Missing my mom...

by Alysia
(Vancouver BC)

My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer April 2013 and passed away at 1:20 am on March 21st 2014, almost a week ago today. She was a nurse, the best nurse around - and everyone at her hospital looked up to her. She cared for those in old age, and she always made an extra effort to comfort and be 200% for all of her patients.

She had a fall at work, following the fall, she had a scanned which is when they discovered a spot on her lung. She had lung cancer, following her first diagnosis, we went to another appointment - it was in her lungs, liver and bones. The doctor had given her 2-3 months without chemo. I was in shock, sad, but I was in denial. I didn't acknowledge it fully, I didn't understand, I thought my mom would be with me forever, she was my other half.

I took her to a few appointments, the crucial appointments, and visited her in the cancer lodge where she would stay during her chemo. Chemo seemed to make everything better and her spot was beginning to shrink, so I was hopeful. Of course, she would have more time. She had more energy, although, she complained that food did not taste the same and she was a little tired sometimes. In my teenage years, from 12-17 I lived away from her, she struggled with depression for most of my youth and wasn't able to cope with me in such years. I forgave her, although, I am not sure that she had forgiven me for not taking responsibility for being such a hard teenager. I always wanted her to be proud of me. When I grew up, I started a business, went to school and moved out on my own. I know she was proud of me.

As I matured, into my twenties, I became much closer to my mom. In the past 2 years, we spoke on the phone almost every day and I stopped in to see her every time I was in town (she lives an hour away). I have many regrets though...

She kept telling me that she was worried I would regret not having enough time with her, if I didn't make more time. I was so busy, with a business, a new boyfriend and adventuring in my 24th year. I wish I had taken her to dinner more, dressed up and made art with her, gone to vegas one last time and listened to more of her stories. I was always in such a rush to get wherever I was going. Mom always took the time to listen to me when I called. Everytime my world was falling apart, she was there and when life was amazing, she was there. Always making time for me. I love her dearly.On her 65th birthday, she had so many appointments for radiation, chemo etc, I asked if she would stay in town so I could see her, she wanted to go home and I didn't want to make the drive after work. She didn't ask me to and made it clear she was okay and would have supper with a friend. We spent Valentines day together and had a sleepover, then, we had birthday cake and chatted for a few hours before falling asleep. She was the only one I could completely be myself with, laugh, be silly and be a child again, I looked forward to my time with her so much - and wonder why I didn't make an effort to do more. I didn't believe she would die.

Saturday March 1st, 2 days after my 26th birthday, I was out with a friend shopping, I remember trying to call her and no answer. I saw her the day before and she was very tired in bed. I kissed her on the forehead and said I love you and talk to you tomorrow. I knew something was off...

I got a call the next day, mom was being flown to the nearest hospital from her town, to Vancouver, where I am. She had an infection and they couldn't treat it. I came right away and visited with her. She would have blood transfusions, as usual - that always gave her more energy. I brought her an ice capp from Tim Hortons (her favourite) and only stayed a few hours, I thought she would be okay. She even got upset with me for texting, she always asked what I would do without my phone. Why didn't I stay longer... this would be the last time I saw her coherent. The next day, she was in isolation, tubules, monitors, she couldn't speak. they moved her to cardiac, then palliative then the hospice - she made it 3 weeks, on meds which took her pain away however, she couldn't carry a conversation, she was out of it. I was there everyday with her, although I never stayed the night, which I also regret. I didn't think it would happen so fast, I still don't understand, I can't stop thinking of her everyday, every minute every second. So many things I want to say and hear her say - stories, how she managed when her husband passed away from cancer. The times I didn't have patience to listen more, why do we take those moments for granted.

My mom adopted me when I was a baby, she couldn't have children of her own. We moved from east to west together when I was 7. I was an only child. My mom was my best friend, confident, the one who loved me unconditionally and was always there, always. She knows me like no other.

I keep waiting for her to visit me, I woke up at 2 am, and checked my phone to see the hospice had called. Had she awakened me? I knew what it meant and I rushed to the hospice. She was gone and only her physical shell lied there, breathless. I had a dream when I arrived home at 4 am, of her, then she was gone. That was it, one dream. I long for her to come back, for a sign that she knows how much I love her, miss her and how she is the most important part and person in my life, my other half, my heart.

I miss her so much, I wasn't ready, I didn't believe it, until it was real and now I can't imagine life without her.

Comments for Missing my mom...

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Apr 02, 2014
Loss of A Mom
by: Christine

My Mom passed away 4 months ago and your thoughts reflect my own. My Mom also had Cancer, but I guess I was in denial and never realized her time on this earth was coming to an end. I too wish I had taken more time to be with my Mom, to hold her hand and talk with her. Now, there is no more time. I am sure your Mom loved you and as mine loved me, but I also feel so lost--like a part of me is missing. No one else can fill the void of a Mother's unconditional love. Take one day at a time and know you are not alone. God is with you and many others have gone down this road and can empathize with you. Read the poem, "When Tomorrow Starts Without Me"--hopefully, it will give you some comfort. Take care of yourself.

Mar 31, 2014
So sorry for your loss
by: Debby

Dear Alysia,
There will be many people praying for you. It is so heart wrenching when someone passes and you feel as if you did not get enough time with them. But all the time in the world is never enough when you love someone. My husband passed away on January 9, 2014. We were married for 33 years (34 this coming May). I just don't know where all the time went. The loss and shock are something your mind cannot make sense of right away. I still believe he is on his way home from work. I am so sorry you lost your precious mother. Hold her beautiful memories close to your heart and she will help you heal.
You are in my prayers,

Mar 31, 2014
Missing my mom....
by: Doreen UK

Alysia I am sorry for your loss of your mom. I enjoyed reading your post and wanted to say that what you expressed is normal. You will hurt for days, and weeks and if you TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME this is the only way your days will get better. You are just a normal person enjoying life and making the most of it. One is not meant to think. "I will spend more time with my loved one's in case they die" Life is what it is. Far too BUSY than we want it to be. I wish my married daughter would phone me and spend more time with me and bring my 2 darling grand children to see me. But she has a day from H--L. I was a busy mother, but she has such a punishing schedule she doesn't have a minute to herself. Both children want to go to the bathroom at the same time. She is trying to eat a meal and she can't. She can't even have a proper cup of tea. My heart breaks for her. I guess your mom felt the same way. It is called UNDERSTANDING OUR CHILDREN. Your mom must have known you loved her. It is not the quantity of time one spends with each other, but the quality of the time you are with that loved one.
My husband had the worst lung cancer. he worked with asbestos and inhaled the fibres which took 40yrs. to develop and this cancer is always TERMINAL. I nursed him for over 3yrs. and he died 23 months ago. I still feel heartbroken and sad, but taking one day at a time I know each day will be different.
You asked a question "Why do we not spend more time with our loved one's?" because Life happens and life is what it is. WE do thing spontaneously most of the time because life is like this. When we lose that loved one GUILT assaults us almost as if it is meant to. Best let it pass. Don't give it a voice or time and before you know it your days will get brighter one day at a time. Grief doesn't last forever, but it sure takes it's time for us to HEAL from. Give time to grieve and turn your life into what you want it to be. Live your life well and you will be honouring your mother. She chose you, and you have been special to her despite your difficult days of growing up. She would have accepted this. Best wishes for every day of your life.

Mar 31, 2014
by: Anonymous

Hi, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm feeling your pain as I read what you wrote. It sounds like you guys drew close before she passed away. That's wonderful :) I'm sure she knew how much you loved her. may God bless you and be there with your grief. Jesus is near to the brokenhearted, he will walk with you through this valley of the shadow of death.

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