11th August 05:42
loss of my Mom (grief heart cancer breast cancer)
It has been 13 weeks since my Mom passed away and the emptiness I feel is so
difficult. I wonder will I ever stop crying. Mom lived with me and my
husband and family for the last 12 years. Actually in my whole life of 54
years I think there were only about 10 years that she wasn't with me. I
have trouble talking to my family about my grief. My husband doesn't want
to understand how I feel. My brother does but he lives far away so I only
talk to him about once a week.
I am having difficulty getting over the last few hours of Mom's life.
Mom was taken to hospital on March 28th and celebrated her 89th birthday
there the next day. After a series of tests she was diagnosed with two
tumours in her bowel that had metastasized to her liver. She decided to not
have surgery (it would have killed her anyway and there still would have
been no positive outcome). The surgeon gave us 3-15 months. I brought her
home and for awhile she got stronger. We had a wonderful Mother's Day with
her and then June came around. She was found to have more cancer. Her
breast cancer had returned with a vengeance and had metastasized to her
bones.So now she had two primary cancers that had metastasized but she
seemed good. I have a picture of her that I took on June 12th with her
sitting on the back patio enjoying a glass of white wine with strawberries
floating in it. For some reason I took a lot of pictures of her sitting
under the umbrella that day. I am so glad I did because they were the last
pictures I got to take of her. She started to go downhill quickly and 4 days
later she had to leave my home and go to palliative care.My brother had only
made it here in time to see her leave. We took her ourselves and the look
on her face as she left the house knowing she would never return is still
etched in my mind.
The doctor at palliative care told us 3 to 7 days at most. I couldn't
believe it how fast it went. She just got weaker and weaker until she
finally couldn't swallow,, slipped into a coma and passed away with me , my
brother and my 22 year old daughter at her side. It was June 23, 2004.
She didn't leave quietly and I still can't get over the awful breathing, the
coldness of her limbs and the greyness of her face as her circulation failed
as her heart, her wonderful heart, finally shut down. Three times in the
last minutes a tear rolled out of her eyes. I still have nightmares about
this and so does my brother.
Death is not an easy thing and now I am at home with all her things in our
house. I am having difficulty dealing with her personal possessions and
wonder if I will ever manage to deal with it all.
Every time I left my Mom's room at palliative care I said the same thing to
her because I never knew if she would be alive. It is how I closed off her
eulogy at her memorial service. It makes me happy because I know she will
always know how much she meant to me
Mummy......love you, love you , always and forever...Adrian
11th August 05:43
loss of my Mom (heart disability)
Adrian, I am so sorry about your loss of your mom. Yes, you love her,
always and forever, and now the always and forever part gets its horrific
test. It is right to love. We do not stop loving when the one we love is
taken from our sight. It is right to go on loving. The challenge is to
find a way (though the pain, through the "disability" of remaining alive)
to go on both living and loving.
I am sorry too that you have to deal with the personal possessions and
stuff -- of course it's hard. Every little thing reminds you . . . The
other day I found a note my Mom had written, just a scrap of paper tucked
into a book, and the tears started to come -- and that's after more than
four years. It takes time. It takes a long time to be able to seem
"normal" and to have some control over the emotions.
I want to thank you for sharing you mother with me, and thank you for
warming my heart with your love for her.
Wishing you peace and happy dreams,
13th August 17:54
loss of my Mom (down grief bereavement heart)
I am sorry about the loss of your beloved Mom. My heart goes out to you.
When my mother died (May 2003), my husband found it extremely difficult to
deal with my grief, or even to be in the same room with me if I was crying.
Eventually I realized that he actually became fearful every time I cried,
because he felt that he should be able to "fix" it, yet could not. So I
told my husband that when I needed to cry, he didn't need to say or do
anything; all I wanted was for him to be with me and hold me. That helped
a great deal.
Also, I gradually sought out other people to talk to about my grief -- a
counsellor at Hospice, plus a couple of friends who had also experienced
bereavement. That way, at least, I wasn't putting the entire load of grief
support on my husband -- plus, I found it very reassuring to talk with
other people whose experience of loss was similar to mine. (Because my
husband's parents are both still alive, not to mention much younger than my
mother was, my experience of bereavement was completely foreign to him.)
Re: the last few hours of your mother's death... have you spoken to the
nurses or the doctor at Palliative Care? I'm wondering whether they may be
able to give you some comfort regarding the things that are haunting you --
the "awful breathing" you describe, and the tears. I'm no expert, but I do
know that the laboured breathing that often comes at the end of life does
*not* generally signify that the person is struggling in any way. It is
simply the way the body continues to breathe as the various systems
gradually shut down. It's also very possible that the tears you mentioned
may have some physiological trigger that is unrelated to emotion. I really
encourage you to ask, as the Palliative Care staff may be able to give you
insights into what was happening that will relieve you of your worry.
You don't have to be in a hurry about it. Sorting through the loved one's
possessions can be incredibly painful. You can decide to go through them
gradually, or put them in storage and deal with them later -- whatever
*you* need to do. Many people wait a year or longer. What really is a
mistake is when people rush through and dispose of the loved one's
possessions willy-nilly, in the belief that this will remove the grief
somehow. All it does is remove the "stuff"... and then often, later, they
regret getting rid of possessions that they can now never replace.
For what it's worth, one approach I did find incredibly comforting was to
sort through of my Mom's things to determine which ones I had no
sentimental attachment to, and to give *those* to charity right away -
dedicating them in her memory, so to speak. Her departure was made a
little less painful to me because at least it meant that the poor would
have clothing, bedding, food. That way I could feel that Mom's loving
spirit was continuing to benefit people, that she was still "present" on
this earth in a way.
you're going through right now is one of the hardest experiences in life.
My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you.
13th August 17:54
loss of my Mom
All I can say right now is "Thanks Gert" I think I will get in touch with
palliative care people...I need to talk to others about how I am feeling.
They are having a memorial service for all the people who died this year at
the palliative care and I am going so I will set something up then. It is
on the 19th of October so it is not to far away. Thanks again everyone