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So Much I Took For Granted

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It’s been a month and a half since my mother’s death — a month and a half since I held her hand and kissed her forehead as she took her last breath. I knew that she was so important to me. I knew that I loved her deeply. And still it wasn’t until her death that I realized the scope of it. I loved her so much more than I ever knew. I relied on her so much more than I ever knew. The loss just seems to mount everyday that she’s gone.

I miss being able to pick up the phone and tell her about my day and listen about hers. I miss being able to share those little trivial things that just aren’t worth mentioning to most people, but mom would still want to hear them. And I don’t just miss her — I miss being unconditionally loved. I took that for granted. There’s nothing that would have changed her love for me. I could have been the most horrible person in the world and she would have still been in my corner. Now that’s gone.

I’m in my thirties but there’s a part of me that has regressed to a six-year-old who just wants to shout, “I want my mommy!” She used to tell me that I was her best friend and her bright and shining light…I just wish I could throw my arms around her and tell her she’s all that and more to me. She was just 60 and I thought I’d have plenty of chances.

I was staying with her because she wasn’t feeling well and needed help getting around. I had gone up to take care of her several times before — there was no reason to think it would be different this time. She started to get better. Then one afternoon we were having a chat — everything was normal — and suddenly she got really sick. Next thing I knew I was on the phone to 911.

After that my memories are like a surreal film. Before the night was over she didn’t even know who I was. A mysterious infection had just overwhelmed her body. I saw her everyday while she was unconscious in ICU for two horrible weeks before I had to sign the paper for the machines to be removed. I read the 23rd psalm over her from her christening bible and she died shortly after that. I tried to take care of everything she would have wanted me to take care of. I even went to the funeral home and did her hair and make-up for the viewing. And yet I still feel like I didn’t do enough. I have dreams where I’m going through it all over again — trying to find a way to save her, to do better by her.

I’m sorry this is such a long and rambling post but I’m really feeling the pain right now. Thank you for reading.

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Hi aeval:

I read your post and I can relate to what you are going thru. All of us here can. And what you are experiencing has been felt by pretty much everyone here.

We all know the pain of losing our Moms, and no of longer having them around to talk to and to hold and to share things with.

Grieving our Mom's death is probably the toughest griefwork any one can deal with, except maybe the death of one's own child. After all, we were a part of our Mom for 9 months, she loved us unconditionally, and rarely can that be found anywhere else.

I lost my Mom on November 7, 2005, and there is not one day that passes that is not dominated by thoughts of and longing for her. She was 89, so she lived a good, long life, but still- a loss of 89 years is still quite a loss.

I went thru more losses after her death (related to it), which I won't go into here (I've done that plenty elswehere on this board), and sometimes I feel that it will never end. The pain, the suffering, the questions of "Why, now?" I knew my Mom wasn't going to be around for years more to come, but I had hoped that she would make it to this Spring. I had wanted one more birthday with her (she'd have been 90 on Jan 20th, I turned 43 on Jan 31st) one more Easter and Mother's Day. But no. Perhaps it was better, as losing her in the Spring would have torn me away from the springtime gardening I did for her, and that include planting things at my Dad's grave. To lose her in the dead of winter may have been a way that God spared me from further pain. To lose my outlet for gardening and other outdoor stuff that I did for her would have been painful. It's bad enough now, with spring here, and knowing that the crocuses in Mom's (old) front yard will be popping up soon, that her snowdrops in the (old) backyard terraces are soon emerging (if not up already) and I cannot report to her that they are growing, so she can wander to the windows and look at them. I cannot open up the yard anymore. It will be someone else's job now, as I had to leave so the Estate can sell the place. There was so much else that I wanted to do, but never got the chance, and never will.

You saidf: "I’m in my thirties but there’s a part of me that has regressed to a six-year-old who just wants to shout, “I want my mommy!” Yep, I feel that way to. I don't care if people think that's wrong. What I feel is what I feel.

you also said: "I’m sorry this is such a long and rambling post but I’m really feeling the pain right now. Thank you for reading." Never apologize, this is what this place is for, to let out your pain to share with others so we can share with you our own, so that we all can know that none of us is truly alone.

Take care as best you can, and keep coming back.

