Loss of my mother
I've just recently lost my mother after being her carer for the past 10 years. The emptiness is almost unbearable - she was my entire life for so long. She fought many health battles over the years, but always managed to rally back to life, sometimes almost miraculously. Consequently, it seemed (absurdly, I admit) that she would never die. Now that she's gone, it just doesn't seem real, it doesn't seem right - that someone with so much courage and strength should die.
How do I go on?
I'm so sorry. I can't even imagine what it would be like to lose a parent especially when it's someone you took care of till her last breath.
You seemed to have had an absolutely beautiful relationship with her. Again, I'm so sorry.
My grandma passed away 5 years ago, and although the circumstances were very different, I can relate to grief and loss.
I pretty much say this to anyone who has lost someone, which is grieve on your own terms. If you want to cry then cry. If you don't want to cry then don't cry. If you want to look at old photos, look at them. If you don't want to look at old photos then don't. And on it goes.
It's your grief so grieve your way.
She was lucky to have you take such loving care of her for so long.
what an amazing son you are for caring for 10 years. Being a career is a rewarding yet challenging role, that would leave such a massive void now she has passed on. I'm not a religious person, but I too believe everyone has to grieve in their own way and time. Do not put a time limit on how long this is. You will have good and bad days but one reassuring thing is you know your mum is no longer in pain.sounds like she was a tough cookie and I'm sure she would want you to carry that fighting spirit on. Now a new chapter of your life has begun. That doesn't mean you have forgotten her, or moving on. It just means you carry those great memories and times in your heart and make your mum proud by moving onwards and upwards.
what I like to do when a loved one has passed is go and buy a plant and as it grows, flowers etc I'm constantly reminded of that person, maybe you could do something to honour the memory and strength of your mother.
all the best..stay strong.
The variation in responses to grief is as vast as the relationships that preceded the loss. I think I am yet to meet any two people that feel compelled to do it the same way. What that means is that we lose confidence to be true to ourselves and to express it in a fashion that feels honest. We are pack animals and we can feel pressured to streamline our grief, when inside we're busting to break off and do it our own way. It doesn't matter how close you are to other people in the family your grieving style will no doubt be different, just like your personality. Looking back now there certainly was tension between my siblings and I, and still is 6 years later relating to the death of our father.
Your mother is your longest relationship. If she's a good Mum or not a great Mum that's where you started. At the very least she was a symbolic anchor, but like many other people I know it sounds like she was also your best friend. You are also experiencing the loss of a role and your loneliness really comes through. A strong, larger than life parent makes their children in turn, feel strong and less fearful. I guess that's why it is such a shock when they pass because our own mortality can no longer be ignored either. Even though your Mum was sick you still felt that someone always had your back, that you were seen, and that's gone now.
Now you don't feel seen, and you are back questioning your worth, your ability to connect with others, and if we will like what we see.
We will like what we see Stephen.
Good luck mate.
Thank you all for your beautiful replies. Each one has helped me immensely. Just knowing that there are other voices out there responding to my own provides me with some comfort at this time.
I'm still in something of a daze though at the moment - veering wildly between intense grief and some sort of quiet remembrance, not to mention exhaustion. It seems that we both still had so much to do and say together, as if we have both been robbed. Neither am I particularly religious, but I still find myself praying to someone, desperately hoping that my prayers, such as they are, are being heard somewhere.
Again, thank you all. I am trying to stay strong.
You must be exhausted. I would/will fall in a heap as well.
It's such an odd feeling that time between the death and the funeral, no sleep, no eating, having to swallow platitudes left right and centre from well meaning people.
I'm not religious either, but that said, it's completely natural to continue having hopes, conversations, and arguments! with your loved one in your own head, especially when communal grieving is so short for the non-religious in our society.
In time grief can bring gifts.
Re-assessing our life, where and with whom, we put our time, energy and love; is not a bad thing.
It's natural to do a lot of re-assessing of people too.
It can get really lonely at times.
Good luck xx
Stay strong/don't stay strong. Pray/don't pray. Intense grief/quiet remembrance.
It goes without saying that there's no right or wrong way: in your own way, on your own time. Your terms.
Again, I'm so sorry and I appreciate your honest post.
Thinking of you.
Firstly you should be commended for the support you have given to your mother over the years, this is something that you should be so proud of as I'm sure she also would be so proud of you.
My father battled cancer for over 16 years whilst in my care and in my experience i believe that seeing a counsellor will greatly help you.
The grieving process is unique to everyone as each individual has their own ways of expressing their emotions which is why it is hard for others to offer advice which may not seem suitable for you, counsellors identify this and will be able to help you through the process of which is natural to you. Just don't ever think that your in this on your own. Wether it's your family, friend, co-worker, on this forum, there will always be help!
Happy to chat further with you about it if it helps my friend.
Thinking of you mate, stay strong and look after yourself.
aidyl, powerful post my friend. Brilliant post - well done for singing out and asking for advice. Much respect in your time of need.
I lost my mum when I was 8 so we are in the same but different camps, sort of. In time, if you are like me, you will come to accept what happened, doesn't mean you have to agree with it but just accept it.
As pointed out above, people grieve in different ways and you will find the best way for you.
Do what you have to do but never forget all the wonderful times that you had with your mother.
Each one of us grieve in different ways, whether it's hidden or whether we show it, that doesn't matter because the pain is now real, it's something that we need to cope with in our own way.
With my dear Mum, her death was slow because she was put into a nursing home where her mind was 100% but she had surgery on her knee and wasn't given any physio, so she couldn't walk, but each year over a period of 10 years she declined until she became a vegetable, that was horrible, but you were her carer and I'm sure helped her out so much over this period which reminds me of a great saying 'can't keep a good girl down', so she had the strength and good will to continue on, but now unfortunately she has passed away, but your memories will never leave you, they will stay with you forever, and each day something will remind you of what you and she had done together, or those funny little sayings that she would say, just out of the blue, they are what you treasure and hold tight against your chest, so carry them where everyou go. Geoff.