Just passed my mother's first birthday since her death.

by Christina Orr
(Toronto, Ontario )

My mother died march 3rd, 2012. At 10 am in the morning, on life support that I regret every minute putting her on. I am 23 years old, my name is Christina. I don't know where to begin. Everything was going completely fine, well as fine as it could go. She got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early march, four years ago. It was a huge blow to my whole family. They told her she had six to nine months to live. I went with her to almost every chemo treatment that she had, and every oncologist and doctor appointment. She was doing so well. She lasted almost four years, four years without a problem. The night before, we were alone at the house, and she says to me that she feels like playing monopoly. We turned the tv off, the phone on silent, and we never used to finish, but this time, we were so caught up in the moment of being there, being together, that we actually finished the game. She beat me, and she was so happy. I woke up the next day to go to work and she was up already, and she was organizing papers on the floor. I snuck up behind her and scared her, she got mad at me because her back was hurting. I told her I was sorry and that I had to go to work but call me if she needed me. I got home late that night and my aunt was there, she told me my mom was throwing up blood. My mom said it was just the chocolate cake I had made for her. My aunt left, and I just sat with her, and my boyfriend was over as well. My mom fell asleep on the couch, and I was just looking at her, her hand started moving off the couch. It was really weird, like someone was holding it. She started mumbling and twitching. Then she shot right up and hurried to the bathroom. She told me to get her some new pants and underwear because she didn't think she made it in time, then she called me, and I went to the bathroom, and all I could see was blood. I ran and called an ambulance, and when they came, they started taking my mom's vitals. I swear to God it was the scariest thing I have ever seen in my life. Watching your mom totally lose control of herself, her eyes glazed over and her smile, to which I can only describe as similar to the Cheshire cat from Alice in wonderland, came over her face, and her body tensed up and she stared at the corner of the room, and no matter how much I tried to get her back, she liked whatever was in that corner better. I started screaming at the paramedic to do something, and he just said she was having a seizure. She did come back, and we hurriedly got into the ambulance and went to the hospital. They took her through and I had to fill out all the papers and go through triage. She was fine once I got to her, they told me she was bleeding internally and they just had to do a few tests, but they were giving her medicine for the internal bleeding to stop it. I will spare you the rest of what happened but basically, she had two more seizures, and I was asked if I wanted her revived and put on a breathing machine and it was like I was four years old. Of course I wanted my mommy back, what kind of question is that? I stayed while they tried to revive her, saw the blood, saw them use the paddles on her tiny body, my aunt tried to shield me so I didn't see, but I had to, I couldn't let her go like that, when they had put the tube in her mouth, blood kept coming up like a fountain, and they told me they couldn't stop it. They then took her and brought her up to intensive care. I couldn't bear to see her like that, she was already gone, just hooked up to the breathing machine to make it look like she was alive. There was no response from her, I cried so hard, apologized so much for doing that to her. The only thing I was grateful for was that my aunt and uncle got to say their goodbyes to her, I gave them the ability to do that. I waited by her side, for what seemed like hours, waiting for her to go, telling her it was okay, that we would be okay. I held her hand even when she was already gone, still wiping the blood from her nose and mouth. It will be two months tomorrow that she passed, and for the past two months, I've been totally fine. But I'm not. I need her. I need safety. I need comfort. I need home. I'm worried that as time goes on, I will start to forget her. I don't want to. I just don't want to hurt anymore. I want to make her proud, and do what she wants me to do, but I can't sleep at night because I see her face as she was dying, I can't sleep until I'm too tired to think. I just busy myself all day doing nothing and I know I'm not making her proud but I can't do anything else until I get over this overwhelming need to scream, cry, pull my hair out, and run, run anywhere but here, anywhere that none of this matters. I feel like I can't do it without her, I need her back, I miss her.

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Sep 18, 2013
Life may end but love is eternal.
by: Diva Deb - Australia

Ladies, thank you for sharing - my heart aches for each of you but perhaps especially those of you who lost your mums in your 20's. I am about to have my 'first' birthday without my mum. Usually I can't wait, this year I couldn't care less. I sway from knowing I have so much to be thankful for to not wanting to exist without her. I took 3mths leave from work to care for my darling 'Pats.' She had breast cancer twice within 12mths, 2 good yrs until ovarian cancer was found in her R lung, stomach and surface of her liver. I told God if he had to take her that was one thing but no suffering. I also asked him to give me my heart's desire - to have a much time with mum as possible. I took leave from work, she moved into our place and I became her carer. After trying aggressive Chemo gave her 6 lousy weeks remission. Mum chose to take some control back by ending her treatment. She saw my 50th, her 75th, Xmas 2012, my daughter's wedding on 1/3/13, had all 7 grandkids in one spot on 7/4/13 and passed on her way to hosp on 21/4/13. And yes, God must have listened - she didn't suffer ...and she passed the day before I was due to return to work.

