I Lost My Beautiful Mother - So Confused Now

Hello, I just found this site, as I have been searching for answers since my mother died very suddenly and unexpectedly on October 28. That means five months ago and a handful of days. She was old enough to be ill and had had friends who had passed from illness already. So one might think I would have been unsurprised by this. But she was a very youthful 81 years old, so much so that I couldn't believe she had turned eighty. She had no health problems that she or we knew of, other than that she would tire more easily than she used to. I attributed that to her age. What she refused to do, unless there was something she had terribly wrong, was go to a doctor for a regular check up.

The way she died has felt to me like it was actually an accident. She didn't mean to trip into heaven. She had one full fatal heart attack in the kitchen of her home, after returning from doing errands with my father. He was waiting out in the car for her to come assist him to come into the house, as he was the one with the health issues and had a walker. But he liked to sit and read in the car after arriving home, and their routine was that she would head inside and then return after a short bit. He said she came out earlier than usual and took the library book she had just renewed for him out of his hands and said that she wanted him to come in now. She then went back inside carrying the bags and book. He waited for her for a while and finally made his way into the house himself. And a few minutes later, he realized that she was there on the floor of the kitchen, unresponsive.

I have one sibling, who is twelve years younger. Because my sister has a disability that can affect her sometimes, my parents did a lot for her and she tends to be very passive and waits for direction. The shock of my mother leaving has just immobilized me so much that I have spent my time addressing practical issues, instead of memorializing her. I was extremely close to her and we laughed about the absurdities of life on the phone almost every day. She brightened every occasion and was one of those people with the wonderful loud laugh and the wonderful expressive face who held the family together by her mere wonderful passionate presence and responsiveness. None of us left have this. Our gatherings are forever changed. The shock of her leaving has hurt so much that I couldn't even look at her picture for a long time. My friends seemed to retreat immediately and not talk to me about how I might feel. My father immediately had to move in with me, my husband and my two older children who live at our home. He was still needing assistance from having been in a rehab facility months before. He then had a health problem in December and I needed to rush to learn about skilled nursing homes and assisted living, since we are unable to accommodate him for what he needs at our house any more. I see him now every other day, as I found a facility very close to us. All this took up the days and months after my mother left us. The days connected, like on long day.

I am now taking care of his finances and now dismantling their home of 49 years. Suddenly I am going through my mother's treasured things and mementos. Taking them from special spots where she stored them so neatly and disrupting these things from where she put them. I try to honor each little thing she cared for so much. I also have all of his possessions to sort through and then the whole scene of the house that represented her - her beautiful living room, her paintings, her life - all there now just in the form of things - and she is not. And all of his things he cares about and hoarded. And all of his mother's things that he brought after his own mother died. But I treasure my mother's things the most. I don't want their fragrance to disappear. I hold them all close to me.

But there is one task I haven't been able to make myself do and I hope someone can understand this. But I fear it's considered awful. I wasn't able to make myself write her obituary. And I postponed her memorial service until the spring. First the memorial service was postponed so that all my three children could be there. Now I have a new date for the month in early summer that's close to her birthday. I bought beautiful photo albums for the purpose months ago. I bought a special pen for memorial service invitations months ago. (I had one planned for December and had announcements printed, but had to cancel it, as it was just too much with Christmas and a hospital stint for my father). I am almost feeling ready to start filling the books and planning now. But I am very worried about how to now go about writing an obituary and getting the newspaper to publish it so many months later. Most all of her friends and family have been told and sent cards and notes long ago. But she deserves a true obituary that can be traced someday by her descendants. Could someone advise me how I can still get a newspaper to publish one? Has anyone else found themselves the responsible one for writing it and then ended up postponing the obituary and still being able to make one? My mother had asked to be cremated, so there was no burial. Her ashes are tucked into a special little trunk we keep in her favorite room in my house. I adored her. I still can't believe I am writing about her in the past tense. I adore her. Can anyone relate to my procrastinated obituary concern and offer advice or experience? If people are permitted to comment on this, I would greatly appreciate it.

I am so grateful for this sweet kind site for those of us who have lost their mothers to post. I write from the perspective of someone who probably should be grateful that my mother lived a long life and didn't suffer a long illness. But the grief of losing a mother is a very deep, very confusing and life altering thing, no matter how old you are. To anyone reading this, I am so sorry you have also been going through this. And thank you for reading.

Comments for I Lost My Beautiful Mother - So Confused Now

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Apr 07, 2014
Dear Anonymous,
by: Anonymous

I'm so sorry to read about your mother. I can relate to much of your post-I lost my sweet father suddenly as well. On January 14,2013, he had breakfast with my mother, (his bride of almost 50 years), went to play golf, and died on the golf course. He was 81. He was seemingly healthy, had tons of energy and was sharp as a tack. He enjoyed playing with my children and was a huge part of our lives. While I have finally accepted the loss, I am still in shock. Does that even make sense? I am also thankful that I had him in my life for so long, and I'm thankful that he didn't suffer, but I cannot grasp the shock of what happened and the changes it has made in my life. I am an only child and had an amazing and beautiful relationship with my father. Each day has gotten a bit easier and I do feel his spirit with me every single day. I know how hard it is, and I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and my prayers. I hope you can find some comfort and begin to heal. Barb

Apr 07, 2014
I lost my Beautiful Mother - So Confused Now.
by: Doreen UK

You are a very articulate, brave woman. It sounds as if you have taken on the world and handling this very well. I live in the U.K. not sure about posting a late obituary in the newspapers or handling this area. But I know many will answer your question and give you good advice and support. It is never too late to do this. Even if the papers carry time scales? I don't know. I am amazed at all you are tackling and sounds as if you are doing this alone with no support. My husband died a slow painful death from cancer coming up to 2yrs. ago on May 5th. I got through my grief ONE DAY AT A TIME, from advice learned on this site. It is a very stressful time dealing with all our loved one's possessions. Sorting through this, wishing you could keep it all FOREVER. But in reality one does what they have to do. I sorted my husband's clothes days after the funeral whilst I was still numb and couldn't feel the impact of what I was doing. I put the FOCUS on someone else being able to use these clothes since my husband would never use these clothes again. All his personal items are locked in his log cabin and will stay there till I can deal with this even if this be many years future. If I am not here, then my children will know what to do. I feel a measure of comfort knowing I have some of his personal possessions close by. I can't put his picture up yet. It is too painful. I lost my mother 11yrs. ago in March just gone and it took me 9yrs. to put her picture out so I could see it. WE are 5 girls and one boy. All 3 of us girls living in the UK and sister came over from Australia worked together to sort out our mother's possessions and then the younger sister did the rest since she lived close by. TEAM EFFORT. It is good having support. Otherwise it all becomes too much. You will find it easier PACING yourself. Take a section at a time. Do only one or two tasks a day. By spreading this out it will soon get done and you won't feel so overwhelmed and tired. TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF at this time is so important. Nurturing yourself will help you to heal and be emotionally more able to cope. If you find yourself struggling you can get some outside support from a grief counsellor. I am glad you found this site and can now be supported for however long you need this. I have been here almost every day for 2yrs. You will feel confused. This is also part of the grief experience, but won't last. I hope you are able to sort out the orbituary details and that the memorial goes well for you and family and that you move forward with good support. May God be close to you and family at this time and give you His comfort and Peace.

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