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When does it get easier?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My mother passed away very suddenly just a couple of months ago. She had chronic illness, but we thought she had more time, and we were working on plans for long-term health care for her, things seemed to be going REALLY well. She collapsed late one evening, and no one could revive her. She was only 50 years old. I sat with her after they left her alone at the hospital, just talking to her and cuddling with her for as long as I could. Then her coloring began to get darker, and I knew she didn't want me to remember her like that, so I forced myself to leave. She told me, many times, before she died, what she wanted done after her death, and she had asked me to make sure everything was done right, and that no one did anything she didn't want. I lost my father to suicide when I was a teenager, and most of his final wishes were ignored, so I promised Mom I would do anything. I somehow managed to do it, sign all of the papers and make all of the arrangements, and now all I have are memories, some pictures, and the urn with her ashes.

I'm a complete mess. I have good moments, but out of the blue I'll burst into tears, or just snap on someone. My mother and I were so close; we were best friends, sisters, as well as mother and daughter. She was everything to me, she meant more than life itself, and there are so many times now when it hurts to even breathe, knowing she's not here. I have spiritual beliefs that let me know that her spirit is with me, but it's still not the same. I thought it wouldn't hurt so much by now, but every day, when I remember what happened, it feels like someone rips my heart out of my chest, over and over. I've never felt pain like this, and I thought I'd had enough pain to desensitize me to a certain extent. I can't imagine there being a time when it doesn't hurt like this. I feel like I've been crying forever and like I'll go on crying forever. I don't even want to go into how bad yesterday was. I don't know what to do with this horrible feeling of lonliness and heartache. I don't have access to grief counselling right now, and I can't find any website that seems to have anything directed towards me. Are there any books out there, or websites I might have missed, that could help me work through this? Thanks.
post #2 of 21
I do know how you feel. I lost my uncle two years ago very suddenly, he was 59. He as athletic, ate well, cared for himself. It was a heart attack. Then last October, I lost both of my grandmothers in a two week period. They were best friends and my one gram didn't know the other had passed. Since she was in the hospital and ailing, we elected not to tell her. But I think she knew. I think they both knew each was ill. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of one or all of them.

You have to take the a one day at a time cliche and use it. Some days are bad. The 26th of this month is probably going to be bad. It would have been Gram's 94th birthday. I still burst into random tears. I think it is really going to take a long time. I wish I could be more help.

post #3 of 21
It takes time....there is no timeline for grief, it doesn't go away at xx amount of months. Allow yourself your grieve and don't feel like you have to get over it or get better this quick.

I lost my dad very suddenly and tragically, as he took his own life, 8 months ago. It has gotten easier, but some days are still very hard and I feel not much better then I did 2 weeks after it happened. I know in time I will heal more, but I also think I will always grieve and miss my dad for as long as I live.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
It has gotten easier, but some days are still very hard and I feel not much better then I did 2 weeks after it happened.
Yep, that's me. I can have a really good day, or at least part of a day, and I'll think, maybe I'm making progress. And then something happens and I feel as horrible as I did walking out of that hospital, and then I think I'll never move on. I know I'll never "get over it", and I never want to, that would mean forgetting her. Following my father's suicide, I went on a self-destructive trip of drugs and alcohol, until I got pg with my first child a few years later. This time I'm dealing with pain a million times worse (just because Mom and I were so close), and I'm doing it sober, and I have NO idea how to do this, or if I'm doing anything right. I only started to deal with my father's death in the past year or so; I'd been trying to finally allow myself to grieve for him, thinking I had lots of time to do that, give him my undivided attention. Now all I can think about, when I'm not taking care of my children, is Mom. Need I mention my husband is suffering as well - he was close to my mother, believe it or not : and that's the first time I've seen him cry like that. But now it's also rough because I just have no interest in being intimate, or anything. I just want to be held while I cry, and I'm having a hard time letting him know that. I also don't want him to resent my mom for me being like this. I'm not even sure what I'm trying to say right now, but it's just what's coming to mind at the moment. I'm so sorry you ladies are dealing with this kind of pain as well. *hugs*
post #5 of 21
There's no timeline for grief. You'll have bad days and less bad days. Then you'll have an occasional good day. And slowly but surely (with some bumps in the road) you'll have mostly good days. But the sadness, the emptiness is never going to completely go away- even years later, you'll still have bad days sometimes.

