She was always on my side

by B

My beautiful darling mother went to heaven on 18 September 2013. She had been diagnosed with COPD a number of years ago as she had been a lifetime smoker. She had never been hospitalized (apart from giving birth) until May 2012 when she suffered an acute attack of COPD. After spending 2 weeks in hospital she was put on medication and home oxygen at night-time. My darling mother gave up cigarettes at this point in time and she improved in leaps and bounds. Along with my father, I took charge of her medication (there was a lot of it) and my mother went on to have a brilliant time. We took her out and about, her quality of life was so much better and she had far less infections than she had previously when she had been a smoker. Even though she had COPD, we thought we were managing fine. Obviously she wasn't as fit as she used to be, but it seemed like she was doing fine and we were pleased with ourselves that we seemed to be getting something right in terms of my mother's care. I adored the ground she walked on. We had our fights, the fights were always about me fussing over her. But we loved each other so much, her love for her family went beyond any normal boundaries. I lived for her, as did all my siblings and my father. She is the life, heart and soul of our home. My whole world and life revolved around her. In my head I saw myself looking after her as she eventually became more feeble. I had absolutely no plans to let go of her for a long number of years until maybe she reached her mid or late nineties. There is a history of longevity in one side of her family and in my subconscious I reassured myself that I would have her for another while. On 4 September 2013, she became ill with what we thought was one of her infrequent chest infections. We took her to A & E and they told us it wasn't a serious infection. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Until that dreaded scan on the Thursday when everything changed forever and my whole world crumbled. The scan revealed that my darling mother had lung cancer with metastases to the brain. There had been absolutely no signs, no coughing up blood - ever. No signs of anything wrong with her brain, no pain, no confusion, no headaches. Against my better judgement, the Pulmonary Consultant convinced us to allow her to do a bronchoscopy on my darling mother. We felt she wasn't able for it, but the damned Consultant insisted she was able. We allowed the bronchoscopy to go ahead and my mother seemed to come out of it ok. The Consultant informed us that they removed a load of "gunk" from my mother's lungs which should help her breathing. The Consultant said she couldn't see any cancer, but that didn't mean it wasn't there. As the days went by my beautiful mother got weaker and they put her on morphine. She slipped away at 1pm on 18 September. My whole adult world has collapsed. I cannot live or function without her. I have tried lots of online forums like this one. I have read about people who even years later cannot move on from the death of their mother. I feel that the rest of my life will be one black hole and that I will not be able to go on without her. I will regret allowing the bronchoscopy for the rest of my life as I feel that it weakened her and shortened her life. I have had her for 45 years of my life and to think that she won't be in it anymore is too much to bear. I wasn't ready for this, I had it all figured out in my mind but God had other ideas. I desperately need to know that she is ok and looking over me, but even though I come from a religious and spiritual background, I am doubting my own faith and feel lost and alone, I cannot talk to anyone about it. My father and siblings are also hurting bad, but we don't seem to be able to console each other. I know what I am supposed to do, i.e. allow myself to grieve and take it one step at a time etc. etc. but I cannot do it. The grief is overwhelming and the pain is too much. I haven't gone back to work yet and I am dreading it. My mother's voice was the last voice I heard at night-time before I went to sleep as I spoke with her by phone every night of my life. It's been 3 weeks now and I cannot go on. I need to see her and talk to her so badly, it physically hurts.

Comments for She was always on my side

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Oct 14, 2013
she was always on my side
by: Jolynn

