My little mommy is gone. How can it be?

by Theresa
(Connecticut, USA)

My beautiful mother Beatrice passed away exactly two weeks ago on Monday, November 19, 2012. She had just turned 72 at the end of October. There is so much to say about this woman to truly do justice to her life, but I have no energy now to organize it here. Maybe a website or a scrapbook later if this terrible grief & exhaustion ever subsides.

Though she had been sick for a very long time I still cannot believe that she is gone. It's not denial. It just seems impossible. Not impossible that she passed, for we all knew that her disease had progressed, and that she had been on a steady decline for over a year. But impossible in the sense that there is no plausible way to carry on without her, that life without her is forever diminished, that someone so vital in the life of her family and so filled WITH vitality could be taken. Six years of knowing the likely, inevitable, awful outcome did not, could not prepare us for her absence. So many times she rebounded from what seemed like the brink of death. Somehow she just kept recovering enough, she just kept allowing mainstream doctors to batter her body with more poisonous treatment, and without adequate preparation for her body or restoration of her immune system.

She struggled with multiple myeloma (cancer of the plasma that can cause all kinds of problems, including tumors or "lesions" anywhere in the body). She was diagnosed 6 years ago, spending all but 3 months of that time in chemotherapy and radiation when the lesions appeared. The treatment was barbaric, toxic to every system of her poor little broken body, and ultimately destroyed her immune system - which is what really ended her life. Even two months prior to her passing, there were viable, safe, non-toxic and non-invasive options for her. She and my father were initially encouraged and willing to attempt these, but a closed-minded, self-absorbed, cold-blooded oncologist told her that it was pointless to try, there was nothing more SHE could do for my mother. There was nothing more the oncologist could do, which is not the same as nothing more that CAN be done. Then why not try the alternatives? What is there to lose? Unfortunately, my mother believed the all-knowing, all-powerful oncologist. Mom stopped all treatment, even though they had only started a new chemotherapy drug just a few weeks earlier - not long enough compared to other courses of chemo she had done. Mom believed she was beyond help because the doctor told her she was. Mom gave up. I had spoken to doctors elsewhere who thought that her immune system, though broken, was "recoverable", and then her own body would have a better chance to fight the cancer. The power of suggestion sealed her fate.

Mom was referred to hospice care at home and given several more months to live. She had stopped all treatment, only taking pain meds. She ate very little and began to withdraw from the world and the people and activities she loved so much. She had also been depressed for many months, but in spite of our efforts to get her relief, none of her doctors attempted to support her with treatment (biofeedback & hypnosis was most helpful earlier in her disease) or a psych referral.

She had her last birthay party at a favorite restaurant. A week later I made dinner for her and Dad on Nov. 10th and we watched a DVD at home - she was up and about for quite a long time that day, and interacted fairly well. The following Wednesday she had a nice visit from family friends, shared a meal and interacted well. On Thursday my Dad called me with a guarded, thinly veiled request for help, "Are you busy? Mom's having a bad day". He suggested that if I wanted to speak with Mom while she was lucid that I should not wait until Saturday, but to come the next day. I followed my gut feeling and made the long trip down that evening. What I saw was horrifying and heartbreaking. Mom had very quickly sunk into a kind of delirium, apparently quite common toward the end of life. She had brief moments of normalcy where she could communicate more clearly. Mostly though, she kept saying "I want to go", she was in distress, in pain, had significant nausea, was calling for her mom (passed long ago), and struggling to get out of bed - a task she was really too weak to accomplish without falling. This had begun the night before, and poor Dad had gotten no sleep and was distraught with fear and grief. There is more to the story than I can bear to write now. Clearly she needed more care than home hospice could offer. After much navigating through a difficult ER experience, hospital admtting, and hospice care process, Mom passed away four days later. I am not convinced that her end of life care was what it should and could have been, in spite of her family's best efforts to keep on top of the situation. Therefore, I am not certain that her pain and discomfort were properly managed. I am not convinced that she was "comfortable". Lots of things went wrong, most hospital staff - nurses, doctors, and administrators - fell down on their duty. Only one nurse was a trained hospice nurse - her compassionate and knowledgable approach made a noticeable difference in Mom's level of comfort. We are so grateful for this earth angel.