Just be patient with yourself. For most people it takes a few years to get to the "mostly good days" point after losing somebody they were very close to.
post #6 of 21
I lost my Mom last September. In my own experience it got worse for a period before it
started to get better. December was a really hard month on me. I think for the first time
it was all sinking in. I was busy after my Mom passing trying to help my Dad, it allowed
me to push my own feelings to the side. I kept creating activities to keep us moving (home
improvements and in Dec. I think was our first down time, and then I needed to let it out.

I can't imagine the pain your in right now. I had a lot of years to absorb the fact that my
Mom wasn't going to be with me as long as I hoped and wished. We were told over and
over this was it, this was the end, and she would pull threw like a champ and we would
bring her home. So while during those 7 years I thought I was preparing myself, nothing
can really prepare us.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm so sorry you didn't have more time. It does get better with
time like everybody tells us. It's much easier for me to remember precious memories of
my Mom without then falling apart. That doesn't mean that I don't just fall apart at times
but I think that is important for us to do. I'm really good at trying to stuff my feelings down
and this process has taught me to just let it out. If I don't have anybody to talk to at that
moment I sometimes talk about it here, or just write it down.

We have a thread in the tribes section. Please come and share anytime you wish.
The women here were a great strength to me when I needed support.

Mom's Without Mother's - Part 4
post #7 of 21
The intensity of the pain will ease, but the pain will never go away.

Do not allow anyone to put a time limit on your grief. There is no time limit.

My mother died 18 years ago and I still grieve for her. Most of the time I don't think about her, but when I do, there's grief attached.

Sometimes "one day at a time" is too much. If you need to, take it one hour at a time. Or even one minute at a time.

Know that you are not alone.
post #8 of 21
I just wanted to say that I am so sorry,I cannot begin to imagine.
post #9 of 21
You poor sweetie. You are so young to lose your mother and it isn't fair I know. I have no answers or suggestions but to keep talking about it. every grieving takes it's own time. cristeen gave good advice on one hour or even one minute at a time.

When you say you have no access to counselling do you mean because of cost? There are grief support groups almost everywhere and they are volunteer run, self supporting, grassroots groups. If you have a local social service agency or crisis line they may be able to point you to one.

Of course I don't know you, but your post was so powerful that it really touched me and although I am lucky to have two parents still (in their 80's) I know grief too and my heart goes out to you.

Perhaps knowing that there are many here who will be sending you warm, caring thoughts or prayers will help. Truly you are not alone.
post #10 of 21
I just wanted to say I am so sorry about your mother. I know it can be hard to function or understand how life can go on when the grief is so powerful and overwhelming. You need support if you can get it and lots of compassion and patience with yourself. Be very gentle with yourself and seek out a free group or online support of some kind. Even though the grief never really goes away it becomes shorter in duration and more manageable and it can change people a lot. Best thoughts to you - there is just no easy way through it.
post #11 of 21
Mother's Day was 23 years since my mom died. I was 14. My dad had died exactly two years before that - the Mother's Day when I was 12, so last Sunday was 25 years he's been gone. I was very close to my parents; we were a very involved and affectionate family. I really do know how you feel; it is very raw and overwhelming right now.

But what I can tell you is that it does get better. It does. As much as it seems it never could, time does heal. The pain gets easier to bear. The day will come when you will think of her and not cry. It took me almost two decades to get to the point that I could do that consistently, but I did get there. I can think of them, tell stories about them, look through photo albums now and honestly be happy. I smile when I think of them now.

I was lucky to have them for 12 and 14 years. Some people have their parents for 60 years and never get that close, have that kind of a bond. I always tell people not to feel sorry for me; I feel lucky. I'd have loved to have had them around to see me graduate high school, college, get married, have kids - but I wouldn't trade the 12 and 14 years I had with them for 60 years with any other parents.

Originally Posted by Broken Butterfly View Post
I know I'll never "get over it", and I never want to, that would mean forgetting her.
I know it feels that way right now. But I really believe that our words and thoughts are so powerful - if you tell yourself you'll never get over it, it will be impossible to get over it. And is that what your mom would want for you? To be in this much pain for the rest of your life? It doesn't mean you love her any less to slowly adjust to your life without her. Could you even change your thought to "it feels like I'll never get over it"? Because I know it feels that way right now.

Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
The intensity of the pain will ease, but the pain will never go away.

My mother died 18 years ago and I still grieve for her. Most of the time I don't think about her, but when I do, there's grief attached.
I do agree that the intensity of the pain will ease. I think you carry around a wounded heart when you lose someone you love that much - but the wound can heal with a lot of time. I have an emotional scar - but I don't think the pain is still there anymore. It took a long time though.

For over two decades, every year on Mother's Day I'd have a big cry fest. On the floor sobbing, shoulders shaking, can't catch your breath or talk kind of thing. I'd hold it together fairly well though the year, then fall to pieces on that day. It worked for me; I had no choice really. Grief is what it is. But over the last few years (remember that I've had 23 and 25 years to adjust to this), I don't do that anymore. I can go to the cemetery and put new flowers down and talk to them (even though I don't think they can hear me; I'm not religious) and kiss the headstones before I leave - and not cry.

I'm sorry you are hurting so much right now. Take the time you need. Talk about your mom even if it makes you cry. But also hug your kids and listen to music and walk along the beach and call that friend that makes you laugh. Time really will heal.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm digesting the replies and thank all of you, although my thoughts are just too jumbled to reply to each of you individually as I would like to do - a lot makes sense, the parts about moving on, getting past things...I know I'll get over the hurt one day, even if it's years from now, enough to not cry all the time when I think of her, I guess right now I'm just in a really angry defiant place. I feel like a little kid sort of, who gets their prized possesions yanked away and then throws a temper tantrum. While I'm still feeling sad, there's just anger and frustration coming in now. I guess that's normal, to want to be angry at anything and anyone that might be connected in any way to Mom or her life or her death, but I do make sure I don't take it out on anyone - I just write a lot, and walk alone if DH is home to hold down the fort for a bit.

The grief counselling is something I don't have access to, because I live in a very remote area, and don't drive, and don't know anyone who could get me to any sort of thing. I do have an appointment with my psychiatrist at the end of the month. Our village is so remote that he makes a special trip here to see patients once a week. So I'm going to ask if he knows of any kind of groups or therapists who do odd hours, like evenings, or even if he'd be able to do anything to help, if he has any expertise in this area. I know there's no way I can get through this on my own, and I won't even try to pretend I can.

I did get a very sweet dog though. We'd been planning to get one for some time, and now seemed like the time. I like to go for walks and think, but I want company, and I want someone to just be my companion, so we adopted a very loving mutt, who has been glued to my side but also making me go out and get fresh air several times a day. It's hard to explain why it helps...I know they use dogs as therapy for depressed and very ill people in hospitals and nursing homes, so I figured the right dog might help, and I feel better knowing she has a loving home and family, and not a cage in the shelter. My mom was a sucker for animals, so maybe that's why I feel close to her when I interact with pets.
post #13 of 21
yes, the anger is part of it too and it too will pass. I think the dog is a great idea. They love so unconditionally. We actually named a dog we got shortly after my dp's mother died after her which was a bit strange I suppose but it saved the dog's life in the end. She went out one day and killed 24 of our free ranging chickens and when I got home ther was dp sobbing uncontrollably and burying vhickens and yelling at me to take Maggie in and have her put down. I phoned the vet sobbbing myself and we had a long talk and I just couldn't have her put to sleep because of her name. that dog and another to follow really helped my dp to heal. Maggie is 10 and not a killer at all anymore btw.

It sounds to me like you are very strong and clear on what you need and even though you may feel like you are falling apart you are doing very healthy healing things for yourself.
post #14 of 21

The death was so recent, of course it's only natural that you would feel this way. My sincerest sympathies on your mother's death, and be gentle with yourself as you embark on this journey to grieve, mourn and heal your loss. You will never be the same person again. Try to think of all the happy moments the two of you shared. They played Josh Groban's You Raise Me Up at my mom's funeral, and to the extent that your mom raised you to become who you are today, she has never left and will ALWAYS be a part of you.

It is good that you have a travelling psychiatrist who might provide you with leads for a support group. Do you belong to any particular faith community or have friends or good neighbors close by who can give you a shoulder to cry on so you are not alone? You have to take care of your health, so willingly accept help where you can so you can focus your energies on the grieving process. If you were my neighbor, I'd be over there lickety-split with a quiche...

