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I lost my 33 yr old healthy daughter to stage 3 pancreatic cancer 7 yrs ago.  She suffered a horrible 9 months leaving behind a loving husband, and 2 little girls age 4 & 1 1/2.  They are our gifts from her to carry on her legacy.  The oldest is so much like her it's crazy and my husband & I are grateful for that.  My husband has since remarried and the girls are adjusting well.  And they call our daughter in law mommy.  The girls also know that they have a mommy in heaven also, and when they ask questions everyone is on board to answer them.

Now to me, I of course miss my daughter but don't dwell on the fact that she is not with us, if I did that then the cancer continues to win & I won't allow that ever.  I wear a bracelet with her name on it, and fearful if I was to put it away she may think that I am forgetting her.  I want to move on but also don't want to forget her.  I just don't know how to do that or how to feel whole again.  My husband doesn't talk much about it, I don't always want it to be the only thing I talk about when I am with family & friends either.  I feel like I am living in a fish bowl and don't know how to get out.

I also don't know anyone else that has gone through the same thing I have to lean on.  So that's my story and I hope someone is out there to help me feel whole again and live a full life.

Maggie

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Maggie,

I am so sorry.  Some things change our lives forever...change US forever, and this is one of them.  I hate the term "move on", preferring instead, "continue" because that's what we do.  We learn to adjust to our new lives as best as we can, we might still struggle, and the memories always with us, but they leave a void in us that nothing else fills, at least that's how it is for me, I lost my husband over 14 years ago, he was barely 51.  

I am so sorry for your loss.  I've lost every relationship BUT my kids, I can't imagine going through that too.  

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Maggie, my dear, my heart reaches out to you in your pain. Your need to keep your beloved daughter alive in memory is normal and certainly understandable, and I encourage you to keep doing whatever brings you comfort in that regard.

Just this morning I read an article by a woman whose mother died ten years ago; you may appreciate reading how she manages to maintain her bond with her mom even today: Reflections on Grief: Ten Years Later

As for talking about your mom with others, here's another article I encourage you to read: I Don't Care How Long It's Been

And if you find yourself needing to be in person among others who've lost a child, you might look into whether there is a local chapter of The Compassionate Friends in your local community. See Find A Local Chapter  

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Maggie,

My heart goes out to you. Five years ago, I lost my daughter to cancer. She had just turned 50. The year before that I had lost my husband, also to cancer. I lived down a hole, in a fog for a very long time. For me, there is no moving on. I simply exist, living the life of a stranger. I don't like this life. It is not mine. I don't dwell on their deaths. There are simply days when it seems neither of them ever existed, strange as it sounds.

Peace to you.

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22 hours ago, KarenK said:

There are simply days when it seems neither of them ever existed, strange as it sounds.

I can relate...I have had to physically go to the file drawer and look up George's birth certificate, our marriage certificate, his death certificate, look at his handwriting...he existed.  It feels surreal, so long ago, like a dream, when he lived and held me, talked to me, ordinary conversations, ordinary life...now it feels there's nothing ordinary about this life, it's a struggle surviving.  Some days I do okay, others, not so much.

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