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Sorry to hear about your mom. I know what you are going through. I lived with my mom too. When my father died suddenly of a heart attack, at 47, our family took it really hard, especially my mom. She was so hurt, cried and depressed for months. I was so worried about her, and I tried my best to comfort her. I was only 23 and the oldest, so I really stepped up and took charge. My mom became my best friend, and we did everything together. 2 months ago, she went to sleep and never woke up. She was only 56. She was ok the night before, but the next day she was gone ! Some days I get soooo upset that I scream at the top of my lungs, WHY! Other days I get so sad and weak and just scream, "I want my mommy back." She was all we had left on this crappy planet ! The only one who cared about me uncondionally. I also have dreams about saving her too. Last night I dreamed that we were at our old apartment and that she couldn't breathe. I panicked and called 911. The dispatcher asked me if I was the same person who called a week ago about my mom? I said yes, can you help her again? Which was weird. How could I help her again, when she died the first time I called 911. I came home and found her on the couch. She was cold and already gone. So there could never be a second time I'd call to get her help. But in my dreams I keep thinking I can help her !!! But I can't do anything ! She's gone ! Right now I'm upset. I hate this place.

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"I miss being able to share those little trivial things that just aren’t worth mentioning to most people, but mom would still want to hear them. "

I thought it might be helpful for you to know that, even though my Mom didn't love me unconditionally by any means, I still miss those kinds of things, too. With every little thing we buy, or change, or experience in our lives now, I know my Mom would have been interested in hearing about it, unlike friends or other family members who barely even remember what you've just told them. Funny, even with my Mom's failing memory ( for about 2 decades before her death ), she always seemed to remember most of those little things we'd discussed...


"To lose her in the dead of winter may have been a way that God spared me from further pain...To lose my outlet for gardening and other outdoor stuff that I did for her would have been painful."

Gardening was one of the few areas where me and my Mom really connected and in fact, her dedication to it was responsible for me developing a great passion and talent for it, and also landscaping, in my life. It's been a central part of my identity since my 20's. I, too, thought that losing my Mom in Jan. was a saving grace, for the same reason as you stated. Unfortunately, I've since found that this has become yet another loss for me, as I just don't have the same passion or interest left in it now, at least so far. The first spring and summer after my Mom died was horrible and I could barely stand to be in my own garden...though it's quite gorgeous, I've been told. But it suddenly brought me little to no joy. The second year was even worse and I barely even got any veg's in in time...and so got almost nothing for my efforts, which seemed to echo how I felt about everything that had happened since my Mom's death. Now, with the 3rd summer coming up, I hardly care at all to go to all that work. This despite having some 'friends', and neighbours, who I can actually share gardening stuff with and who can fill in some of that void. So now I just feel this even worse loss - that of my own SELF-identity. All I seem to be able to think about now is that my Mom never got to see my beautiful garden in person in the summer ( only once, in the spring before anything was up yet ) and she'll never see it now, now that it's so mature and such an oasis and something I know she'd be so proud of me for...telling everyone all about. I used to send her pictures, but her mind was so gone already that she'd never mention them anymore. :( And as well, we've lost so many friends over this that I don't really even have anyone else to share the beauty with, either....so what were all my years of back-breaking effort and design skills for? We also lost our favourite squirrel the very first summer after my Mom passed. He'd been coming to feed for about 7 or 8 years, and suddenly he wasn't coming anymore and it broke my heart. So one of the great loves of my life, my garden, has just become a painful reminder of loved ones lost, never to grace it again by their presence. So I'm thinking maybe it's a blessing in disguise that you don't have a garden to remind you of all that you've lost, too.....I don't know....no matter which way you look at it, or have it, loss of life stinks and even though it's the largest part of 'life', we never seem to be able to deal with it very easily.

Edited by Maylissa
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Funny how I come here to make myself feel better about the loss of my mom, & yet all I can do when I read all of your words that hit so close to home & hear that so many of us are going through the same emotions & motions is cry. Still in some strange way all of you make me feel better & I thank you ever so much for that. I am 36 now & it has been almost 3 years, since mom passed away, but still to this day when I am home all alone & missing her so much I stand up & scream to the top of my lungs WHY HER? WHY DID SHE HAVE TO LEAVE ME? I NEED MY MOMMY!!! I MISS MY MOM!!!! I feel so helpless & eventhough we all know everyone has to go sometime, it is so hard to have mommy gone. Mom was our (me, my kids,& my hubbys) life. We only lived 4 miles from her but I was with her EVERY day. To have to continue every day after her passing with out her has been the hardest journey of my life. Maylissa.................I do not know why you said that your mom did not love you unconditionally, but I am so sure she did. Some people have a strange way of showing love, but I can tell by your words that she loved you & misses you as much as you loved her & miss her.