All the other posts have valuable advice. My only additional comment would be this: please avoid making major decisions about career, relationships, moving to another state or country etc for the first year after the death of your mother. You need to give yourself time and space for you to mourn and grieve. You are not in the right mental space to have clarity to make big decisions.

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I've been careful to not think of making any serious decisions lately. For religion, that is pretty tough. And I don't mean to offend any faith/religion here, just saying how I'm feeling and what my beliefs are. My father raised us as Christian, no ifs ands or buts. As I got older, I started questioning a lot of things, and right now, I'm best described as on the pagan side of things. Spiritually, my beliefs are so strong that even thinking them helps, but religion...Right now I'm at the point of anger, where I'm NOT on speaking terms with whatever higher power there may be. I wanted to vomit when I was loaded with religious platitudes at her memorial services - I know they were all spoken with love and the best intentions, but when you hurt like this, it just all seems like a big crock of male cow manure. I've normally been able to find comfort in various religious beliefs in rough times, but right now religion and I are not speaking. I just go with my spiritual beliefs, that let me know Mom is still here. That's all I want right now in that area. My father's family is very religious and involved in church, but I've avoided speaking to them just b/c I know the relious quotes I'll hear will infuriate me. When they tell me God was kind and ended her suffering, I get really upset - if he was so kind, why did he ever make her suffer, not just in the last few years, but her entire life??? He saw how much we needed her and how badly she wanted to stay, so why didn't he make her well? I'm sure everyone asks that at these times, and maybe I'll find the answers one day, but right now the whole thing just chokes me.

Thanks again, all of you. I'll update after I see my p.doc, for sure, although I might be back before then to respond or just check messages. If I don't reply directly to you, please know that I have read your message and appreciate it; I just get so teary and choked up that I can only reply to a couple of things at a time.
post #16 of 21
Just another for you if you do check in.
post #17 of 21
mama. I know too well how you are feeling.

When my mom first passed, everyone told me "it'll get easier with time". I didn't want it to get easier bc, like you, I felt like if I "got over it", that'd mean forgetting her.

What I have found is that I have replaced the *bad* memories (her death) with good ones. I talk about her all the time with my family and for me, it helps. We laugh about things she did when we were young, we joke about what she'd think about our lives now, etc. We do acknowledge our grief and we do still have times where we are sad, but those moments are much shorter now.

We're not "over it", we never will be. The loss of our mother was traumatic for my brothers and I--as it has been for you. I remember the physical pain that you describe, I remember it as if it was yesterday. It lasted for months for me and was renewed every year on the date of her death for several years. It's not easy but you will get thru it. I promise you. You will get to a point where you are thinking of her and smiling...just like I am now.

Hang in there, my dear.
post #18 of 21

Honestly, the first year is living breathing hell...

I lost my Mom 2.5 years ago. That first 6 months was a fog. The next 6 months was better, but still horrible attacks of grief. Don't rush it, don't rush yourself. Death sucks. You gotta feel really really awful about it. It's what people do.

Cry. Scream. Hit things. Talk to people, especially ones who have been there.

It *does* get easier, but it does suck a whole awful lot first. And even now, 2+ years later, sometimes it still feels like shit.

I'm sorry for your loss. Death sucks.
post #19 of 21
Honestly just give yourself time. I lost my own Mom 3 years ago, she was also 50, so by todays standards she was pretty young and it happened suddenly, she had been battling cancer but we thought things were turning around.

Like you I would say that my Mom was my best friend, she was the one person I knew was there for me 200% no matter what. Losing her changed me, its hardened me though the birth my my daughter my second child 16 mos after her death, brought me back to some degree.

Everything you are describing is normal, I briefly was on anti-depressants and did find a online grief group. I also read motherless daughters and found it helpful. I find that unless someone had lost a parent, they had no idea how it felt.

Its been 3 years now and while I still think about her daily, the heaviness and sorrow that defined the early days has lifted, i can think of her and smile rather than cry. Yet, its been a journey and I am still dealing with it.

In the early days the hardest thing was controlling the physical urge to call her and share. I remember her memorial service and my Dad the week after she died lost his mind (they were together 33 years), he was crazy. Well I remember getting back to her house after the service saying I gotta tell Ma how nutty Dad is being and I caught myself.