My Dad was with her constantly, her devoted primary caregiver and my hero. Her family was with her 24/7 during the last 5 days of her life. On the rare occasions when Dad took a break from his vigil, one of her 4 daughters took over. We were convinced that she was holding on to protect Dad from witnessing her departure. Each of her daughters had private moments where we told her we loved her and did not want her to leave, but that if she must go we understood, and to go with the angels, and that Dad had left the room so now was a good time. It turns out she had other plans.

A hospital chaplain asked me if she wanted the "anointing of the sick" (formerly referred to as the "last rights"). I was not certain that this is what she would have wanted, so I let my father make the decisiion when he returned to her room. Dad heartily agreed to the anointing as something Mom would want. The chaplain suggested that everyone in the room give her our energy by surrounding her and putting our hands on her body as he delivered the usual prayer. He then asked us to tell her something that we were grateful to her for - it was a heartbreaking, but beautiful experience. During this time I was suddenly enveloped by a sense of calm, of peace, and an inner knowing that she would go soon.

The doctor finally came at 1:30pm to assess her and increase meds. My father asked him how much longer she had and the doctor stated he thought she had another day or two, that her passing did not appear to be imminent. Mom's brother asked for 5 minutes alone with her. Dad and everyone else went to sit in the adjacent room, and in barely two minutes later Mom's brother emerged in tears, announcing that he thought she had passed. We rushed into the room where the doctor confirmed that she had passed. I believe that Mom needed two things before she could leave - the anointing of the sick, and for her husband and daughters to leave the room - her final act of protection, her last gift to us. Her brother later stated that he saw a light in the middle of her forehead as she left her broken little body. Dad was initially disappointed not to have been with her, but she knew better than to have us there. Thank you Mom. We love you.

Now we are trying to carry on without her. We pretend at normalcy, but nothing will ever again be normal. How can my mother be gone? I know it is the way of nature. I know that I am lucky to have had her for 52 years. I know that her spirit continues, that she is eternal. I feel her in my heart and her energy surrounds me. But she is not physically here. I cannot touch her warm, soft skin, or hear her voice, or give her a neck massage, or a multitude of other simple, precious things. I cannot ask her a question about the family history, or about cooking advice. I cannot take her to concerts, movies, broadway shows, the theater. It is impossible to bear. I have had this strange sense even before she passed, a sense that I am being ripped from her womb, or her from me. And this is perhaps the most impossible part - I am made from her DNA, I am of her, from her, so I lost a part of myself. And I feel a pressing need to go to her. No, not suicidal, just wanting to be with her. Has anyone else had a similar sense?

Blessings, comfort, and peace to you all.

Comments for My little mommy is gone. How can it be?

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Dec 10, 2012
I feel your pain
by: Debbie

Like others have said your words are so greatly put together. The feelings and loss that you are feeling are so similar that it feels like we have lost the same kind of mom. My mother died in the hospital after battling three days but she died because of a nursing home not caring for her after she battled Pancreatic cancer for a year. She passed a year after recieving her diagnosis. I feel a loss and almost like a piece of me is missing or a hole in my heart/stomach. I have been hoping that someway she will appear to me in a dream or someway for me to know she made it to heaven. My faith has been tested. Just want you to know that your words touched many. My mother passed November 5th, and it has been a month but it has not gotten easier. If any one does want to email me it is

Dec 06, 2012
Holding you in love & light
by: Theresa

Hi Christine,

My heart breaks for you. This is all so new and you are in the thick of it. And it is an enormous stressor on the body, especially so with the lack of sleep and trouble eating. I've been there, and to some degree I'm still struggling with these things. I wonder if I can suggest something that helped me through the time leading up to and including the funeral? Here goes.

My body was literally shutting down when I heard the news that my mother was referred to hospice home care. My husband saw the terrible impact this had on me emotionally first, then over the course of a day, physically. Sometimes we are so distracted by the trauma at hand, that we cannot recognize the physical downward shift. I asked my husband to call my homeopathic physician to explain the circumstances and ask for a remedy to support me. After only 1 dose, I began to get some relief. My husband noticed the remarkable and quick positive response to the remedy. I continue to take this remedy several times a day. When I forget to take it, I notice a difference - a steep slide into a more serious depression, upset, irritability, etc...

