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Old 09-08-2017, 02:06 PM
 
65 posts, read 26,984 times
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Hello. So my mom passed a little over a month ago from lung cancer and there were other contributing factors like C-Deficile and a bone infection.

My mom and I were very close. Best friends actually. I knew this would happen..she's been sick for many years.

I was even prepared for the crying. What I wasn't prepared for and do not know how to handle, was this flat almost dead feeling I have in my heart..like nothing matters. I find myself unable to do the things I loved for so long..like reading..I used to read 3-5 books a week. I have not read much at all since she passed. My concentration's off. I used to do volunteer political work and cannot even muster any energy to do that. I do see my friends and they are wonderful. But the ache inside is with me 24 hours a day seven days a week.

What I want to know: does it ever pass? Has this happened to anyone else? Will I ever get the desire to read back? I belong to 2 book clubs and our meetings are coming up and I cannot make it through the books.

All I want to do is talk to her. Many have said I will someday see her in heaven. I WANT to believe..there is so much evidence that supports that..but this little voice says to me: what if everyone is wrong?

My mom was always my advocate and I promised to be hers. At the end she was in pain and the doctor flat out said he would not put her on life support. We chose to put her in hospice rather then keep the oxygen mask on her because they said she was suffering. There was fluid in her lungs and it kept coming back.

Still I wonder if we did the right thing. At one time she did say she'd want to live no matter what but she wasn't that sick when she said that. And she was suffering so.

I hope this is the right place to post this. I keep waiting to dream of her but has happened only once so far. Also waiting for signs. And part of me is angry at her because she continued smoking after the diagnosis and I could not stop her or save her.

My family and friends have been wonderful. But this flat unmotivated feeling of being completely cut off..please tell me that fades.

I am appreciative of any advice or comments you have.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:00 PM
 
15,871 posts, read 13,439,261 times
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I thank God my mom is still with me. But I lost my 21-year-old daughter about 4 and a half years ago, and I felt the same way you did. I felt empty and couldn't see even one day into the future. It's like there WAS no future, just a gray fog that "future me" disappeared into.

It went on for quite some time. It's only been this past summer that I found myself starting to see my future more clearly and fantasize about the possibilities...things I want to try and places I want to travel. That was me "before" and I'm glad she's finally back!

The pain never goes, but the rest does fix itself with time. What may have jump started it was an online course I did with What's Your Grief last spring. It helped me understand all the ways I was being affected that I never even knew. Just being aware of them seemed to help dissipate the ennui.

My grief counselor (you're seeing one, right?) told me acute grief from losing a child can last up to 5 years. For a parent I hope for your sake it is a shorter time.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:47 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 5,251,370 times
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I am sorry about your loss of your mom. About the reading: When I lost my husband, coming up on 3 years ago, for the first 4 months or so, I could only think about him. I was unable to concentrate on almost anything else. I couldn't read beyond a few sentences - found my mind just fixed on him while is just stared at the page. I tried going back to sing in church choir after a few months. Couldn't do it because I couldn't concentrate on the music. Tried to go to a discussion group with friends - ended up sitting there thinking about my husband, wanting to just get out of there. My opinion, after this experience, and after counseling, etc., is that you just have to let this happen. You can't fight it. Yes, it will get less intense. I still remember having a realization that I could think about something else, if only briefly. And that extended out with time. Now I am pretty normal as to my concentration and my ability to participate in life. I do spend some time every day thinking about those I have lost, but not with tears, and it does not monopolize my life. The time line is different for everyone. It has been 5 years since my mom died, and probably 7 years since she could talk on the phone, but I still feel something is missing on Sunday afternoons, when we would always have a long phone conversation. I don't expect that ever to end completely. There will always be a wistful thought every now and then about how much those calls meant to me.

As for making decisions about you mom's death. I was my mom's medical power of attorney, so I was the one who had to decline tube feeding, IV feeding and such when she got to the point where she could no longer swallow. (She also had severe dementia, and was nearly non-responsive.) I knew this was what she wanted because it was in writing, and also she and I had talked about it before she was ill. But even if you know you are 100% correct and justified, it is a thing of great weight when you are the one who says, in effect "yes, let her die." My sisters both agreed with the decision, and I was 100% sure, but that does not take away the gravity of what you are doing, and the little bit of guilt that accompanies it. But you need to believe that guilt is not warranted. You did what you felt, and others felt, was best. If you now were to see your mom completely healthy, do you think she would look at the situation and say "I'm glad you did that. Thanks"? I bet she would. Guilt is not in any way useful or positive. Let it go.

If you have conflicting feelings or feel that you can't talk with your family and friends about what you are feeling, I would recommend going to see a counselor who has experience with death and grief. Even a few visits can be really helpful.

I know you are waiting for your mom to "contact" you through dreams or signs. I think it is good to be open to this, but not to count on it for your peace of mind. Many of us have had experiences like this, but it is not consistent. (I have had such experiences with my husband, but not with my mom.) My personal belief is that we receive communication if we need it, not if we want it, and that it is not our decision. God makes that judgement, and we have to trust that He will do what is best. As for heaven, of course, every one has their own beliefs, and we each search for truth as best we can. Do you believe that love is eternal? I had an experience that made my trust in ongoing love as solid as a rock. But everyone has their own path.

Most of all, I want to assure you that your grief will become less intense, that you will enjoy life again, and that you will feel much more like yourself. You will never "get over" the loss completely; we always miss those we love. But the grief will decrease and become part of the landscape of your life rather than the whole picture.