One of the hardest things has not been having the sounding board that I used to have, I trust my dh 100% but there are/were times when I don't want to talk to him first. I have yet to cultivate another sounding board so admittedly I carry alot inside of me. So I would suggest if you have someone you can talk to, please do it.

I am so sorry for your loss.

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've found a few sites online since my last post, although my computer crashed and I have to readd all of my links, that I guess might help. I think the stuff there will be of help down the road, more indepth stuff, but right now it just helps to sit and bawl, reading stories of women who feel like this. I was just amazed that I had to really dig to find the stuff I found. It's like grief is one of the last taboo topics in our society, and you have to really dig before you find these groups of so many people who know this kind of pain. That sucks.

It's still the same with me, not that much time has passed for anything to change. Yesterday was strange. We were driving past a bus stop, and a woman with long dark hair was fixing her coat or something; just the hair, her shape, the way she was moving, for a split second I thought oh, there's Mom! And then it hits again, the it's not her and will never be her. I didn't expect the denial stage to be this long. I wish people had spent more time teaching me about real stuff, like grief and loss, instead of other pointless classes I can't remember in high school. Other cultures seem to see at as part of education, to be sure kids know about death and mourning, but we seem to hide it until it blows up in our faces. I know I'll be teaching my kids, and I have been trying to while I work through this. My youngest doesn't really get it, but my daughter is 10, and is quite upset still. I've stayed away from getting too indepth with her, just let her know it's okay to be as sad or angry, whatever, as she needs to be, and to also try and remember some things she loved about Mom, as well as some of our personal beliefs about death and beyond. It seems to be helping her a lot. I seem to be able to help everyone with this, except for me.

I've noticed I'm a real airhead still. Is this normal? I mean, I forget EVERYTHING these days. It seems like the days just melt into each other, and I never remember birthdays or events or appointments. Our doctor told us I had suffered serious shock, and that those symptoms combined with grief could last some time, but he never said how long. And of course, I always forget to ask, just like I forget everything else.

I still am just as bad with going to call Mom to tell her things. I see things and think oh, Mom would like that, her birthday is coming up! or something. I'm starting my second book of letters, I just write to her when I want to talk to her. It helps a bit. Like the PP, it's SO hard to be without my sounding board; she always had all the answers, or at least was able to steer me towards them. When I read over the letters later, I often come to the sort of answer she might have given me. At least I can vent, and feel like I said what I needed to say to her, if nothing else. I was without a computer for a week or so, but I'm going to continue searching for some sort of viable therapy options. Right now, my self-therapy keeps me going at least, even if some of my little rituals seems strange to other people.

I can't stand eating fruit...that sounds so silly, doesn't it? She was really restricted in her diet, with diabetes and kidney failure, and she loved fresh fruit. She could rarely afford it in her earlier years, and when she could afford it, it was mostly a no-no. My husband has brought home fruits etc. that I loved, and it seriously makes me ill to think of eating it. I guess part of it is guilt, since she couldn't/can't enjoy what she loved, and it also just reminds me of her being sick, things she had to give up. Just seeing it in the fridge gags me.

I always sing my kids to sleep, so now I sing songs to Mom while I sing to them, I pick ones that say a bit about how I feel, mostly country and ballads. The kids like those songs, and only I know that I'm singing to Mom as well as my kids. Well, you guys all know now. It feels like a little release too, since I feel like each song is a way of talking to her, telling her how I'm feeling, and the kids also seem to like hearing "her songs" - like they think they were written for Mom, and it lets them know it's okay to think about her, and that good things (music) can be found in sadness, and it also lets them know that if Mommy seems sad, it's not their fault, I just miss Mom - we've always used music to communicate in our family, we make CDs of songs to let people know how we feel about them all the time, stuff like that. We can relate through that, like it speaks when we can't find the words. My daughter has had nice dreams of her while thinking of some of the songs.

My posts are so long, I'm sorry for that. I just think of her so much. I wonder if I'll ever be at a place where I don't see her or think of her with every other thing I see or hear...or maybe it will just make me smile, instead of cry. I'm sending lots of hugs and peaceful vibes to the rest of you ladies.
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