On the Loss of My Mother

I’ve been debating posting about this because I’m not sure if I want to or if I’m ready or anything really.

My mother died on November 17, 2010 at 3:35pm due to lung cancer complications.

I think I’ll post the whole story eventually, but it’s going to take a lot of emotional strength that I just don’t have today. I’m not dealing with this all very well at all, although there are days when I’m ok. Most days, I’m able to function somewhat normally and put on a brave face, but inside I am absolutely devastated and empty all at the same time. Some days I am in total disbelief that this has even happened, and other days I just can’t even bear the thought of getting out of bed. No matter what kind of day I’m having, my mom is on my mind literally every second of every day.

People mean well and have asked how I’m doing, but most of them don’t want an honest answer. They want to hear that I’m “hanging in there” and “getting through it.” They don’t want to know that I had to go back on anti-anxiety medication or that sometimes I have to go cry uncontrollably until I can’t even breathe in the bathroom stall at work. Lately, it seems like people are forgetting. No one aside from some close friends, my husband, and my father ask how I’m doing. It’s like since it’s been 9 weeks, I should be “over it” and getting “better.” Well, I have news for these people: I’m never, ever going to over it because my mother is never, ever coming back. I am changed forever and will never be the person I was before because my entire world has been turned upside down and there is no way to turn it back right-side up.

I’ve lost people before, so grief is nothing new to me, but this kind of intense, gut-wrenching, life-changing grief is. My nana died when I was 11. She had a heart attack and died instantly as she was in her bedroom getting ready to go out. We were very close, so it was hard on me, but I was also young and I don’t think I really grasped it at the time. My grandpa died this past July. He was in his 80s and had been living in a Veterans’ nursing home for the past several years with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and prostate cancer. He hadn’t known me for years, and I hadn’t seen him in several. I wasn’t surprised to hear he had passed, and it didn’t really affect me because I think I had said goodbye a long time ago.

I think up until now, one of the worst grief experiences I’ve had was when my cat, Twinkie, died. That might sound silly to some people, but any pet owner will know what I’m talking about. He was 16 years old and we had him since I was 6 years old. He was old and ill and my mom made the decision to put him to sleep. I was so angry at her for doing that. I remember lying in bed that morning just bawling my eyes out until I was physically sick. I had to call out of work for a couple of days. That night I sat at my computer and read about Rainbow Bridge and cried some more and I could actually feel my heart hurt with the pain of loss. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over him dying. He was my best friend. We grew up together. He was always there and then one day he was gone.

That’s how I feel now, except it’s more than 1000 times worse. I feel lost and sad and angry and depressed and scared and empty and relieved and everything. Most of all, I just want my mom back.

7 thoughts on “On the Loss of My Mother

  1. >Erin, this makes me so sad. I want to be able to help you, but I don't know how. No one expects you to get over your mom's passing. It might seems like that because it didn't have the affect on them as it has on you. It should impact your life, and of course its causing you agonizing pain. But without sounding like a broken record, it will get better. When I say that, I mean that with all of the things you have to look forward to in your own life (having babies, buying a house, growing old with the one you love, etc)you will be living the life your mom always wanted you to have. Parents don't bring their children into the world to wish them pain, suffering and sadness. They teach you values, compassion, and they want your dreams come true! Your mom may not be here physically, but that doesn't mean you ever have to stop thinking about her or sharing things with her. There is no time frame for getting over the loss of a loved one. You have earned the right the grieve no matter how long that will take for you, even if its forever. Your friends mean well when they try to offer encouragement and support and do it the best way they can, because of course its so hard to help someone when you don't know how. I love you and am so grateful we "met", even if only online. (I still have to meet you!!LOL) I don't expect you to just snap back to the way things were when she was here. Take your time Erin. Take all the time you need.

  2. >Erin, I really don't know what to ever say when it comes to loss. Everything there is to say is cliche and wont make it feel better. I don't think I've ever gotten past the loss of my grandparents or twin. It's easier to live my life without breaking down daily but when it gets close to the day they passed away I still lose it.You're right about it changing your life forever. There will be big changes in your life and those days will be harder then you ever know. Every big milestone in my life I thought I'd share with my twin and when those big days came I was sad she wasn't there. Granted she died when we were 8 but it still effects me.You'll forever feel like something is missing but it WILL get easier. You wont ever forget or get over it but it will be easier to breathe.Again, I'm so sorry!*hug* much love, kiki.

  3. >Michelle, I love you too, tater. I know it will get better in time and the pain will get less intense, but it's hard to see or understand that right now. Although I know she's still with me and watching over me, I'm feeling very selfish and I want her REALLY HERE to talk with and hug and and laugh with and everything. It all just feels so unfair, and I don't know how to deal with it at all. Kiki, I'm sure Shavon has a huge impact on your life. I can't imagine what it's like to lose a sibling, let alone a twin. It should be a natural part of life for us to outlive our parents (although I have to say it really doesn't make it any easier when it happens), and mostly everyone will experience this at some point or another, but losing a sibling seems very unnatural, especially at such a young age. If you ever need to talk or vent or cry or whatever, I'm here anytime.

  4. >tater, there is never "the right" thing to say at times like this. just know what we're here for you and we love you and we don't expect you to ever get over this. that's just not logical.

  5. >Caryn, I just saw your comment. Thanks for all of your support. I really wouldn't be sane right now without you and the rest of the girls.Ryan, thank you so much. Without such a great support system, I can tell you that I would have lost my mind by now.

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