So the homeopathic remedy helped me, and is continuing to help me. I also liberally doled it out to my family who usually don't take homeopathics,and they all (even my Dad) reported noticable relief from things like stomach upset, nervous tension, anxiety, sleep problems, and difficulty eating. It is not magic, but it helped. Every person is different, so the remedy that worked for me may not be right for you. If you have a local homeopath or naturopathic physician (they are also trained in homeopathy), this may be a way to get some relief.

That being said, when Mom was in her last days, and later as plans for the memorial were made. I needed more help - the whole family needed more help. At our urging, and with the helpful support of the hospice case worker, Dad contacted his physician to get a prescription for anxiety. All of the daughters did so as well - a very low dose anti-anxiety med. I usually do not take prescriptions drugs, but this was a necessary and wise decision for the short term. It helped me to get through the memorial service, and to eulogize my mother. I'm reasonably sure that without this medication I would not have been able to function at all. By the way, it is possible to take BOTH the homeopathic and the prescription, as the homeopathic will not interfere with the med. Emotions still arise, and eulogizing Mom was not easy (breathe into it!), but I really wanted to speak about my mother and the meds helped me to do this.

Hope this helps. Hang in there.
Blessings & peace.

Dec 06, 2012
Toronto, Canada
by: Christine

I felt your pain, emotions, grief and sadness in every word you wrote. Somehow, your mother's story is very much my mother's story. I too lost my mom on Monday December 3rd, 2012. I will tell you that this is the most painful event I have experienced in my entire life. I lost my mother, my confidant, my best friend, my advisor, the one person in this world who knew me for me and accepted and loved me for who I was. I miss her tremendously. I too want to be with my mom, and like you said, not suicide but I just want to be with her, hold her, touch her, tickle her and make her smile. I love her soooo much, words cannot explain.

So, I do feel your pain. We are both in the early stages of grief and my only advise is to take it one day at a time. There is not one day that has gone by that I haven't cried for her, but she is not here beside me. Her funeral is December 15th, 2012. This will be the last time I will see her before she departs forever. I don't know how I will handle it. I have to give her eulogy, and that I will because I know she wanted me to do this, but after that day I have to be prepared that she will no longer be here for me. I don't sleep well, I don't eat well. I'm always thinking about her and want to be with her. I was very, very close to her. I spoke with her every day of my life, but I can no longer hear her voice responding to be.....this is so painful. And so, as you and I and many other daughters go through this ardous journey, I pray for God's guidance for us all. I pray that each day will become a bit easier for us to handle. I pray that we will cherish those memories and live our lives differently, because this experience, I believe will change us for the rest of our lives.


Dec 06, 2012
My Mom Too
by: Doreen U.K.

BJ I am sorry for your loss of your Mom. You are in the throes of raw grief and it is tearing you up. You need to see a grief counsellor and talk out your feelings. You will quickly find that everything looks a bit brighter as you work through your grief. You need help now and I hope you get this support. It does work. I have done counselling and it is painful to start but it couldn't be more painful than what you are going through now.
Then realise your mom reached a good age when people of this age start suffering with illness as a symptom of old age, and will die.
You are already aware of the lovely happy family you have but because you are depressed you cannot appreciate them as you want to. You have a stressfull job and you are not enjoying life at all. Some of these work issues may have already been around but your moms death has triggered off more problems than you can handle. This is why you need to see a counsellor. When you come through this you will be a happier and stronger person and feel good again. You will wonder why you didn't see a counsellor sooner. If you get the wrong counsellor, then don't give up find another one till you know you are moving forward and your world is changing for the better.
You have strong serious health issues that don't need this stress. I am 64yrs. and have a heart problem. I just lost my husband of 44yrs. to lung cancer 7 months ago he was 65yrs. and I am struggling and will do so for quite some time. Death crushes us and it is hard to move on when we lose a loved one. You will get your life back. Everything seems worse at the moment but it won't last. I endured depression for 40yrs. before I went to a counsellor. I can't tell you that even though this was private and very expensive it was the best investment I made. I can't tell you how great I felt when I started to heal from everything piled up for years. You will also get your life back as I did. Make the most of your life and enjoy it. We are of an age when we will also die within the next 20yrs. You have a family. That is reason enough to live and go on. You can email me for ongoing support if you need this I will do my best to encourage you.

