My mother was my life

by Christi
(Louisville, Ky)

Hello, I am almost 38 yrs old and three weeks ago lost my mother at 72. I had taken care of my mother since I was 19 yrs old. I devoted my whole life to her as her health declined in the past few years it became harder. I never moved out, got married or had kids.

She had many health problems and started kidney dialysis a year and a half ago. This made her very sick and weak most of the time. I have siblings but they have their own lives and issues to deal with so I asked for very little to no help. It was to the point I couldn't leave her very much due to her being so sick and I came close to losing my job. That did not matter to me as I had always vowed to never put her in a nursing home. We had a bad experience with that when she went into kidney failure a few years earlier and had to get physical therapy at a nursing facility. So this is something I would not do to her.

Let me say, my mother was my life. I lived, breathed and existed to take care of her. She was my best friend and the best mother I could have ever asked for. About a couple months ago she started getting real sick after her treatments and as time went on it got worse, she was in and out of the hospital and they never could find what was causing her problem. Two weeks before she passed she had basically stopped eating because she had such severe pain in her stomach. They tried several medications but they did not work. I knew she was going downhill as she was getting weaker and losing a lot of weight.

Four days before she passed I had come home crying and she asked why, I said I knew she was going to leave me soon. She said no she wasnt. Without saying it we both knew the time was getting near. The pain in her stomach became so severe she couldn't tolerate it any longer so I took her back to the hospital on Sunday. She became very confused and the pain medication via iv was not working. Monday night she had a really bad spell and before I knew it there were 10 people in her room trying to bring her back. They were successful but decided to move her to ICU.

I had been with her the majority of the time since she was admitted for testing, but they never found what was wrong. When I went back in the room after they got her back and before they moved her to ICU she was sitting straight up with a wash cloth on her forehead and her eyes were covered. She said where is Christi, I was speaking to the nurse and just said I am here. I wish I could have taken that moment back and gone to her and removed the cloth and said I love you and I am here; because it all went downhill after that.
They moved her as I gathered her personal belongings and I missed the elevator ride with her to ICU. When I made it to her she was making no sense, and I was asked to leave the room so they could do a few things. I could hear them talking to her and she answered briefly and sometimes not accurate. As they turned her to change her into a gown she let out two very loud moans. After about 45 minutes they allowed me back in the room. At this point she had already gone downhill again. She had the same symptoms she had in the other room before. Her lab work showed her liver was failing.

At 3am I was told to contact my siblings, as she was not going to make it. I was asked if I wanted to stop the two blood pressure medicines that were keeping her alive. The hardest decision I ever had to make. I could not stand the thought of her pain and having to do dialysis anymore. She had told her dialysis nurse if it hadn't been for me she would have stopped dialysis long ago. She hated to go because it made her so ill for some reason. So I requested they give her some more pain medication before stopping the meds.
The medicine was stopped at 530am Tues morning and she took her last breath at 550am. My whole world came apart at that instant. I lived with her so it's so hard going home. I have a lot of guilt and regret. Sometimes its unbearable. I have two little nieces and somedays they are the only reason I can see my future. My heart is broke, I feel as though a huge part of me died with her that day and wonder if I will ever get that back.

It's been almost 4 weeks and it has actually become harder with each passing day. I wander around our place lost, I am so very lost. My life revolved around her and now I can barely get through the day. I am told I should go to counseling but I don't even know if that would help. Her birthday is coming up July 26th and I cant even think about how I will get through that day. I try to make everyone think I am ok and strong but when I am alone I am so lost and miserable. There is so much more to this story but I do not want to go on and on.

Any advice would greatly be appreciated as I am so very lost, unhappy and miserable. I always said I existed because of my mom and she was my purpose in life and now I wonder why I am still here at times. I know I need to be here for my nieces as I am very close to them. Just thought I would share my experience with you all. Thank you.

Comments for My mother was my life

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Aug 30, 2011
You are singing our song
by: Tina in Chicago

I know exactly what you mean. My Mom was also a huge part of my life. I know how it feels in that home you shared. My Mom shared my home with me and I feel the void. I am older than you and I am not over my loss. She left me in March. I am still lost some days. Your Mom knows she had a wonderful daughter. Now, you must live so that she lives in you. You don't have to hide your feelings. Anyone who can't cope with your sorrow, you don't need them in your life. Sure we carry on because we should, we must honor them. We gave them so much of us we forget there was an us. It is OK to become a new you. The old you is gone; forever changed by your loss. It will get better, but some days you will feel as if you made no progress at all and THAT IS OK. God will carry you to the other side of this grief, just ask. Good people will be there for you, just let them. Stop taking so much on yourself. Take one day at a time, literally. Don't let that guilt get you down, your Mom knows it is not yours to own. You did the best you could. Love pours your way every day, be strong.

Jul 18, 2010
Thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing your story. This is the first time I posted a comment. When I read your story, I can feel your pain. I too remember her last breath and when I had to decide on the blood pressure medicine along with the pain killer. I still have much guilt and regret too. I wish I have more positive words to share but really, i am in a dark place too. All I have to say is thank you for sharing and if you have more to share, I would love to read it. I hope it helps you writing it out, as it does help me to read about other people's experiences too. Thank you again.

Jul 17, 2010
you are loved
by: Anonymous

I was so moved by your post. I lost my mom this past November at the age of 70 and I'm 35 and single. My mom had MS for 25 years and I could relate a lot to your story. It is so hard. It is just so hard and no one can completely understand. I just can't help but think that your mom would want you to know that you were an incredible daughter to her, that she is so proud of you and that it now is your season to fly.

That you have been given room to live your own life and follow your own dreams and room to dream again in due season. I recently listened to Whitney Houston's song "I will Always Love You" and listened to it as if my mom was singing the words straight to me. It brought a much needed release of sorrow and grief as the words hit home. Maybe it will be a blessing to you. I pray that you are surrounded by a group of friends during this time that will serve you much like you served your mother. Bless you.

Jul 12, 2010
Loss of mother
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I lost my mother when I was 15 and my father when I was 26. It is so hard to lose a parent not matter how old you are. My mother was very sick for years before she died. I helped to take care of her and my little brother and sister. My 27 year old son died in May and my grief is beyond anything I have felt before. My son was ill and although I did not have to devote my life to him he was big part of it. So I do know what you are going through and I feel for you. I hope that you and I can get through this grief process and return to a normal life. I know it will never be the same. My thoughts are with you.

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