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?

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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.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 5:38PM
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Oh Jennifer, my heart aches for you and the emotional pain you are experiencing. Take care.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 6:20PM
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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
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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
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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.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 2:58PM
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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.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 5:26PM
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Jennifer, how are you doing sweetie? Hoping you are taking care of yourself. Been thinking about you. Hope you are doing ok.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 5:31PM
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jenniferw 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
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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
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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
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