Dec 06, 2012
finding our way, cont. more & more...
by: Theresa

Which leads me to people acting or saying all the wrong things at this difficult time. I noticed what you said about your brother. Do your best to let go of his behavior. It's his stuff, not yours. A dear friend of mine who lost his mother a year ago had remarkable wisdom for me only days before my mother passed, and I am so grateful he shared it with me, as it helped me alot. He warned me that people would say and do really strange things, and behave in bizarre or insensitive ways. He advised me to remain detached from their behavior, not to react to it or let it bother me. He was so right! When my mother was in her final days, and even since then, I have witnessed lots of behavior that I thought was odd or inappropriate from health care professionals, family and friends. Just be an indifferent observer. People respond to loss in very individual ways. I'm not supporting or judging your brother's behavior. I'm asking you to only put your attention and energy on what will get YOU what you need right now.
I know from my study of energy medicine that love and thoughts are actual "things" - they vibrate with energy, and this energy has no limits of time or space. I continue to send love to my mother, to have conversations with her, and even to get angry with her occasionally. My wise friend also told me that when something good happens to him, he pauses to thank his mother because he feels that she is still looking out for him. He also does a great job of focusing on the happy memories. He's a very positive guy in general. I'm not so good at this, as I too have horrible, frightening images of my poor suffering mother etched in my mind. But I'm working on it - I try not to linger on them, which just gives the awful images more power. Insted, I shift the awful thought to a happy thought. It ain't easy, but it is possible.
I hope you have all the support you need. DJ, please do reach out to family and friends. They may only be able to cry with you, but that's ok. Please consider seeking out professional support with a grief counselor, or with a bereavment group (church, community center, hospital, etc). Grief spoken and shared can be very helpful. It's common for men in particular to push the emotion down when others are around. From an energetic perspective, this has a harmful effect on the body, mind, and spirit. In a way, sharing tears with a loved one is a gift you give to them - they now have permission to grieve openly, when they may have been trying to protect you.

Dec 06, 2012
finding our way, continued again....
by: Theresa

If there is a Tai chi or Qigong class nearby, I highly recommend that you attend regularly and practice at home daily. Again, stress reduction and other health benefits. In fact, many hospitals are adding these and other complimentary services - especially in their cancer treatment centers. My own chronic health issues and injuries sustained from a serious fall down the stairs left me in constant pain, and barely able to move, walk, or stand. I began practicing regular meditation and Qigong a year and a 1/2 ago and I've experienced significant improvement within weeks. My mother attended class with me for 4 months and had the best lab test results in 6 years of cancer treatment and no infections during this time - her doctors couldn't explain it and told her to "keep doing whatever you're doing". Soon after she stopped the Qigong - complicated to explain here, but others have described this response as "defeat the healer syndrome", for some there is a payoff to remaining sick - sad, but true. I have also observed many other people with serious illness/injury benefit from the meditation and Qigong. Of course, I'm not a doctor, so you should consult with your medical team. But please do take good care of yourself. I know you don't want to. I know it's hard when you feel lost and filled with grief. But your family needs you, and you need them. Even if all you can do is 5 minutes of meditation.
to be continued.....