Though I grieve her deeply, I still feel her love. Such a deep bond of love cannot be broken. And to Christina, your mother could not be prouder of you sweetheart. I know as a mother the thing that hurts me the most is to see my kids in pain and hurting. Write a journal to her, find a good grief counsellor and live your life - I'm sure she'll still be there and once the hurt begins to lift you will feel her more and more. I hope the following words help:

"Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow, laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind, because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well"

Harry Scott Holland, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral 1847 - 1918

Feb 02, 2013
I'm feeling for you x
by: Anonymous

My mum passed away the same day :( multiple organ failure starting with her pancreas, I was holding her hand as she went :((( I can't believe she won't be here for her bday it's on tues 5th feb then anniversary of her passing early march. I miss her so much, I don't feel her often but today had a fight with my bf, he was a complete so n so! I was in tears and cried out for my mum, she was there ;) I could feel that she was worried about me, I felt so close to her for the first time since shes left. I miss my mumma so much :( happy birthday for Tuesday my beautiful mum. Shes turning 55! :(

Nov 21, 2012
I there too...
by: Anonymous

My mom passed on 23rd jan 2012 . I was there at her her bedside when she passed on . I just knew from earlier in the afternoon that it was coming . (She had been sick and was admitted to hospital) . It's my bday tomorrow and know exactly how you feel ....that's why I stumbled upon your post cause I'm feeling crap and just thought I'd see if others have had the same experience . I don't regret for a min that i was there when she passed but its not something that you forget or get over . I'm a bit of a loner and much younger than my sisters so I was very close to my mom ...she was my best friend and I could be myself in front her which I find hard to do with others so I miss her more than I can express . I have since sold my 14 year old business ..moved ...and will now have to start over .....which is very hard when your main source of support is gone . But I know that she would be proud of me and would (and still is ) supporting me in what I'm trying to do ..... You never get over it but I do think with time the pain will subside ......I still cry almost everyday .....and small things make it hard but trust me you won't forget her .....start a tradition and play Manopoly every sunday ! She'll have a good laugh with you !

Oct 16, 2012
Mom passed May 5, 2012
by: Pat

My mom passed suddenly at age 79. She fell and hurt her back in December and then started having bad back pain. She went to see several doctors but no one could figure out what was causing the pain. My dad kept pushing to get her treated and finally found a doctor who took xrays and saw she had a cracked vertebrae. By this time she had lost movement in her lower body and was heavily drugged. The doctor operated on her and thought the surgery went well and hoped that she would recover but about a week after surgery she was gone. I live in Michigan and she lived in Georgia so I was not able to be there until 2 days before she passed. When I saw her she could not talk only open her eyes for a few seconds at a time and nod a little when I asked her questions. I wish I could have been there with her while she was going through this terrible time and also for my dad. It does not matter the age of your parent when you lose them it still hurts a lot. I am 50 and have stage 4 breast cancer and my mom knew this before she had her fall. I still need her in my life. I also just became a grandmother and I wish my mom was here to hold her great grandbaby. October 22 is my mom's birthday and I want to do something special on that day. I wish I was able to be at her grave but live to far away. I will never forget my mom and her love for me no matter how old I am.

Sep 21, 2012
by: Danielle

I have just turned 24 and lost my mum nine months ago. I have a lot of the same feelings as you and dont no how to control my feelings especially at night when trying to sleep etc, thoughts just go round and round in my head of what happened and how I could of done things diffrently for my mum near the end. I have had to adopt my two younger bothers who are only 11 and therefore i have to stay strong for them. I think speaking to someone who is in the same staution (kind of) may help us both a lot. My email is dhotham@hotmail.co.uk
Dont worry about your mum not being proud of you, of course she will be, at everything you have and are doing.