I am so sorry you lost your sweet mom. My mother also has COPD. She is 82 and is getting more frail but she still works part time. She doesn't drive so she uses buses or a shuttle. I am very close. We talk every day. One year ago I lost my 26 yr old son. He was an officer in the Marines. He was training to fly jets. He died of a heroin overdose. He kept his drug use a secret. We were shocked as he was an overachiever and never had any problems with drugs or alcohol in High School or college. He had everything going for him. When I first heard he passed away. I felt I couldn't breath. I felt physical pain. I would lie on my bed and tremble. I had chest pain and had to go to E.R. Turned out to be severe anxiety. I miss him so very much. He was the funniest person I have ever been around. At first, this loss you are going thru seems dark and unrelenting. I found a good grief counselor and also joined a group. I also pushed myself to go to movies and lunches with friends. I sleep with my son's shirt. His friends ask me for remembrances of him and I have given Marine shirts, hats, pins all kinds of things as he had so many buddies who loved him. I visit his grave as it's important to have a place where you can unleash your sorrow and leave it there. I also write letters to my son. I put them in envelopes and write his name on them then put them in a drawer.
At this one year mark, I can say that the pain has definitely lessened but it takes work. Do things that may not be comfortable. Take walks. Ask for help. It's not unusual that u can't talk to your family as u are preserving their emotions and feel as if you may make things worse for them I imagine. Talk with them anyway. Talk about your mom a lot. Put an album together when you are able. Do u have a pet? Get a kitten or even a goldfish. Not that this replaces your mom but pets or things u take care of are therapeutic. Your pain will lesson. You are newly bereaved and the depth of your grief equals the depth of your love for her. I lost faith too. But we don't know what happens after death. She may be closer than you think.
I wish you comfort and peace.

Oct 14, 2013
She was always on my side
by: Doreen UK

B I am sorry for your loss of your mother to lung cancer. It has only been 3 weeks you lost your mother and you are in the first stages of bereavement which is "Crying and Searching" this is raw grief. At this stage all you can see is the enormity of your loss and what life will be like from here on. But this is the nature of grief. Grief even assaults us to feel we could have done more or done things differently or better. These feelings soon pass. Your father and siblings will all need support and none of you can help each other as you are all suffering. What one of you can do is to see a Grief counsellor who will be able to support you through your loss and you will become stronger and feel better within your grief which will be on going. But the rawness of that pain will be less. Only then can the one who went into counselling be able to support the family. I say this because the one doing the supporting will be vulnerable and not deal with their own grief because they are caring for their family. The grief then becomes more painful for the carer. I lost my husband to lung cancer 17 months ago. My husband was coughing up parts of his lung and also lots of blood. Because he died of MESOTHELIOMA. Lung cancer caused by working with asbestos. (A deadly material in the workplace). This type of cancer was incurable and inoperable and aggressive. Lung cancer is the hardest cancer to diagnose. Even if you feel you wish you had not allowed the bronchoscopy to be used it would make no difference. When it is time to leave this world nothing more can be done. I was angry with God for taking my husband and not healing him through Prayer requests all over the world, through the internet and God TV. I was holding on to my husband so tightly. I wouldn't let him go. The minute I said. "God if you can't heal him then take him." God then took him 8 hours later. I was devastated and still grieving but also healing. The way you feel now won't last forever. The secret is TAKING ONE DAY AT A TIME. This is how you will all cope with grief. May God comfort you all through your grief and give you Peace in the months ahead.

Oct 13, 2013
Dear B
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry about your mother. If it is any consolation, know you are not alone. I lost my father on January 14. He suffered Cardiac Arrest, collapsed and died. In the blink of an eye, he was gone. He was taken to the hospital, and i question everything that was done to him, but deep down inside me, i know he was gone, and there was nothing that could have been done. I had seen him the day before and he was fine. Tomorrow will be nine months. I was an only child, and my father was the light of my life. I dont know how I made it to October, but here it is, and I am still standing. There are days when I also physically hurt, (today was one of them), and I get so overwhelmed knowing that I will never see or hear my dad again in this life. My mom and I can't seem to console each other either....we are both so filled with grief, neither one of us can move forward. There is nothing we can do to change what happened, but coping is so, so difficult. It was so sudden, such a shock, that we still can't believe it. I come to this site amost everyday, and I have gotten so much support from everybody here. We don't have answers, but we
certainly understand, and can offer you comfort and support.
You are in my prayers. Peace, Barb

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