Dec 06, 2012
finding our way, cont....
by: Theresa

1. The simplest way is to sit in a quiet place, in a comfortable position (crossed legs not necessary!)where you will not be disturbed by TV or phone, and not interrupted by people (tell your family you need downtime). Bring your attention to your normal breath - feel the coolness as you inhale, and the warmth as you exhale. If a thought enters your mind that's ok - it just means your brain is working and you're alive. Many people think that they cannot meditate because they have a misconception that you must empty your mind. Not true. Thoughts WILL enter, and when they do just imagine/picture in your mind that you are putting them in a drawer, or sending them away in a bubble, or whatever works for you. Thoughts may include ordinary trivial things like what's for dinner, work issues, or memories of your mother. All thoughts are acknowledged and sent away - "thank you very much, but not now". Then return your focus to the breath. Some days will be easier than others. Don't sweat it. Keep practicing - it will get better and easier. Do NOT meditate in the car or while operating machinery, etc.
2. Another simple meditation that Qigong masters claim has powerful healing potential is the "in - in - out" breathing technique. Using what you know from #1 above, focus your breathing in two stages. Inhale in the lower part of your lungs first(so your ribcage expands a bit), and then fill the upper part of your lungs (so the upper chest rises a bit). Do this "in-in" breath smoothly and gently, then exhale slowly and comfortably. Again, choose a safe, quiet place, etc...
I'm not suggesting that meditation will quickly and magically remove or reduce your grief. It will give you a much needed break, reduce your stress, and help you to cope better. This is good for your mind, your body, and for the people you love. In fact, your family may see the positive effect it has on you and want to join you! Some people may not understand, and that's ok, just explain that you're doing this for stress reduction. Meditation is not in itself a religion. It is beneficial, regardless.

to be continued....

Dec 06, 2012
finding our way
by: Theresa

Hello DJ,
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. It sounds like you loved her very much. It is clear that you are in a lot of emotional pain. It is also clear that you need to focus on your own health now. Since you asked for help I will share some things that have helped me in the hopes that something will resonante with you. I don't pretend to have the answers, after all, my own loss and grief are very new, but maybe something here will give you a path to peace.

When I read your comment to my submission the first thing I did was to say a prayer for you. I don't know if you practice a particular faith, and I mean no offense if religion is not a part of your life. I do not consider myself religious at all, but I am spiritual, and I was moved to ask Jesus and the angels to send you comfort. Maybe praying, asking for help from a higher power, will bring you some relief.

I have studied several different spiritual practices and philosophies, integrating what works for me into my own personal practice. I also meditate and practice Qigong movement daily - sometimes for an extended period (20 minutes to an hour first thing in the morning is best), and additional short intervals throughout the day (sometimes just a single focused breath, or while standing in line at the grocery store). It does help reduce stress, lowers blood pressure, and I believe it can have wider healing effects. In fact, I was surprised to learn that my mother had been meditating for years before her diagnosis, and when she became ill the meditation helped enormously with pain management, stress reduction, and I believe it helped to prolong her life. There are many ways to meditate - no right or wrong way, just find what works for you. there are books, DVD's, and practitioners out there who offer guided meditation. I highly recommend you join a group, as the collective energy can be very healing. Here are two meditation techniques that may be possibilities for you:

To be continued.....

Dec 05, 2012
My Mom too
by: DJ

My mom (84) end stage renal disease left me October 30th. I feel my life is over. I am 62 year old married male with a lovely wife, two children and 5 lovely grandchildren. I feel lost, I feel I should have been there when she passed. I was there a couple hours before and now feel guilty for leaving. I have a sibling who is not out of town and never saw her until she layed in her casket then he nearly passed out with crocodile tears but later managed to inquire about her money. I have a very stressful job, am in very poor health myself (survive two cancers within two years and have a worsening heart condition along with a possible brain aneurysm. Since I am only 62 I cannot retire since I would lose the health care my employer provide. I almost wish I could go with her. I feel I have nothing left even with a fantastic family. I am so sad, I drive to work crying my eyes out sobbing mom please come back. I sometimes need to pull off the road to wipe my eyes. I now feel my job is meaningless and hate going to work, I am exhausted everyday. I hate waking up in the morning and crave to go to bed. My last memory of my mother was her in an almost zombie like state with her mouth and eyes wide open. I hugged her and kissed her and told her I loved her. I don't know what to do. Like I said I am facing life threatening health issues myself. I would love to connect either e-mail or phone with some other person who can identify with my issues.
Please help I need someone!