Paul S...................I did have this loss in the spring & no matter when it happens it hurts just as much for all of us. We find the strneght in their love to keep on going & do what we know we have to do. My mom passed just before her favorite holiday & also her BD. It is hard but so far I have made it through.

I will share something that may bring a little smile to a few faces............when you all say you feel like a 6 year old again & just want your mommies............well there I sat only a week & a half or so after my mom passed away ......Easter was only a few days away & I with 2 children had to color eggs............I could not do it.....I had asked my sister if she would come from 150 miles away to color them with my kids for me.......she said "TOOTIE ANN, you are 33 years old you need to do this for your kids" I cried right out loud............I can't lol well at that time I did not think I could......my sister said "why" I cried.....cuz I am 33 & I have never colored eggs without my mommy I need her help, I don't know how to do it all alone. My sister then cried with me & said "oh Tootie you can do it mom will be there to help. The next day my sister & about 6 other family members came to my house & helped us color eggs.

To sit back & think now that I was 33 & did not know how to color eggs is funny now, but at the time it was not so funny.


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Thank you all for responding and sharing your own stories. I appreciate having a place to share this part of my grief, as it’s really overwhelming me now. Writing about this has already helped me some. Not only did it allow me to articulate some of how I’m feeling, but also it gave me the opportunity to invite my husband to read what I had written. It’s been hard for me to discuss my grief with anyone, even him. He and I had a very long and tear-filled talk afterward that led to releasing a lot of my pent up emotion. Hopefully it also helped with his grief process, as he and my mother were very close.

I’m still trying to figure out how to process everything that’s happened. Just before my trip to see my mom, I lost my pet companion of the last 16 years. I had barely begun to deal with that when my mother fell ill. While mom was in ICU I had to take her furbaby to be put to sleep due to end stage renal failure. Then there were big family issues that came up during all of this, then the loss of mom. I know I’m just beginning my grief work.

Paul S: I appreciate all the validating and supporting words you shared. I’m sorry about your own loss. Regardless of her age, I know there is no good time to lose one’s mother and the pain is just as strong no matter when the end-of-life comes. I’m sure the loss of her home and (the yard you worked in) is another grief event for you. You have my best wishes.

Shubom: You have my sympathies on the loss of you mom (and of course your father, too). Such a sudden loss must have really shaken you world. It sounds like we have some things in common. Those dreams really are the most frustrating. I think they illustrate how much responsibility we felt for our mothers. Once you start taking care of your mom, it’s hard to stop even when she’s gone. In my dreams I know that she’s already died, but it’s like I have another chance to “get it right this time” even though there was nothing I could have done to change it. Somehow my subconscious mind keeps thinking that I can still take care of her—I can still “fix it”. I was having the dreams every night, but there aren’t as frequent lately. Hopefully they’ll stop all together and I can dream of her in a happier way.

Maylissa: Thanks for posting and understanding. I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t feel that unconditional love from your mother. I empathize with that, from other relationships in my family, but I wish everyone could have at least had it from their moms. I know that’s not always possible, and I’m sure it adds to your grief as you’re not only mourning the loss of what you had with her but also what you didn’t have. I really am sorry.

Tootie: I guess we’ll never get passed that “I want my mommy!” feeling. I know I can’t imagine it going away. It’s such a raw emotion. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope Easter isn’t a very difficult time for you this year.

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Dear Aeval,

Thanks for writing. I know how you are feeling. Today (March 22nd) marks the 1 year anniversary since my mom was violently taken away from me and my family by a traffic accident that could have been avoided. She was only 60 years old. I have had many times this year that I have cried for my mommy. I didn't get to say Good Bye. I too took life with her for granted. I moved back to my parents town 3 years ago. I lived only 2 1/2 blocks from them and spent part of every day with them either in person or on the phone. My mom always called to see how my day was at work, now no one does. I at times think no one else cares. My Dad is dealing with his own loss and is unable to fill that hole in my life.

I too am in my thirties and single, I feel like I regressed back to being a little child. I want to cry on her shoulder, tell her the things that nobody else cares to hear. I feel with you. I can tell you that the hurt does lessen some but a day does not go by that I do not think about her and wish she were still here. I would give anything to see her again. Hug her, tell her that I love her more than words can say and that I appreciate her for all that she has done for me. I go to her gravesite regularly and spend time talking and writing to her, things that I don't have anyone else to tell.

I feel for you as you deal with the next months with the loss of your mother. She sounds like a wonderful mother. Please know that she is still with you in spirit. Sorry for your loss. Mothers are not easy to lose.

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