May peace grow in your heart as you as grieve your mom.
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Old 09-08-2017, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,335,478 times
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Grasshopper and I connect on any number of points. Read what she says, it is real.

You are experiencing loss. You have the second thoughts that we all have. You don't understand, as happens to all of us, what is happening.

Your mom brought you into life for a purpose. YOU get to choose that purpose and it is her gift to you, and yours to her.

Experience the fullness of your loss of her. Please don't rush that. After a while, you will experience her being like a mother bird, pushing you to fly on your own and honoring her by being who you can be.

It might sound sappy or even trite, but trust me. You best honor and recognize her by being the best you can be.
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:59 PM
 
65 posts, read 26,984 times
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Thank you to all the posters. To answer some questions..Yes, I have a counselor but I have only seen him once since she passed. I am going to go back as I feel I need to.

I do believe love is eternal. And I usually believe in God and heaven too. It's usually late at night when I have a doubt or two. But 90 percent of the time I am a believer. I too have had experiences and known people who have, that make me pretty convinced.

I do have guilt. I was not the only one to decide at the end..I have a sibling and he and me and my dad did that as a family. I was the lone holdout for life support. And that was because she was still aware and knew she was dying. However she could not have the mask off for more then a few seconds or she would not be able to breath. And that's what changed my mind finally. At the end, pictures showed a whiteout in her lungs and she had other things wrong with her including a bone infection, bleeding ulcer and C-Def. And her heartbeat had doubled from 90 beats a minute to 155 and they were having problems bringing it down. So then I agreed to hospice. I did not want to see her suffer.

Thank you for sharing your stories. It helps to know people "get" me and get what I'm going through. I will try not to rush things. I do feel I can talk of these things to my friends and family who have been great but my family is also going through the same grief (one family member is having nightmares and seems worse then me) so I do not want to over burden them. Same with my friends who are always available to listen but many have their own things they are dealing with. I have read many posts on this board and have been struck by the empathy and compassion of the people here and the beauty of many of the posts.

I suppose it is acceptable to tell my book group I am not up to it yet. I did go out earlier tonight with a small group of people and was able to enjoy myself for the hour or two I was with them. But the people I was with had experienced losing parents and were able to also give me some advice, all of which was almost exactly what you all have said.

Thank you again. I am sure I will post here again as it is helpful. Peace to all of you too and to everyone who may read this who has experienced loss.
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Old 09-09-2017, 01:22 AM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
4,001 posts, read 1,780,161 times
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I lost my mom in March & I had been an avid poster here, until that day.

Then I couldn't read OR write after that for about 2 months. I'd sit down & stare at the wall over the top of the computer. I still am having problems with focus & I wonder if I'm just more dysfunctional than most people.

I was diagnosed with PTSD the year after my daughter died & I'd been scared about what the next big loss could do to me.

I have this horrible feeling that I haven't really been doing my "work" with the grief from losing my beautiful mother. Every time I would start to let myself feel it my disabled son would get scared & I'd just stop. And stare some more, at nothing.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:24 PM
 
65 posts, read 26,984 times
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I am so sorry for your loss. You are not alone. And you are strong for being able to voice all this. I am struggling too as are many people. Posting here helped me alot. The love on this board is incredible.

Sending you healing thoughts of peace and love.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:30 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 5,251,370 times
Reputation: 4554
Quote:
Originally Posted by sand and sea View Post
I do feel I can talk of these things to my friends and family who have been great but my family is also going through the same grief (one family member is having nightmares and seems worse then me) so I do not want to over burden them. Same with my friends who are always available to listen but many have their own things they are dealing with. I have read many posts on this board and have been struck by the empathy and compassion of the people here and the beauty of many of the posts.
After my husband died, our 29 year old son lived with me, as he was just out of graduate school, and had come home to help with his dad for the last few months and stayed on. He is someone I can talk to, but at the same time, I was very aware that he had his own grief to deal with. I didn't want to make it worse for him by going into detail about my intense mourning. Neither did I want him to think that his mom was in such terrible shape that he couldn't go on with his own life. That is one reason I went to a counselor. She was not an "involved" family member, but listened compassionately, suggested and shared. I could tell her my most intense feelings without feeling I was damaging someone else's grieving process. That was important to me. I'm not saying that everyone needs counseling, but I know it can be very valuable in getting through this process, especially close to the beginning. It was also helpful for me to know that some of my conflicts and feelings were completely normal for my situation.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:38 PM
Status: "be kind." (set 25 days ago)
 
2,682 posts, read 3,885,118 times
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sand and sea - How lucky were we to have had such wonderful mothers! I lost my mom almost 9 years ago and I still miss her everyday. It does get easier but it is a devastating loss.

I remember the weeks after she died. I would be at work, grocery shopping, etc. and I just wanted to scream "how are you people laughing and going about your everyday lives - MY MOTHER JUST DIED!!!!".

I know how lucky I was to have the mother I had. She too was a smoker and that ended her life earlier than it should have. You are not alone in your feelings. Just do the best you can do and the clouds will begin to clear. Hugs.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:14 PM
 
65 posts, read 26,984 times
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Hi Charlotte. Hugs back. I am sorry for your loss and yes the exact same thing happened to me and one day I started crying in the grocery store. I am going to try to be a bit less hard on myself. I don't think she'd want me beating myself up. I want anyone who maybe hurting and have not posted to know they are not alone as well. Very glad I found this board.
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