Dec 04, 2012
Me too
by: laura

Your blog has totally summed up how I am feeling, much better than I could do myself at this time. My lovely Mommy passed on November 25th after 10 days waiting with her, myself and sister leaving our youg children with our husbands. She had been diagnosed with cancer of the perinateal wall when I was 20 weeks pregnant with my first child who is now 3.5.
Like you, mom was so brave and had bounced back from all treatment thrown at her. I knew the day would come but it was always out there, never going to happen yet.
My dad also looked after my mom well, but he didnt prepare us for the delerium we experienced when we rushed to see her (my husband had looked on the internet and had prepared me a bit. She had made no sense until I came in with my baby and hugged and recognise us and wanted something from the wardrobe. i knew she had bought my sister and I a necklace each and knew straight away she wanted to give us these. She did and told us she loved us and went back into a delerious state. I think we expected her to pass very soon, it was unbearable. Thankfully she was in no pain as her kidneys had failed. This was remarkable after all the painkillers she had previously needed and I believe an answer to our prayers. The 10 days spent there were horrendous, she was then unconscious and tensions became high between us.
She eventually passed when my sister went home to see her children. she was very scared of seeing mom die and I think she knew this. myself and dad were out of the room and only just caught her. I suspect she may have wanted to spare us too.
I feel lost and numb and angry and miss her so much it is unbearable. I think if I feel like this after a week, how can I manage forever? I agree I want to be with her. I have a strong faith but am desperate to know where she has gone, the uncertainty and faith isnt enough, I need to know.
It is early days for both of us. Her funeral is in 2 days, cant bear to think of t. But she was so loved I know it will be a real tribute to her.
Anyway thansk for your post. I would never have written something like this on my own but am feeling so similar.
Much love at this time also x

Dec 04, 2012
by: Wendy Evans

I am so sorry for the pain you are suffering from the loss of your Mother. You mention DNA and feeling drawn to her and I do understand what you mean by that. My son, Kyle, died in 2009 at age 21. I remember the feeling of him being "torn" away from me. The ever growing absence of his presence was terribly hard to understand. I am blessed to still have my wonderful Mom but I did lose my Dad when I was 13. Same tearing feeling then.

I wish you love and light for healing. Your Mother sounds precious in your posting. I hope you, your Father and Sisters can collectively grieve the loss but also make time for grieving in your own way as well. Your Sisters have her DNA too. I wish you all time to heal. It is so new for your family. Take Care.

Dec 04, 2012
My little mommy is gone. How can it be?
by: Doreen U.K.

Theresa I am sorry for your loss of your Mom. Of course we all feel the same way as you do when we lose someone close.
Many on this griefsite and myself included did not want to live. We wanted our lives to end. We had unbearable pain. We wanted to be with the one we lost. Some of us are still struggling with these feelings.
I lost a husband off 44yrs. 7 months ago to Lung Cancer. My husband was not given good Oncology care. He was neglected. He told one Oncologist He had been abandoned. The Oncologist jumped out of his seat and got the Macmillan nurse to do her job. Only then did things change for a while and then went back to being neglect.
Steve got his cancer working with Asbestos. Incurable, Inoperable, aggressive rare cancer. I nursed Steve for just over 3yrs.
Steve died slowly over 3yrs. and wanted to die sooner because of the pain he was left in and the neglect. The nurses that sat with Steve overnight failed to give him an injection for pain relief. I phoned the hospital screaming down the phone for help. The nurse had to wait till clinic finished and then she sent a nurse out 3hours later. Steve died 8hours later. he had a very bad experience that would take too long to tell. A horror story that leaves my grief more painful because of how by Husband suffered. I can't tell you more as it is making me cry. It is not fair he suffered so badly. It is the system. If some health authority here in England was able to pay for the drug Steve needed then he could have it. I am too tired to fight this battle with the Health Authorities. It is exhausting and Steve is not here now. It will benefit no one. There are gentler forms of Chemotherapy around but they cost a lot of money so only the rich can afford this. Space is running out so I will end with the Hope that you will be able to move forward at your own pace and that you will have the loving support in your grief and sorrow.

Dec 04, 2012
I understand
by: Recently bereaved daughter

Dear friend,
My condolences. I lost my mom recently and I too feel a sense of being lost, and needing her every minute of the day.

It is very difficult when the end of life care is poor. My darling mom was also given treatment that was too harsh for her because of a stubborn doctor who did not listen to me, her caretaker and caregiver of twelve years.

It is a blessing you have sisters and a father - I hope you can support each other.

I have no family to help me and am waiting to see a counsellor.

I do not believe the need to see our moms is suicidal, just a natural instinct to have the best most protective friend near to us.

I wish you well and hope it gets less painful for all of us.

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