Lost Mom and Grandma only 3 months apart

by Jill
(Indiana)

I am 44 and an only child. My parents divorced when I was 2 and I have not spoken to my dad since I was 21. Growing up, I spent many nights at my grandma’s house while mom went out on dates or with friends or took trips. Mom and I had a good relationship during my growing up years, but I don’t know why that didn’t continue as I became an independent adult. She got mad at the silliest things and would say the most hateful things. I always forgave her, but worried about when the next episode would happen. I could generally count on making her mad about every 3 to 6 months. In the past several years, I only talked to her when I had to because I never knew if what I said or how I said it would make her mad. At times I wondered if I would even miss her if she died. (terrible, I know) Mom wasn’t a happy person as she got older.
My grandma was like my 2nd mother. I loved her so much. She was very special to me and I always knew her death would be tough on me. Me, mom, and grandma were like the three musketeers. It was a strange, but neat, triangular relationship. My mom was also an only child so I have no first cousins, aunts, or uncles.
In March 2013 my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. She died on June 13, 2013, after 4 days in hospice. It all went so fast. I feel like we could’ve done more or I should’ve visited more. I should’ve been more sensitive to her and then maybe she wouldn’t have been depressed and been subject to getting sick as easily. Maybe she would’ve taken better care of herself if she wasn’t depressed. Since mom was an only child also, it was now my responsibility to take care of my grandma. I enjoyed this very much. It seemed to help me cope with losing mom. Needless to say, my grandma was very upset about losing a child and she told me she prayed that God would take her first. Although He didn’t take her first, He didn’t wait long. She died three months later after one week in the hospital. She was admitted for shingles and a UTI, but she developed pneumonia and then her heart just gave out.
I feel completely lost, left out. The two people who cared for me since I was born are gone. I have two girls, ages 10 and 14, and have been married for 15 years to a wonderful man. I feel terrible for saying this, but sometimes I just want them to go away and leave me alone. I don’t want to cook supper, or do laundry, or take kids to activities, or anything! My husband has no idea what I’m going through. He still has both of his parents and wasn’t close to any of his grandparents. I feel like nobody understands me. I fly off the handle at the smallest things and I feel terrible for being angry at my family. I know my girls don’t understand and I don’t want them to hate me or think their mom is crazy and doesn’t love them. I just don’t know how to deal with the feelings and I don’t have anyone to talk to. My husband will listen, but I need advice and he can’t give it. How long will I feel like this? Should I seek counseling? Will my kids remember this time negatively? Will I ever be the same? I feel so alone and sad. Sometimes my chest hurts so bad that I think I might be having a heart attack. I’ve had a stress test though and my heart is fine. I guess heartache is a “real” condition. Please, somebody help me. My husband seems to think I’m coping quite well since I’m still taking care of the kids and house, but I feel like an actress. Is it weird to go on a weekend trip alone? I wasn’t doing too badly after mom passed, but now that grandma is gone too, it’s just too much. My chest is starting to hurt again just writing about this so I’ll end it here. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I feel so terrible for the other people’s losses on this site.

Comments for Lost Mom and Grandma only 3 months apart

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Dec 31, 2013
losing mom and grandmother
by: Jolynn

I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds as if you need to grieve your loss and trying to take care of your family and having everyone think you are doing well is putting undue stress on you. You are not okay right now. You need some "down" time to help process your grief. Of course you feel as if you want everyone to go away as it's too much for you to handle right now. Part of you probably wants to curl up under the covers and hide. I am sure you feel physically bruised as grief creates physical symptoms. My 26 yr. old son, who was an officer in the Marines and was training to fly jets, died suddenly last year. I was in such emotional and physical pain that I had to go to emergency room for heart pain just like you. I sleep with my son's shirt. I write him letters. I visit his grave. I see a private grief counselor and attend a grief group once a week. If you do not have anyone to talk with about your grief, try a group. you can check with local churches or hospitals(that's how I found mine). people in these groups are so understanding and u can talk as little or as much as you need to.
Please take care of yourself and your needs. It's difficult for you to take care of others when you are hurting.

Dec 20, 2013
Thank You
by: jill

Thank you so much for taking the time to give such a thoughtful and insightful reply. I will try to use your advice... especially the part about letting my family in on my feelings.

Dec 19, 2013
Lost Mom and Grandma only 3 months apart
by: Doreen UK

Jill you are such a caring sensitive person and hurt so deeply by the loss of your mom and grandma. Every feeling and emotion you expressed is as the result of grief. You are not going mad, and you are not doing anything wrong. You have had a double loss and this is not easy to cope with. Even if someone explained to you what grief feels like, it would make no sense till you felt it. It is the worst experience of life. You hurt so bad you don't know what to do. If you find yourself struggling then counselling would be very helpful, and beneficial to you and you won't know how good you can feel after this type of care and support. You need to talk to someone and be allowed to express your feelings and hurt. You also need to cry until you find release from this pain. Don't punish yourself with guilt for not taking more care of your mother. Keep a journal and write out all your hurt and pain and express this also in letters both to your mom and grandma in your journal. This will help release some of the repressed feelings you have. It is also a very cathartic experience and something I learned to do a long time ago. I did the counselling bit years ago in my 40's and I have healed to a degree that it feels good. I lost my husband to cancer 19 months ago. We were married 44yrs. A lot of husband's can't bear to see their wives suffer pain and hurt and they want to make it better and can't so sometimes talking to a husband may not be the easiest thing to do because you need someone to be impartial. Speaking often to strangers helps more, or someone who is going through the same thing. Do special things for yourself each day. Treating yourself in a very special way. This nurturing is very healing in itself and will be a good foundation for you to start the healing process. Being an only child is a very lonely place to be. I am happy for you having a good husband and 2 daughters. Don't worry too much about what they will think of you for being short tempered or not yourself. Talk to them and let them know you are having a hard time with grief at the moment and to excuse you from outbursts. You may be surprised at how supportive they can be at this time. Let other's know what your needs are and how they can help you. Having loving supportive people around you at this time is so important. I had this type of support and I don't know what I would have done without this. I think God often puts the right people in place for us. I hope God does this for you as He did for me. You will in time recover from grief. Take one day at a time and don't punish yourself for any failings. reverse this. Often when there is no one to hug and encourage us. We can do this for ourselves. It works. I hope you have better days ahead and that you will receive the comfort and support you need. Best wishes.

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