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Loss on Top of Loss


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It has been my experience that things come in clumps. When I was in my late 20s, both of my grandmothers and another relative died within 3 months of each other. Clumps. My mom passed away 4 years ago just after being diagnosed with leukemia. A year and a day later, my husband was diagnosed with lymphoma. Clumps.

 

My most recent clump began last September when my husband John was diagnosed with an SMA aneurysm which ultimately took his life. He beat cancer and died of something else. Damn. Just. Damn. Yesterday, John's sweet 93-year-old mother died. She had dementia and her quality of life was poor. It still hurts. Clumps.

 

I believe it cuts deeper because he has not been here through the roughest part of her illness and because he loved her so very much, as do I. I have taken on some of the caregiving to his parents, assisting his sister and brother who live in other states. They visit frequently. They have had around the clock care for about 9 months in their home but as a family, I still travel the hour it takes to get there and go over weekly. I love them and am glad to do it, but I feel like I haven't had time to rest since John died exactly 9 months ago today. Clump-John's death, mother-in-law's death, and anniversary. I don't know. Maybe I overthink it.

 

All I know is her death, as merciful as it feels, hurts. It has already intensified my grief. I feel like by losing the woman who birthed and raised him, it is like losing another part of John. This loss on top of loss simply must slow down. I feel like I am drowning here and long to come up for air. I need time and I yearn for my husband. 

 

I am grateful to Ms Lillian for giving me John. I am grateful that their spirits have reunited in a different way. The image I have is of a melding of spirit and love between a mother and son. She called him her "sweet baby boy." I hold hope that there is a life after death and that Ms Lillian has her sweet baby boy back. 

 

Much Love to All!

Mary Beth

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Mary Beth,

This seems to be a recurring theme for many of us here. Loss on top of loss.  Please know I and others here ache for you, and that our collective shoulders are broad. Lean on us if you can.

It is wonderful that you loved Ms Lillian, a blessed thing that you helped care for her, and I have to believe like you in their reunited spirits. My Dana and I often discussed our mothers, and had a good feel for each other's Moms, even though we never met. Dana was a writer, and incorporated many of the things I told her about my Mom in some of her work. And you know, I told her some of these things when we were together 33 and 34 years ago. I often think of them together now. I'll even bet the two of them are poking fun at me from time to time.

John's Mom has to be telling him what a wonderful girl he married.

Dave

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Mary Beth,

It has seemed to me that loss has been part of my life, beginning when I was 15.  I have been losing people ever since.  The older we get the more common it is for our friends/family to die.  I've lost nine friends in the last year to death.  It continues, I'm about to lose another one.

There are no answers, there's no rhyme or reason, it just happens and sometimes like you say, in clumps.  Those are harder because we're grieving more than one person at a time, which is how we have to grieve them.  We can't grieve a group, but as individuals we lost.

I'm sorry you lost your mother-in-law.  My mother-in-law died many years ago, she was my best friend and the mom I'd always wanted, it was very hard.  I'm glad for the thought that your MIL is with her sweet baby boy now...that relationship is special and continues no matter how old we get.  My heart goes out to you as now you are mourning both of them.

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Mary Beth

 

I've also lost loved ones back to back.  My BIL and SIL.  Then my beloved wife.  Then my twin premature granddaughters.  And most recently my oldest grandson 12 yrs old.  I've had little time to process and grieve each death individually.  I care for my other grandson and granddaughter as my son and daughter in law are at the hospital with their premature son.  He's doing well though.  A miracle.  

 

I pray for you to be able to be given time and peace to grieve your multiple losses.  That's the only way we get through this journey.  

 

Love and peace to your heart

 

Butch

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