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Mom Killed Two Days Before My Son Born

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My mom was killed in a car accident on August 12, 2003. She was 54. I was 38 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I live in Wisconsin. She lived in Montana. The stress of the accident suddenly put my pregnancy at great risk, so they decided to induce me immediately on August 13. After a very stressful and difficult 21 hours, my son was born.

My mom missed the birth of my son because she fell asleep at the wheel of her car and drove off the road into a fence at 75 mph.

I missed my mom's funeral b/c I was in the hospital having a baby. Who misses their own mother's funeral? Every day I look at my precious baby and wonder why. My mom was so excited about her first grandbaby. Now she'll never know the joy of seeing him smile or of hearing him giggle.

I can't think of a time when I needed my mom more. I honestly just don't know how to get through this. Guilt is my overriding emotion: I feel complete devastation at her death and complete euphoria at the birth of my son. How can a person bear the absolute extremes of human emotion at the same time? How can I reconcile my joy with my sorrow?

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At any time, but most especially when we are grieving, we humans are fully capable of harboring all kinds of conflicting feelings all at the same time, including totally opposite ones (love and hate, joy and sorrow, happiness and anger, to name a few). That is the meaning of the word “ambivalence” – the simultaneous existence of two directly opposite feelings or, according to my Webster’s Dictionary, “the uncertainty or fluctuation caused by the simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite things.” Such conflicting feelings can make us feel very crazy and very guilty, and oftentimes we torture ourselves with ridiculous questions such as, “How can I feel this way when I should be feeling that way?”

I want to suggest to you that you stop judging yourself for whatever you may be feeling at any given moment throughout this grief journey of yours, and simply accept whatever state you find yourself in at the time.

Feelings are neither right or wrong, good or bad – they just are. It is what we do with our feelings that matters. Think of how your precious brand-new baby boy would feel if all he felt from you was sorrow? You have every right to think of your son with euphoria and joy, and he has every right to expect it from you! And if you could make it happen, we all know that you would have your mother alive and well beside you, sharing in your joy – but sadly, so very sadly, that is not an option.

Similarly, you have every right to be filled with sorrow (and anger, resentment, disappointment and any number of other negative emotions) because your mother was ripped away from you at one of the most important moments of your life.

I encourage you to accept these emotions as normal, predictable, human, and understandable, all resulting from the terrible situation in which you find yourself. There is not one among the rest of us who would not feel the same if we found ourselves in the same circumstances.

I hope you will do some reading about the normal grief process so you will come to see your reactions as normal. Keep reading the messages posted here so you will see that you’re not alone. Know that we are thinking of you and holding you in our hearts.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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