Struggling with my mom's death

by Rachel D'Oro
(Anchorage, Alaska)

My 85-year-old mother died 15 days ago after my family removed her from life support. I don't know now what to with my grief, which is being manifested by conflicting layers of sadness that she no longer is here, and joy and relief that she is no longer trapped in her aging, failing body, and that she is no longer in pain, her youthful soul now peacefully with her maker in heaven, where she wanted to be for so long. A third realm, though, is how numb and depressed I feel through it all, as if it's somehow not real. My mom had been ailing for several years and I flew back to California twice to say goodbye, the last time a couple months ago, when she was hooked up, practically in a coma, to a breathing machine and a blood-pressure drip, the only things that were keeping her alive. In the end, my family knew we had to let her go. She was not going to get better. She was gone two hours after she was removed from life-support. She went very peacefully, with no outward struggle. A week later, I flew back to California for her funeral. She was cremated, her ashes placed in a tiny, wooden urn to sit at an alter in front of a large photo of her young self. I never saw the proof that she was gone, and maybe that's the problem. My father died in 1989, in front of my eyes. I saw him take his last breath in the hospital, saw him again one last time in his open casket. I never got that with my mom. I feel unsettled, even though outwardly I function at work. I laugh and eat and breathe. All the while, I feel unsettled and incomplete, like my mom is still struggling to hold on in some nearby reality. Can anyone relate to this? I feel so all alone and lethargic. Is this limbo-feeling normal?

Comments for Struggling with my mom's death

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May 07, 2013
The Lord is my Strength & Salvation
by: Anonymous

Listen "Struggling w/my mom's death" or Rachel the reason you feel unsettled & incomplete is because in reality you never got to get closure with your mother, like you did your father, and maybe is because you fear of going through that same ordeal like you did with your father, but it's okay. Somehow you need to get closure with her, sit or prey and ask her spirit, which she is now in the throne of GOD to let her know your want to have closure with her, because you didn't have that closure with her when she passed on, and ask her to give you a sign, or something to let you know she is okay, and that you love her. Now I go under some of the blog on loss of husband's etc. Anyway I go under "
The Lord is my Strength" on that site. I lost my husband now 1 yr. 2 months this month ago, and I know we will never be the same, but my husband died of Leukemia, and I went through so much, and still am going through alot, but it seems as time goes by to me it feels just like yesterday. He loved Life and was a Rehap counselor the best of 40 yrs. worked in the dark side. Gangsters was his specialty, but new how to handle the worst of society. GOD gave him a BIG task, and did it with so my grace. I have already gone through the loneliness, the whole capital, but he is always around me in spirit. We turned 13 yrs. married on November 2013, and then d days there after, was his birthday. I get my strength from GOD, but sometimes I do tend to go astray, meaning I loose the faith for a bit, but I claim his name, because Satan likes to feed on the weak, and vulnerable. Anyways I hope you fine closure with your mother soon. God bless you for now.

May 06, 2013
Struggling with my mom's death
by: Doreen U.K.

Rachel YES! everything you have said is accurate to how one feels when they have lost a loved one. In your mother's case she was of an age when we expect death. BUT. If one is with their loved one it does help.
My husband died 1yr. ago YESTERDAY and I was afraid to leave his presence in case he passed away in the time I was away. I couldn't bear it if that happened. I saw him draw his last breath. But still I was numb and only NOW feeling my grief. I can't believe he is not coming back. I have weird feelings that he is coming back. My husband was on away overseas and long hours on the job as an exhibition carpenter. I therefore feel that he is just away on another job. I see his face before me as if he is coming back. THIS HURTS. Because in Reality I know he is GONE and not coming back. Grief and Loss is such an assault on the body and the Mind. Firstly we don't know what to expect or feel. We learn as we go on in life from other's who have trod this path. Even though each grief is different and cannot be compared. The feelings and the pain is the same.
The way you feel I think is NORMAL. But if you are concerned at all you can go and see a grief counsellor for confirmation and also to help you move forward. You will get your life back. According to your post your mother was prepared to go to Heaven and looking forward to this. Some people get to a certain age and feel it is time to go. They are fully prepared. I feel this way at 65yrs. Different for everyone. I hope that you will be comforted in your grief and well supported.

May 05, 2013
Your Not Alone!
by: Anonymous

My condolences Rachel for the loss of your mother and may God comfort you and your family in your time of sorrow. I too have just lost my brother Glenn in march, less than two months ago. My family and I are still mourning and can't believe that he has passed away. The pain for the most part is'nt as bad, but we still hurt. One of my sister's and I have found comfort in the word of God and praying for guidence, comfort and blessing's for are whole family's and he's been answering. my Brother was only 41 yrs old and passed away 9 day's after his 41rst birthday this year, born Mar. 6, 1972 and passed away on Mar. 15, 2013. while working out at the Gym, I'm 46, so you can imagine how upsetting it was for me, our mother is 65 yrs old and not supposed to be buring her child. He was my baby brother and I was supposed to be watching out for him. He left behind his wife,two daughters and two 14yr old twin son's. I still have episodes of really missing him and really haven't come to full turns with his death but, with Gods help we'll all get through this if we just allow ourselves to go through this human emotion. You are not alone, there is no time limit in grieving or easy fix or solution to get over this part of loosing a loved one. Just trust God, talk to others who are or may be going through the same thing and pray for guidance, God Bless You, take care...

May 05, 2013
this is so normal
by: Anonymous

I watched my precious beautiful mother die two years ago this month. She died at the age of 73 13 days after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer that had taken over her entire mother my best friend gone having suffered the pains of hell the last days of her life.....such a kind, caring, gentle woman who never hurt a fly why did she have to suffer so much.....I an only child unmarried no father also died of cancer ten years ago......2/3,s of my family gone.....the limbo is so normal....even after two years i am in this feeling of limbo and disbelief.....i function at work nobody knows about my broken heart......please brlieve your feelings are so normal....I still think she is going to walk in the door......

May 05, 2013
I understand
by: Recently bereaved daughter

Dear Rachel, I understand so much your struggles with your mom's death.

My mum and I always got on so well, only had one another and lived together so our bond was very close. Like you since her passing I feel lost, sometimes shocked, but mostly just missing her and yearning for her presence that I was priviledged to have for over five decades.

My mum too had a very optimistic youthful outlook which perhaps makes it harder to accept when their physical body fails.

I do not think there is a `normal' to this awful grieving process. We are all working through it as best we can.

I tried counselling but found it was not for me. I found a grief support group which I am returning to. Hope you found some way of working through this difficult time - it is good you have contacted this website.

With every good wish. X

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