years.

Of course now I'm thinking of all the things I should have said and didn't. How I should have handled things in the end differently but didn't. She died a week after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I guess I thought we would have more time together after the diagnosis but that didn't happen. She was in the ICU that whole week and on heavy painkillers. She was hallucinating and in and out of consciousness. I just thought she would get well enough to take home. But that didn't happen.

How did I know that last time we left her home to take her to the emergency room that would be the last time she would sleep in her own bed in her familiar surroundings? I just wish we could have taken her back home to die. But that's not what happened.

I swore I wasn't going to leave her side and I didn't. I promised her she wouldn't die alone and she didn't because I was there holding her hand. That's the hardest thing I will ever do in my life! I had seen dead people before but I had never seen anyone die. I was there when she took her last breath. She had only been in hospice for a day. I was sleeping in a recliner by her bedside and the hospice nurse came in and told me her breathing was shallow and she wasn't going to last much longer. God how I appreciate that nurse!

I kissed My Mother's forehead...this is the Mother who was never touchy feely and who ever told me out loud that she loved me. But I knew she did and I wanted her to know I loved her.

When she passed, I waited for some kind of extraordinary event where I might see her soul leave her body but there was none. It was just over.

My Mother had beautiful hands and in the end I was holding her hand and trying to memorize everything about those hands so that I could always see them in my mind. She was dead but her hands still looked as beautiful as they always had.

Now two months later I'm writing this letter. I wish to God I had another chance to say I love you to her before she lapsed into a coma. How I will miss the trips we took to the thrift store together. How I wish I had travelled from WA state to AZ to visit her more often. How I wish the phone would ring and it would be her voice at the end. But that is not to be so.
Instead, I see her in my dreams and I remember the good times and not just the bad. You did a good job raising me Mother and I hope in some way I made you proud. I will miss you until the day I die.

In loving memory of Jo Ann (Hope) Cain.

Comments for Good Ole Mom

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Aug 20, 2013
not enough time
by: natalie

I lost my mother may 11 2013. She was diagnosed
with stomache cancer in april and died a month later. Me and my 2 sisters had been at her side
and watched her take her last breath. We also are having a very hard time with this . At least she was in her own bed. Multiple surgeries unrelated
to this and she survived them as difficult as they were. Her colon was taken out 1 1/2 years prior to her death.We still are in shock. A tumor that was aggressive grew out of nowhere. She was too week and it was too advanced for chemo. Now we are dealing with her estate.I miss her terribly its painful. I believe the signs from above will hopefully keep me strong.

Jul 18, 2013
Forgive yourself
by: Rosebuddy

I buried my mom two days ago. Went to the ER with a problem that resolved and 32 days later died from a hospital injury.during her 32 days she was in and out of consciousness due to the pain meds I cringe at what was left unsaid. The only consolation I have is that she likely can hear our heartfelt apologies from the other side. Talk to her. She hears and knows how much you love her. Be kind to yourself. We are all here muddling through this
life the best we can.

Jul 15, 2013
i can relate
by: Anonymous

As I began to read what you wrote I thought I had written parts of it because I feel the same. My precious mother died two years ago and the guilt is killing me. After my father's death ten years ago my mother completly changed. She missed him so much that she became so angry with the world, resentful, closed herself off from world.....rarely leaving our family home....only for doctors appointments, church and cemtery.I spent all this time trying to change her and never realizing that first of all I had no right to do that and secondly why could I not let her just do what she wanted....I was always trying to get other family members to help me to change her.....I am an unmarried only child with no children my parents were my life and I there's. My mother died 13 days after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Like you were going to the hospital for a scheduled D and C and were expected to come home that evening. In a million years I would have never thought she would never return to her sanctuary of her own home. The morning I was helping her to get ready to go to the hospital I changed her bed and said to her your room is clean and ready for you tonight. If I knew that she was going to leave this earth 13 days later I would never have brought her to the hospital....When I was given the terrible prognosis I could not believe it. My mother did not want to hear any of it. Why did I not say I love you. Why did I not bring her home to die? Why had i not forced her to get a second opion two years earlier when she was not feeling well. I vowed that night that I was not leaving her alone in the hospital so I stayed and sat next to her bed and held her hand for 13 good byes, no last words, no final requests.....why why why. Like you I dream of her and my father but I think she must be so mad at me for everything....especially letting her die in the hospital.....the green suit I had them put on her when she many things... Why now that she is gone have |I truly undertood how much she loved me and what a wonderful caring person she really was. I beg her to forgive me....This guilt consumes me 24/7. I pretend to the world that all is well with me I call them my academy award performances i put on every day at work and around extended family......If I could have just one more chance to tell her all the things i never told her.....what i would give for that opportunity.....please know you are not alone in your feelings I like you suffer in the same way.

Jul 14, 2013
Good ole Mom
by: Doreen U.K.

Lisa you have to FORGIVE YOURSELF for making the moral judgement you did about your Mom. Most children/young adults do this. It comes down more to a lack of maturity, When a person matures they then realise too late what they did. Which is why in time you will forgive yourself as we all do for our shortcomings. I am a mom to 3 Adult children and we all have made mistakes as moms and wish we could go back and put things right. But we can't. Your mom can't feel anything now. It is you and those left behind that has to pick up the pieces. Remember that You were there with your mom when she drew her last breath. You held her hand.
I as a mom will have to forgive my children for their shortcomings and neglect to be here for me when I needed them. My children will have to also forgive me for my mistakes. In some families who struggle to bond with their children will find it difficult to say I LOVE YOU. But it is said in other ways even a TOUCH, speaks volumes.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. 14 months ago to lung cancer and whilst he was dying he suddenly felt the burden of all the things he wished he had done differently and one was being more available to his children. But he was working hard 6 days a week for over 47yrs. for his family and all over the world. He travelled a lot. He couldn't be available for his children as his job took him away a lot. But he did his best. He was the best father he could be. Something about someone dying evaluates a life spent and the guilt creeps in. Don't let Guilt control you. Wish we could go back and right the wrongs of the past but we can't. we have to find a way to live with this. We can make a good start with the ones we have left in our life. Be available more. Make that phone call to keep in touch.
Life is difficult and complex and makes us moody and irritable and we get on with the struggles of life and don't do or say all the things we want to. This is part of life. No one does it perfectly all the time. We also have boundaries and often people want their SPACE. We can also smother each other with too much attention. Life is a learning curve to be BALANCED. It is more about communicating what we need from each other and trying to meet that need that doesn't hurt us. The human heart has a yearning for RESPECT. If you respected your mom this is good and will make you feel better. Just find a way to live with yourself and your human failings. We all have them. I am sorry for your loss of your mom.

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