lost my mother earlier this month

alex_in_oaklandOctober 26, 2007

It's been just over three weeks now since I lost my mother at age 65. She had been supporting my father's recovery from a serious illness that nearly killed him and kept him in the hospital for six months. She died one month after he came home. I think the stress of having her spouse in the hospital for so long may have done her in, but I concluded this in hindsight and was completely blindsided by her passing. She was such a good friend of mine that I do not know how I will ever recover from this loss. The pain is no longer raw like it was the first two weeks. I don't cry every time I think of her any more. But I have this gentle sadness that stays with me all of the time. As her oldest daughter, I was her confidant during the time that my father was in the hospital. I replay in my head every conversation I had with her in the weeks leading up to her death for clues that she may have known that she was dying. I examine my cell phone bill to see when was the exact minute I last spoke with her on the night before she passed away. I am full of guilt; I know it is not rational, but I still wonder if I could have done something differently that would have changed the outcome of this. My father is still recovering from his illness and now grieving his spouse, and I am so sure that he is not going to make it through the next six months that I am pulling away from him to try and protect myself from the pain. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Alex, please don't feel guilty. Your mom doesn't want you to feel that way. I am the oldest child and my mom's only son and best friend. To lose the person who loved me the most in the entire world and the person I loved back the most hurts, hurts like hell and always will. It has almost been 2 years for me and still a huge sadness envelopes me. I know God has a plan and we will be together again, just like you and your mom will be together again..and in a place so wonderful we can't even begin to imagine it here on earth. But I know your pain and loneliness.

Please don't pull away from your dad. If he passes then you will feel selfish and guilty about not spending time with him. Spend as much time as you can with him...and talk about your mom when you can.

Somebody said grief is the price we pay for love. Someday it will all be explained and this crazy world might make sense.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 10:08AM
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Hi Alex,
My mom died on July 26. I too am the oldest daughter. She helped my dad go thru all his chemo treatments and watched him die...that was from 1996-1999. My mom was surprisingly "able" after my dad passed on. None of us expected her to be able to pay her own bills, live on her own, etc...but she did! The only thing she never learned to do was pump her own gas!! She searched out full-service pumps here in the Detroit area! :o)

Please DO stay connected with your family. You'll never forget the pain & hurt, but it will dull & mellow with time. I was a "daddy's girl"...I felt AWFUL when he died. When my mom died...I felt bad, but it was different. There are times I am relieved...because her last 2 1/2 months were SOOOO hard on all of us. Other times I just burst out crying even now. My son, 3 1/2 years old, took it the hardest. He saw her every day with me from May 15 thru to July 26 when she died. My daughter, now 5, missed the first month of visiting by being in preschool. When we went to the cemetery & put her box of ashes in the ground, Duncan even wanted to toss dirt on. When we got in the car, he SOBBED...the whole 1/2 hour drive home..."I miss Grandma Jill. I love Grandma Jill. I no see Grandma Jill. She in a tiny box. We throw dirt on her. I miss Grandma Jill." It was pitifully sad. He STILL talks about it but now it's more matter-of-fact.

I think both kids are glad, in a way, that we DID go see Grandma Jill in the hospital. I know they have helped me get thru & over some of my grief. They weren't around when my dad died...and I'm almost happy they weren't! I was a mess...and felt alot like you do. It took me about a year till I didn't cry at least every other day.

Time will help, Alex. I know it's so very sad now...but you'll feel better soon. It's hard not to push away from your dad...please do try to be there for him too. If you or he are members of a church or synogogue, make sure some people from there visit him too. I used to call my mom's church and her friends from her garden club & tell them when to visit! I didn't ASK, I TOLD! The way I got the phone numbers was because she left her address book at home. I just wrote down names & numbers of people she talked about & called them! (I am NOT a "cold call" type of person!)ALL those people thanked me at the visitation. For many, it was their last time to see/talk with her.

I wish you the best...the best of days, the best of dreams at night, the best thoughts & prayers. Feel free to contact me if you really need to vent, OK?

Blessings, Laurel

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 8:15PM
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Thank you, Duane and Laurel. I did take your advice: I called my dad on Sunday. We talked for at least an hour, about Mom, about the guilt that I have been feeling, and about how he was feeling, too. I also apologized for not calling for a week, and he said that sometimes people are in such pain that they begin to shut out the ones who love them the most. That had been true for me, and I told him this. I have been calling him every day since then. I am really glad that you both prodded me to make that first step.

Duane, thank you especially for observing that grief is the price we pay for love. That is very profound and makes my load a little bit lighter.

And Laurel, thank you for reminding me that time will help. I hope so.

Best wishes,

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 1:20PM
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Hi Alex, I am so happy that you are talking to your dad and getting things out in the open. You have truly made my weekend! I hope you both keep that line of communication open...it sounds like you are doing that ...and both of you are reaping the benefits! If you ever feel the need to have a friend to talk with feel free to email me at anytime: Dukerdawg@aol.com

Warm regards,


    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 8:55AM
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Hi Alex,
I'm happy too that you called & talked to your dad. It does all take time. I know, I sound like a broken record! (Man, am I dating myself....!)I hope that you will soon be able to look at pictures of your mom, things she gave you, and have some great, happy memories.

Hope things continue to go well. I'm at smidgentigre@hotmail.com if you feel like e-mailing.

Have a WONDER-FILLED day, Laurel

PS, if you'd like to "see" my family...here's the link:

Here is a link that might be useful: The Smith family's blog

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 7:51AM
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