Missing Mom

by Gina
(US)

My mother passed away June 22, 2012 due to complications from a stroke she suffered on May 11, 2012 and a heart attack that followed on May 21. She was hospitalized 3 hours away from my home for just over six weeks and I stayed by her side the entire time. The stroke left her immobile on the left side of her body but thankfully she still had her memory and her ability to speak. The heart attack proved to be too much for her body and it began to slowly shut down. The doctors advised us to admit her into inpatient hospice so she could be more comfortable, so with her best interest at heart we did so. For four weeks, I watched her slowly slipping from this world, feeling my heart break more and more as her condition worsened. Even after she couldn't speak anymore, I stayed by her side day and night because I knew that had the roles be reversed she would have done the same for me. I couldn't bear to leave her by herself even though I came to realize the toll it was taking on myself, grieving for her before she had even passed. But I am thankful for this time with her. We got to talk about things we wouldn't have, otherwise, and we had the chance to let each other know just how much we loved each other, and I thought I was prepared for when she would be gone. I was wrong. Nothing in my life had ever even come close to preparing me for the morning of June 22, when, on one of my rare mornings at home,away from mom, I received the call that has forever changed my life. She had passed peacefully just 12 hours after I left her. I still feel guilt for not being there and I'm sure I will for the rest of my life. I'm trying to be strong for my dad, sister, and brother, but there are some days I'm not sure I can survive the sadness. I never knew real grief until I lost my precious mother. Knowing I will never talk to her again, or hug her again is excruciating and sometimes feels more like more than I can bear. I feel anger toward certain family members for things said or done during the last three months. I even find myself mad because everyone has resumed their normal lives as if nothing has been lost. I try to remind myself that the whole world cannot come to a halt because I'm grieving. I'm not sure if it's the fact that they seem to have moved on or if it's because I feel so overwhelmed. Even though I have my dear husband who has been wonderfully supportive and understanding throughout the entire three months, I still feel alone and lonely. I miss her so completely. Hearing certain songs is like being punched in the stomach. I'm just not sure where to go from here. I feel that I need to discuss mom and everything that happened but I also feel that I shouldn't burden anyone with all of this. This has been the most painful time of my life as well as the most confusing. I'm just not sure where to go from here.

Comments for Missing Mom

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Sep 16, 2012
My Condolences
by: Gina

Julie,
I am deeply sorry for your loss. Losing your mother leaves a huge hole inside you and nothing seems to fill that void. The first few weeks after you feel useless, anxious, angry, and deeply depressed. Everyone had warned me that the day of the burial would be the worse day of my life thus far. They were wrong. The worse day of my life came the day after the burial, when there was nothing left to do. There was no phone calls to make, no arrangements to be made, no care to be given. All that was left was the worse pain I'd ever experienced. As her caregiver, I'd never really had a moment to stop from the night she had the stroke until the day after the burial. I'd pushed aside my feelings of grief and sadness in order to do what needed to be done for the six weeks she was hospitalized before she passed. Except for brief moments every night as I showered, I rarely even cried until the funeral even though I knew she was dying. I feel, now, as if my suppressing all the pain for so long is what made that one day so excruciating. You cannot hide from grief, you cannot suppress it. It will always find it's outlet. I've learned from my own experience it's better to face grief head-on and feel it as it comes, and never try to hold it back or bury it deep down inside. You have to let the grief guide you through the process of recovering from such an enormous loss. Grief is our way of healing from an unspeakable injury to our soul, and much like any physical injury the recovery is often times more painful than the injury itself.
Not being there when mom passed has haunted me since, but it is something I have accepted as my mother protecting me. I was there alone, at the hospital, the day before until around 9pm and decided to make the 2 hour drive home. From her condition I knew when I left I'd never see her alive again. On the way to my car, I almost turned around several times and now I'd give anything if I had. But I've come to realize that I wasn't supposed to be there, because if I were I would have been. I truly believe my mom did her last motherly duty to me by protecting me from seeing her let go. She knew I was there alone almost the entire time, and I believe she protected me from facing that pain alone. Instead I was home with my husband. Maybe your mom did the same thing for you.
The constant grief you are feeling right now does fade way, and you will be able to have joy in remembrance of your mother again. But there will be days when you are hit all over again with the agony of grief. Let it guide you and follow it, for grieving is the only path to finding peace again. If you ever need to talk, or just to vent, please feel free to contact me at ginalawson@att.net. I know from experience that talking does help.

Sincere Condolences,
Gina

Sep 13, 2012
Missing mother too.
by: Julie

I lost my mom on Aug. 27th 2012, just after her 88th birthday on Aug.1st.
Mother was sick on and off for 10 years with several rehab stays at the nursing home where she finaly passed. I have been her caregiver and she lived with me for over 10 years.
I hurt so much I can bearly function. I too Gina was with her for the most part but when she passed she was alone. I told her mom, I'll see you in the morning, I was so tired watching her and that was at 10:00pm and she died the next morning at 3:15AM. I had told her I will hold your hand and not let go but I did. I went home.
I would do anything to bring her back and do it all again. I was resentful sometimes when she was with me because I thought I was missing out on something. I know different now. My 3 children are grown and I am so slone now. Mother I love you more than I can express and miss you more than I ever thought possible.

Aug 17, 2012
Missing Mom
by: Doreen U.K.

Gina I am sorry for your loss of your mother. You are in the first stages of raw grief and this is so very painfull and at times unbearable. You take just one day at a time when you don't know how to go on. Don't feel guilty for not being with your mother when she passed away. Count your gains not your losses. You were with your mother a lot of the time she was ill. Your guilt is normal and part of the grief and this too will pass. You will cry a lot and be angry. This is all part of grief. If you find it hard to cope and you want to talk. Go see a Grief Counsellor who will hold the pain whilst you are able to talk and resolve any unfinished business. Your anger against some members of your family is also normal. Facing a death and loss fractures a family and everyone will behave in ways that will surprise you. Some people may even walk out of your life for good. You will also feel that it is very insensitive for people to go on with their lives as if nothing has happened. This is normal. Not everyone will have the same depth of feelings as we have where our loss will be so very painfull we wonder why it doesn't touch others the same way. IT WON'T. Don't try to be STRONG for your dad or other members of your family. Trying to BE STRONG for others will put immense pressure on you and if you don't live up to doing this because of your other committments you will feel guilty and feel you let everyone down. You will end up with more problems. Just be LOVING, and SUPPORTIVE. As women we are carers and can overdo this and care for everyone and leave ourselves depleted. We will then need to be cared for. It is all about keeping a healthy BALANCE. Best wishes. If you need further support email me at doreenelkington@aol.com

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