May 07, 2012
I feel your pain
by: Syl

Hi Cristina, my mom passd away two months ago and I'm also experiencing a lot of what you're talking about. She had lung cancer at 57 and she was officially staged just in November of 2011. I'm an only child and I feel really alone feeling like I'm the only one that will ever understand the pain my mom went through. I have images of my mom suffocating and then losing consciousness. Everything feels very surreal to me and I feel as if everything was just a nightmare. I wake up in the morning really regretting waking up because it's only then that I realize that it wasn't all just a nightmare....

May 04, 2012
by: Melissa


I feel like I am reading my own story when I read about your mom. My mom died on March 7th of this year, 3 days after my 24th birthday after receiving a bone marrow transplant for an aggressive lymphoma she was diagnosed with in October. She was only 46. I cannot erase my memories of her in the hospital or her suffering either. I picture her face in the ICU and those horrible moments as well. It hurts to try and remember anything at all even the happy times right now. I had an amazing, kind, selfless mother. It hurts. Maybe you would be interested in talking by email with me. My email is mspicer88@gmail.com if you are. I will keep you in my prayers.

May 03, 2012
Dear Christina
by: maria

i lost my mother last year just days after my 22nd birthday. its just as hard now as it was the day we lost her. im sorry to say that it doesnt get easier as soon as we would like. i feel like things weren't fair, like i didn't get enough time with her or i still need her. truth is this whole year and a half shes been gone, i've tried to hide my true feelings deep inside and keep a tough outer exterior, but i feel like im just stuck there, feeling like i can't cry or talk about it. i miss her so much. the hardest part is knowing life goes on without her.
today i actually opened up. To a friend. she helped me realize that keeping my sadness inside isn't coping with my loss. letting it out and talking about her, keeping her memory alive, and having a good cry, made me feel so much better. when you are ready, talk about her, to everyone. tell them what an amazing person she was and how she made you a great person. dont talk as if she is gone, because she isn't. she is there with you, in your heart and in your stories. those are what will help you in this difficult time.
im am very sorry for your loss.

May 02, 2012
So Terribly sorry
by: Anonymous

Dear Christine,

I cannot even imagine the horror that you went through. Yet I am grateful to you for having the courage to write your story. My mom died in her sleep two years ago, and though people tell me it was a beautiful, peaceful death, I have been plagued with wondering what more I could have done to help her and keep her with me. I don't even know what my mom died from, she just tumbled downward two months after my dad died. She was in my home, in my bed, and she just never woke up. I kept wondering, what if I had taken her to the hospital, gotten an i.v., or a feeding tube--anything. But your story shows me that maybe well, I can't bring myself to say it was for the best--but your story may help me come to terms with mine. BTW, I basically didn't sleep for months, but Prozac really helped my body deal with the trauma. I hurt for you. I am so sorry.

May 02, 2012
what can i do to help
by: Anonymous

As I read your story the tears are running down my face like a faucet....My beautiful precious mother died one year ago of ovarian cancer that was diagnosed 13 days before her death. The blood loss was horrible the pain she was in at the end haunts my every living second. I miss her more than words can describe. I wished God had taken me with her. I miss her every second of every day. Don't feek that you are alone because you are not grief is worse than hell. I see this as my living hell. I feel guilt, frustration......but most of all shock and sadness. Try to do best u can each day your feelings are completly normal. I would give anything to have her back

May 02, 2012
Your act took courage...
by: Gia from Lynnwood, Wa

My thoughts are with you. Second guessing major life extending or ending choices are so hard. I felt the same way that you did when I supported my husband to either stay on dialysis or stop--which he ultimately decided to do in February 2012. He lasted 9 days. At least as you mentioned, the life support allowed family to come and say good bye. The loneliness and longing doesn't seem to go away. Thanks for sharing.

May 02, 2012
hi Christina
by: Anonymous

Hi Christina, my dad died six months ago and he was 61. im so sorry for your loss. my dad went for an minor operation and ended up on a life support machine and two weeks passed and we had to decide to turn it off it was the worst time in our lifes. i as you still see my dads face on thaat machine i get flashbacks. buts its strange how you talk as if your mam was looking at something.my dad on the friday before he died they wanted someone to stay the night with him so i did and the whole time i was talking to him he has his eyes fixated on a corner and he would not look at me.his mouth kept moving and he kept making that smile that your talking about. i remember saying to him the night before he died as he was still staring at this corner is granny here there was no response he just winked at me. i am convinced that someone was there watching him and talking to him.i think it was my granny it gave me comfort and i think its nice how we had the same experience. all i know is i take one day at a time and thats all you can do. make sure you look after yourself and i hope you find comfort in my comment. mind yourself

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