How Can I Cope With The Guilt I Feel?

jenniferwMay 16, 2005

My 57 year old mother just passed away in her sleep this past Thursday, May 12th. I hadn't seen or spoken to her in 2 years due to some family problems. My mother and I were so close before that and I always thought that I'd see her again and be able to tell her how much I love her. Well, now she's gone and I'm a mess. I hope and pray that she knew how much I loved her before she passed. I wrote her a long letter and placed it in her hands at her wake on Saturday. She was cremated this morning and I hope that letter was with her. I just don't know how to get over this empty feeling. I'm so guilt ridden cause I can't imagine her thinking that I didn't love her before she passed on. Any opinions on this?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
loagiehoagie

Jennifer, I understand your feelings. I know your mama loved you and she knew that you loved her. In her heart you would always be her baby. Writing that letter let you get things out and I'm sure it helped you. Just remember the good times you had together. Sometimes life gets in the way and hard feelings are tough to get over. You are loved still. Your mom is now in heaven and loves you and wants you to be happy. Blaming yourself for not doing this or that in the years past won't do you any good. I wish all the best for you.

Duane

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 5:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
socks

Oh Jennifer, my heart aches for you and the emotional pain you are experiencing. Take care.

Susan

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jenniferw

Duane and Susan...your words mean so much. Thank you for lifting my spirits during this horrible time. I know her spirit will live on and hopefully my love for her is strong enough for her to feel it wherever she may be. This is the most traumatic thing that's happened to my in my 28 years and it will take some time for me to get back to "normal". Mom will be in my heart forever and I will do my best with each passing day to be someone that would make her proud.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chinacat_sunflower

guilt is something that you have to work through-

the letter was, incidently, a brilliant start.

telling her during your quiet moments (and taking time for quiet moments) will be another step.

after that, the best thing to do is to atone for the mistake by proxy- literally, paying it forward.

if you used to cook with your mom, bake in her memory, and share the food with people who valued her- or total strangers, who would benefit from the kindness.

if she sewed- make pot holders out of an outfit she never liked on you any way, or start a quilt from favorite garments, and think of her while you work. (you can do two- one for the memories, one to 'sacrifice' by donating it to a shelter, or to a church raffle)

if she gardened- plant a perennial, and express your love for her by tending it until it is big enough to share with other gardeners.

if you're church-going, instead of paying for masses or candle vigils- give of yourself, donate TIME, or the skill of your hands. I know too many churches that seem to frown on this- if they're greedy, find your local Unitarians or Society of Friends (or habitat for Humanity, or women's shelter) and give of yourself there.

then... start a scrap book of you and your mother as you were without whatever family nonsense parted you. rebuild that relationship, and carry it forward. that will allow you to tell her story to your children (or your god-kids, if you're like me, and non-breeding) without the shadow of the feud.

it's not easy, and take some effort- but it pays you back over and over again. trust me. it's people like my brother that worry me- he simply doesn't care. not only is he not feeling guilty- if I suggested such a thing, he'd be somewhere between amused and offended (well, more offended, since he's not a fan of mine, either)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jlj48

Jennifer,
I am so sorry for your loss and for the feelings that you are experiencing right now. Please know that a mother ALWAYS LOVES and ALWAYS FORGIVES and ALWAYS UNDERSTANDS. I learned this from my own sweet mother and as a mother myself, there is NOTHING a child of mine could do to make me stop loving them. NOTHING. A mother knows her child, from before she was born and she knows you loved her and love her still. Her spirit lives on in and around you. Conflicts are a part of life, no one is spared. Sometimes we lose our loved ones before things are settled. Don't let that undermine what was REAL between you. I wish you peace. Chinacats suggestions were wonderful. I'm going to take some of them for myself.
Joanie

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alisande

Jennifer, I second what the other posters said. I would also suggest that you share your story with others. We might think we might have all the time in the world to make amends, but none of us knows that for sure. It's a valuable lesson, and might save someone from having to go through it themselves.

My sympathy goes out to you.

Susan

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 5:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
loagiehoagie

Jennifer, how are you doing sweetie? Hoping you are taking care of yourself. Been thinking about you. Hope you are doing ok.

Duane

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 5:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jenniferw

Wow...so much wisdom in this group. lol I get so much comfort coming in here and reading all of your replies and I usually always leave with a smile because it helps to know that there are others out there who understand what I'm going through. I went back to work last Wednesday and I have been SO busy there that I have no time to think about everything. It'll be 2 weeks this Thursday since mom died and it seems like it's 2 years instead. I've had my sad momemts and my happy moments and all of the other moments in between. Basically, I've gotten a lot of comfort from talking to family and friends about her. It's nice to hear stories about her and hear how much everyone loved her. I know it will take some time, but I think I'm going to be ok afterall....

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 6:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jenniferw

Wow, I just realized that it's been one month today since my mom passed away. Where has the time gone?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 6:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chinacat_sunflower

passed day by day while our minds were elsewhere...

my dad's been fading day by day while the sun finally decided to come out, and my husband went to see Bruce Hornsby with me because dad couldn't go- which was sad, because Dad is the reason I'm such a piano fiend.

I'm keeping a journal, because I know that 6 months from now, I won't be able to remember any of it. and I will want to.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 3:33PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Horrible images of my bellowed brother
Three weeks ago I lost my beloved kid brother to a...
BigSister17
i have never felt so alone lost and frightened
i too lost my husband. he was 37 when he passed. due...
BewilderedShock
Loss of first born Adult Son
I have just found this site I lost my first born adult...
jamesdasmum
Losing Someone to Suicide
I once had a roommate, call her Yvonne, who was bi-polar; when...
sylviatexas1
New member - gripping
Hello all - I am so glad I found this group! I'm sure...
VWbrownthumb
Sponsored Products
Pet Twistep Attachment for SUVs
$249.00 | FRONTGATE
Scrolling Leaf 6-inch Crown Molding
Overstock.com
Swimline 24 in. Liner Coping Strips for Above Ground Pools - 10 Pack - NL108
$19.99 | Hayneedle
Wam Bam Premium Yard and Pool Vinyl Fence Panel with Post and Cap - 4 ft. Multic
$94.99 | Hayneedle
Wam Bam Premium Classic Picket Vinyl Fence with Post and Cap - 4 ft. - VF13003
$104.99 | Hayneedle
Heritage 6-inch Baseboard (8 pack)
Overstock.com
Traditional 4.75-inch Baseboard (8 pack)
Overstock.com
Bramble - Cope Code Kitchen Island with Wood Top in Multi Color -...
Great Furniture Deal
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™