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mandy57

4 Weeks after Mum passed and not coping

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My Mum passed away 30 September 2019

She was Diagnosed with Vaginal Cancer in February (this year 2019)  but after 6 weeks of treatment. radiation, chemo and brachytherapy, we were told the tumors had gone. The pain in her stomach still persisted and we were told it's a radiated colon and will eventually heal. The pain became progressively worse and she was admitted into hospital again on the 23rd September, and after a scan she was diagnosed "severe diverticulitis".  She went into hospital on the 27th for the doctor to drain a pouch that was infected and she would get immediate relief. We were all so, so positive that there was eventually an end to the pain in sight and assured once again that it wasn't cancer, she had had a scan that showed it to be diverticulitis.  The doctor put her under anesthetic and went in to drain the pouch, only to find a huge cancer tumor. She came back from theatre with me thinking it was all over, only to be told she had less than 24 hours left 💔 She passed on the Monday morning. Apparently the tumor was hiding amongst or behind all the swelling from the radiation.

My Mum and I were extremely close, I'm a only child (56, grown up and married with kids and a Grandson) We had never lived more that 5 min walking distance from each other and spent every morning together for the last 12 years, since she retired. Never been apart for more than 3 weeks in my life, and never gone more than a week without talking to each other. 

I don't know if her story has anything to do with the way I am feeling now, a month later but I'm really battling to come to terms with it.  I'm not cross or angry with the doctors as i know they did their very best and certainly didn't want that outcome. I don't have any regrets, as we were best friends and were always there for each other, I was there with her when she passed and it was peaceful as she was on a high dose of morphine. 
I cry every day and have a constant "replay loop" going on in the back of my mind of things we did together, going back from last month to years ago. It's vivid and constant no matter what I'm doing, whether it's having supper with my family, watching TV or anything at all it doesn't stop going. I'm not sleeping and don't have any appetite. I find it hard to leave my house, as everywhere I go I think of her and when we were there together (we went everywhere together, she didn't drive and I liked her company) and cry so bad people look at me as if I'm crazy. When I do eventually go to sleep I wake up thinking, " This is it for the rest of my life, I will never see or hear my Mum again"  and find I can't breathe and want to jump out of bed and run (goodness knows where to but the urge to run is so strong) 

Is it "normal" to still be feeling this four weeks later ? Are there any coping techniques I could use? I'm very fortunate in that I have a loving and very supportive husband and can talk to him about anything. He wakes up with me and comforts me but it's taking a toll on him as well as he has a business to run.

We have booked to go away in December, taking my youngest daughters friend with us for company for her, I don't want to be a sniveling wreck and spoil it for everyone but I just don't know what to do !
PLEASE HELP 

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Your mother ~ the one person in the world who's been with you for better than half a century, the person with whom you've spent every morning for more than a decade, the one you've never been apart from from for more than three weeks in your entire life ~ died less than one month ago, and you're wondering if it's "normal" to be missing her so much? My dear, not only is it "normal" and completely understandable, but I would be concerned about you if you weren't feeling this way at this point! You've barely taken the first steps into this journey and you're probably still in a state of shock. This is not like turning a switch that will take you from before to after. The world as you've known it all your life has been turned upside down, and it's totally understandable that you've lost your bearings. It's as if you've been dropped into a foreign country without a map, where you don't even speak the language, and expecting yourself to be just fine. That is just not realistic.

This loss must be incorporated into an entirely different life for you. Is it any wonder that you feel so disoriented and so lost? In time I promise that you will find your way through the fog, but first you must sit where you are and acknowledge the enormity of this loss. Give yourself permission to feel every aspect of this death, and allow yourself to mourn.

You ask if there are any coping techniqes you can use, and as you come to know us here, you will discover many of them. We call them "tools for healing" and you'll find many of them here: Tools for Healing and here: Tools for Healing ~ but first I would encourage you to do some reading about what is "normal" in grief, so you'll feel less alone and less "crazy," and so you'll have a better idea of what to expect as you continue on your own grief journey. You might begin with these: 

Grief: Understanding The Process  

Bereavement: Doing the Work of Grief  

Mother Loss: A List of Suggested Resources

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Oh yes, it's "normal" to still feel that way over the loss of anyone close to you.  I lost my dog 10 1/2 weeks ago and am still crying and missing him terribly, so you can imagine it's not out of realm to miss your mom so much in just 4 weeks.

I am so sorry for your loss...I lost my own mom in Aug. 2014.  

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I lost my mum 5 months ago. I’m really not coping. It was quite sudden, but I feel a mix of guilt and grief. My head is all over the place. 

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Steve,

I'm sorry for your loss.  Guilt is common in grief.  Can you say what it is you feel guilty about?

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Hi Mandy. My mother died in 1997 at the age of 57. I was 42 at the time (she was very young when she had me). We were extremely close. It took me 3 years (yes 3 YEARS) to begin to function at anything close to the level I was functioning at before she died. So 4 weeks is, in my mind, much less than the blink of an eye. Especially with so little warning. That was the case when my mother died - she went in to have heart surgery for a heart problem that she had been born with - and died less than 48 hours after she went into the operating room. Now I am dealing with the death of my sister, age 62, from brain cancer, on 6/29. With Ginger, I had a little more time to prepare & I think that helps some but I also know that grief is a long-term process. I still cry pretty much every night (on top of losing Ginger I lost a precious dog about 3 months later - Peggy Sue, yes, I am using her name - on 9/25/19). My mother (and my sister) were my heroes. They were my soul. So please be gentle with yourself and let yourself grieve. Trying to rush grief along is not a good thing because a) it doesn't work and b) it adds the burden of "what's wrong with me, why am I still grieving" to an already agonizing process. It's just hard. I'm so sorry. 

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